Jazzy dresser proudly wears bold streak

CANDID CLOSET

June 23, 1994|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Sun Staff Writer

When it comes to fashion, Deborah Dwarte is fearless. She'll give almost anything a try -- sequined pumps, backless dresses, leather suits.

That makes her the object of attention around Notre Dame College where she works in the admissions office.

It also causes conversation around her own Perry Hall home.

"My daughter Chenee is conservative," says Ms. Dwarte, 36, of her 17-year-old. "She looks at what I wear and says, 'I wouldn't be caught dead in that.' "

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What's your style?

Jazzy. My skirts range from minis to just above the ankle. I'll wear a slit, no slit. My suits are fitted. And I always change my earrings, shoes and pocketbooks. I have a pink leather suit. That's how weird I am.

What's the history behind that?

My husband knew pink was my favorite color. He and my kids (Chenee and son Marquis, 13) bought it for me for Mother's Day years ago. I've worn it several times to work.

How did a pink leather suit go over at a Catholic women's college?

It's conservative here, but I lighten up the place with my clothes. I put a little pizazz in things. Everything I wear gets a positive reaction. It's either, "Wow, that looks good," or "Wow, I can't believe she wore that."

What stands out most?

My shoes. I'm just a shoe fanatic. I have 40 pairs: hunter green, lavender, pink, gold, sequins, slingbacks, pumps. If you and I were shopping and you got black shoes, I'd get orange. Everyone always told me I had nice legs. Shoes help show them off.

Where do you shop?

My husband calls me "Sale-ina." Anywhere there's a sale, I'll shop. Woodie's, Macy's, Hecht's. But I'm cheap. The maximum I would spend on an outfit would be $100. On shoes, I'll spend $75.

With whom would you most like to go shopping?

Patti LaBelle. I like her style. She's a little weird and a shoe fanatic like me. How did you learn to dress the way you do?

I'm the oldest girl of six. I was always a fanatic about clothes. I used to make my sisters buy shoes I liked because we all wore the same size and I wanted to have more choices.

What would you change about your wardrobe if you could?

My style is bold, but sometimes I'd like to take it a little beyond, make it a little more dramatic. But I don't think my kids would be able to handle it.

On the weekend, does your style change?

I'm more low-key on the weekends. I'll wear shorts and a midriff top.

Is there anything in your closet you wouldn't dare wear now?

My husband bought me a black leather jacket and skirt with zippers all over them. I would never wear that without being accompanied somewhere by him. I wear it for him, but it's a little much.

Do you know some dressers? Let us know. Write to Mary Corey, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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