A sense of the outrageous is a cure for boredom

CANDID CLOSET

September 15, 1994|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Sun Staff Writer

If the nickname fits, wear it.

For Roxanna Anthony, "Hot Rox" sums up the no-holds-barred style of this clinical social worker.

In the white-filled world of Union Memorial Hospital where she works, her plaid tights, fuchsia miniskirts and black lace gloves have been controversial -- earning raves from some patients and reprimands from some supervisors.

Although she walks with a cane and wears sneakers due to a car accident years ago, that doesn't crimp her style.

But she has learned to gauge how far she can push the fashion envelope.

"There are lots of times when my clothing has calmed down now," says Ms. Anthony, 38, who lives in Towson. "But I still enjoy dancing on the edge."

How would you describe your look?

Diverse. If I have my choice, I'll be avant-garde. At times, that's been a problem at work. My definition of professional and theirs is different. I once wore a black and white tiered skirt, a black camisole and white lace blouse with lace nylons. The director at the time didn't send me home, but he had some serious questions about my clothes. And he wrote me up with a warning for inappropriate office attire.

Have your clothes gotten you into trouble before?

They threatened to write me up three or four times. I once wore a hot pink and white striped outfit. The skirt was mid-thigh, very snug and I hadn't ironed it as well as I should. The director made me go into the clothes closet we have for patients and find something else to wear. I came out in a cream blouse and long floral print skirt.

What's the point of dressing this way?

I dress for my own entertainment. Sometimes if I'm feeling bummed out, dressing outrageous can be a pick-me-up. And people react to that.

Is it some kind of rebellion?

I'm rebelling against conformity. I grew up in Towson. There were times growing up when if you didn't have the cable-knit sweater, corduroys and Docksiders you just didn't matter. I had a real reaction to that. I found it boring.

Is it true that some of your outfits have names?

Yes. I had a blue and white flannel dress with ruffles that friends call Little Bo Peep. When I wear another outfit -- leggings and a sweater in black, white and neon yellow -- people call me a bumblebee.

What's been the most memorable reaction to your clothing?

I get a lot of: "What are you supposed to be today?" In my office, they once made a bulletin board with pictures of my more outrageous clothes.

Who would you most like to take along on your next shopping trip?

Cher. She's real outrageous. I don't want to wear string clothing like she does, but I like her style.

What's the most useful lesson you've learned about your attire?

There are times when despite my personal desires I have to dress to fit the mold. I don't want to make people uncomfortable because of what I'm wearing. It's a balancing act between being respectful of their beliefs and respectful of my own taste.

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

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