Pam Shriver finds she's slowly losing the buttoned-down look

CANDID CLOSET

September 29, 1994|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Sun Staff Writer

Around Pam Shriver's Brooklandville home, serious clothing decisions are being made.

A pile is stacked in one corner: black skirts, print shirts and shorts destined for Goodwill. Then there's the good stuff: the Escada dress, Donna Karan bodysuit and silk suit about to be packed for a multi-city trip she starts tomorrow.

But there's still one question that haunts the 32-year-old tennis star: What to wear to the benefit she founded -- the Signet Bank Tennis Challenge tonight at 7 p.m. at the Baltimore Arena. (For more information, call 234-0969.)

She pulls out a black jacket with bold trim, then scrunches up her nose and walks away from her closet, still undecided.

We know your style on the court. What's it like off?

I'm getting less conservative as I get older. I used to be buttoned-down preppy. Now I'm trying to get into more fun stuff. A lot of times I've had to battle being "jockey." I try to dress more feminine now.

But I have an ongoing war with my closet -- what to throw out, what to keep. There's a quiet rule: If you haven't worn it in two years, throw it out. I ignore that. I have a ridiculous assortment. I travel nine months of the year. Seasons don't mean as much to me. On Friday, I leave for Europe, then Australia, California, Philadelphia and New York. It's a strategy to pack for that long and those different climates.

What percentage of your clothes is for tennis?

One out of my seven closets has tennis clothes. Two drawers in my bedroom have T-shirts and shorts.

Where do you shop?

At Panache, Trillium and The Sporting Life in Green Spring Station. I had my largest shopping spree in July when I was playing a tournament near Manchester, Vt. That's the designer discount capital. I got in all sorts of trouble, buying Escada, Calvin Klein, Mondi, Donna Karan. I either played tennis or shopped.

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

A lot of women dress up for other women. I disagree with that. I like to look nice for the opposite sex. I'd just as soon take John Kennedy Jr. or David Letterman on my next shopping trip. I can really get annoyed shopping so at least Letterman would make me laugh.

What's your wildest outfit?

I'm not exactly the most daring person, but I'd put my pants with race cars all over them high on the list. They're bizarre. I'm also a great Nicole Miller fan.

How many pairs of shoes do you have?

Probably 50. I'm a size 11, and I don't wear heels for obvious reasons. I have a pair of black Ferragamo flats that I've worn to death.

What's your sentimental favorite?

These tennis shoes my grandmother needlepointed for my birthday 15 years ago. She felt I was hard to shop for because I didn't need anything. She loved to needlepoint and decided to make these for me. At first when I saw them I thought, "Oh my God. Am I ever going to wear these?" Then I realized there are times when it's fun to wear them. They're a conversation piece.

Do you have a good-luck outfit?

When I need luck, I'm on the tennis courts. At the moment, nothing is bringing me a lot of luck.

What would you change about your wardrobe if you could?

I'm 6-foot-1 and a size 12 or 14. I wouldn't mind fitting into a size 10 or 12 all the time. That's what I find most frustrating -- finding clothes that fit.

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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