Personal shopper relies on accessories


November 24, 1994|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Sun Staff Writer

Around Owings Mills mall, Joyce Baker is often known by another name: pin lady.

That's because she's frequently seen --ing in and out of stores wearing three at once.

Ms. Baker, who has shopped for hundreds of people since becoming the manager of customer service and personal shopping at the mall three years ago, believes that accessories are the key to updating a wardrobe.

Her fondness for pins has raised eyebrows among some shoppers. But she's learned to let an odd comment or glance pass her by.

"For me, it's OK to wear three pins," says Ms. Baker, 47, who lives in Pikesville. "It doesn't mean I'm crazy."

How does shopping for others affect your desire to shop for yourself?

The funny side of this is that I'm so busy shopping for other people that it keeps my Visa bills very low. But I still get the gratification of coming up with ideas. When I shop for customers, I shop for me.

What's the newest thing in your closet?

I was shopping for a customer recently and I saw a cashmere turtleneck at Casual Corner. It was on sale for $79, so I bought one in red.

And the oldest?

A basic black jacket. I can't wear it anymore, but it's my mascot. It's plain, classic and I've had it for years.

How would you describe your style?

My style is very classic. I rely on accessories to make things new. Ninety-nine percent of my clothing is black. I have 25 pairs of black suede shoes. I'm the kind of person who if I find a pair of pants I like, I'll buy three pairs. I don't call anyone's closet a closet. It's another room in your home. Accessories turn the light on in my room.

What accessories matter most to you?

Pins. Everyone laughs at me. They say, "Here comes the pin lady." I have a gold tiger pin with rhinestones that's always on my shoulder. I have a big gold pin with an elephant in the center. I have bar pins, brushed gold, topaz and one shaped like a bow. Glitz is big this year. My pins provide that for me.

What won't you leave home without?

My jewelry. In general, I wear at least one pin, three bracelets, two rings, a watch and earrings.

Other than the mall, where do you shop?

Because I'm in the mall so much, 90 percent of my shopping is done there. But I'll go anywhere -- from T.J. Maxx to Ruth Shaw.

What's your wildest outfit?

A black wool crepe pantsuit with gold piping and lace. I wear it with a black and gold lace bodysuit. That's my most outrageous outfit. I call it my "after five."

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

Actress Linda Dano. We look so much alike. I like her style. She does a lot with accessories.

Of the trends this season, which will you invest in?

The one thing I'm adding to my wardrobe is a piece of velvet. Last year I bought a velvet shirt. This year I'm buying a velvet bodysuit.

What's the last thing you'd buy?

I would not wear a long skirt and work boots. On me, that's definitely a fashion faux pas.

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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