Creativity enlivens conservative style


January 05, 1995|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Sun Staff Writer

When Helene Lutz attends Heartfest Jan. 14, her black chiffon cocktail dress with rhinestone straps will sum up her style: conservative yet fun.

Mrs. Lutz, who helped plan the benefit for Johns Hopkins Hospital's Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, works as a senior research coordinator there. During the week, she typically wears classics such as trousers, turtlenecks and blazers, most of which are covered by her white lab coat.

On the weekends, though, she favors a more freewheeling style -- construction boots, vests and T-shirts she's designed herself with ribbons, paint and old earrings.

"I've definitely become more creative as I've gotten older," says Mrs. Lutz, 35, who lives in Pikesville. "In college, I only wore khaki pants, Shetland sweaters and button-downs. I was the ultra prep."

Q: What sets your wardrobe apart from others?

A: I'm really a conservative dresser. But on my days off, I'll wear fun stuff -- things with jewel studs. I don't wear loud patterns. I'll wear something subtle that has nice colors in it. For example, one of my suits is fuchsia and purple with a black skirt. It's got more flare than the typical business outfit.

Q: Is your conservative style a result of working in a hospital?

A: I really don't know what the reason is. I'm married to someone who's conservative: My husband Randy's an attorney. Maybe that has some effect. But I've never been a flashy person.

Q: Who most influenced your look?

A: My mother. She dresses very similar to me. We both showed up at Thanksgiving in black stirrup pants, long sweaters and black flats.

Q: What's your current favorite?

A: For work, my red blazer, black pants and a cream and gold blouse. I get a lot of compliments on it.

Q: Where do you shop?

A: I do a fair amount through catalogs. I also shop at Paul Harris and Casual Corner. I like Nordstrom. I never walk out of there empty-handed.

Q: What did you last give away to Goodwill?

A: A pair of plaid stirrups. They were brown, maroon, hunter green and black. I only wore them once, and I felt like my pants were too short. It was a better mannequin outfit.

Q: What's considered daring for you today?

A: I have a vest with probably 100 different buttons on it. It's trimmed in gold and I wear it with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. It's a conversation piece. I definitely can't wear it at home because my 2-year-old son, Evan, will pull the buttons off.

Q: Does being the mother of Evan and 3 1/2 -year-old Andrew alter your style?

A: My look is more rugged than ultra feminine. I'll wear construction boots, jeans and thermal shirts. It's comfortable. I'm more Talbot's than Laura Ashley.

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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