Balancing 'pit crew' look with the style of business

Candid Closet

March 07, 1996|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,SUN STAFF

When Nancy Spence walked into an auto body shop five years ago, little did she know she'd find a fiance and a new style.

But since she started dating Jerry Casciero, owner of the shop and a professional motorcycle racer, Ms. Spence has added "pit crew" attire to her collection of business classics. The administrative director of the Child Abuse Prevention Center of Maryland also has upgraded her beau's clothes -- without changing his essential look.

"That's part of who he is and I appreciate it," says Ms. Spence, 40, who lives in Bel Air. "But I don't want him to spend all his time in T-shirts and jeans."

It sounds as if your fiance has had an effect on your wardrobe.

Definitely, whether I want it or not. In terms of going to races with him, it's a requirement for all teams to wear uniforms. I am his pit crew, so I have to wear striped shirts with patches and usually white or teal green slacks.

What's the other side of your wardrobe like?

I have regular casual clothes, work clothes and formal wear. I'm definitely a sweater person. For business, I like dresses or suits. And I do a lot of event planning, so I have fairly extensive evening wear. My wardrobe is monochromatic -- mostly black and white.

Do you have a favorite outfit?

A black suit with a knee-length skirt and longer jacket. I usually wear it with gold jewelry to work, but I can dress it up with pearls.

Is there anything in your closet you look at and say, "I'll never wear this again"?

Older sweaters. Some are favorites, but they're out of style now.

Is there anything in your fiance's closet that you hope never comes out again?

I'd like to see more things in it. A T-shirt has to be a rag before he'll get rid of it. Getting dressed up is not one of his favorite activities. I'd like to see more casually dressy clothes in his closet, but I don't expect that to ever happen.

How do you think you've affected his style?

We go to a number of black-tie events. He now has quite a collection of dressier shirts and ties.

With two such divergent looks, how do you compromise?

I let him do his own thing most of the time. There are times that if I could choose his style, he probably wouldn't have on a T-shirt. But as long as it's appropriate, I don't mind.

What words would sum up your style and his?

He's casual. I'm contemporary but not trendy.

What did you wear to the Child Abuse Prevention Center's dinner earlier this week? I wore a cream-colored pantsuit with a strand of pearls. Jerry was in Daytona at a racing series, so he wasn't able to come.

Where do you shop?

Hecht's. I'm originally from New York so I still do some shopping there.

What's the biggest source of clothing-related disagreements?

Whether or not he'll have to wear a tie. He would like to wear a suit and shirt and have the tie in his pocket. I always say: "Put the tie on."

What will you wear to your wedding next month?

We're having a home wedding. I have a very plain cream-colored, full-length dress with an illusion neckline. He got a new double-breasted navy suit. I picked it out. He liked it once he got it on.

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

Pub Date: 3/07/96

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