Wise shopper's thrift knows no limits

Candid Closet

March 28, 1996|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,SUN STAFF

A fixed income and unsteady stride can't take the shopper out of Annina Lang.

Ms. Lang, who has epilepsy and lives at Keswick Multi-Care Center, has loved clothes all her life. Now, though, she has more time and less money to spend looking for them. That means she sets strict limits -- no more than 50 cents for a secondhand sweater -- and devotes as long as a year hunting for, say, the perfect pair of blue jeans.

The only fashion concession she's made to her illness is often forgoing her beloved high heels in favor of more sensible shoes. But then again, says the 52-year-old Baltimorean, sneakers are more comfortable to shop in anyway.

Q: How would you sum up your style?

A: I love Martha Stewart. She looks so great all the time. She wears fancy clothes for certain things and is casual at other times. I try to get some things that are way-out and some traditional.

Q: Friends say you have an outfit for every occasion.

A: Just about. They started having a luau here three years ago. I bought a muumuu for 50 cents. I have a gold lame evening gown that I've worn with a crown and wig for Halloween. I've also used that for black-tie events. Then there are my tights. I have one pair with flowers all over them. Another pair is red and green. I like bright colors. They bring out pizazz.

Q: What will you wear for Easter?

A: I'll probably wear a red wool gabardine suit that has little silk rosebuds on the jacket and skirt. It's classy.

Q: What are your secrets for shopping on a tight budget?

A: I go to thrift stores all the time. Keswick has one. I spend nearly all my time there. I get great sweaters for 50 cents.

Q: What's been your best buy?

A: A navy wool A-line coat that I bought 2 1/2 years ago for $3. I must have worn it 20 times.

Q: And your biggest splurge?

A: A tan wool skirt. it wasn't just a splurge; it was idiotic. It was like $20. And I have to get it dry-cleaned every single time I wear it.

Q: In a word, how would you describe the look you're after?

A: Classy.

Q: It sounds as though you also have a sense of adventure about your clothes.

A: I do. I don't want to walk around in a staid old brown or navy outfit. But it's also important to me that I look classy.

Q: What's your standby?

A: A red and green wool plaid skirt and a cream-colored sweater. I'll wear that during the day. It's comfortable and now-looking.

Q: Beside the Keswick store, where do you shop?

A: Vogue Revisited, Talbot's, The Gap, and the L.L. Bean and Lands' End catalogs.

Q: If money were no object, where would you shop?

A: I'd keep doing what I'm doing. I do this because I love shopping. I can usually get a good buy. That's part of the thrill.

Q: What would make your wardrobe complete?

A: I'd love to have a chestnut-colored suede suit. They are so smart-looking, but it costs a fortune to have them cleaned.

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

Pub Date: 3/28/96

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