Pumping up membership with a professional look Style: Downtown Athletic Club executive Stacy Hertslett found a job that suits her, and she has worked out a wardrobe that's flexible, yet all business.

Candid Closet

June 20, 1996|By Vida Roberts | Vida Roberts,SUN FASHION EDITOR

While all around her folks in minimal amounts of clothing are pumping and perspiring, maintaining a businesslike image isn't easy for Stacy Hertslet.

As director of membership sales at the Downtown Athletic Club, Hertslet reminds herself that under the baggy sweats and workout wear walking around the club are people in professional and creative fields who understand about dressing well.

"Because of what I do, I see all types of people throughout the year -- artists, doctors, professional athletes, students and teachers -- and they all make different fashion statements."

The sports enthusiast and collegiate tennis player has worked at the DAC for 14 years. With a graduate degree in human development and a job that helps people develop their physical well-being, she has found the right career fit.

Do you ever feel overdressed in the casual health club environment?

Not really. I handle corporate sales, as well as individual memberships, so I dress accordingly -- corporate business dress, and that means suits almost exclusively. But I do have days when I can look more relaxed. Suits have always been my favorites because I can mix and match the pieces.

What are your favorite labels?

I buy a lot of Ann Taylor, because their cut suits me. I'm 5-foot-8 and a size 4, so I need their longer cut. And I lean to classic styling with shape. I'll put together a form-fitting jacket, short skirt and silk blouse. Depending on my contacts for a day, I can even get away with tailored walking shorts and a silk blouse.

So you're not locked into the success-suit formula?

No, my job allows for flexibility, and tailored slacks worn with heels and a blazer work fine. Now that business-casual is accepted in many workplaces, I see more relaxed styling. Suits aren't as stiff and much more fashionable.

Do you keep a work-out wardrobe at work?

Yes, I use most of the facilities and try to swim three times a week. I bought the Speedo hologram print suit for my laps. Exercise wear has changed from the thong thing to more athletic-looking shorts and crop tops and more covered leotards. But I'll wear brief bikinis for the beach.

Is shopping a treat or torture?

I'd rather spend my time doing things like my photography hobby, so when I shop I decide what I need and start early. If I like it and it feels comfortable I'll buy it.

Do your clothes accumulate in the closet?

They do, because I buy classics, and they stay in style. I don't follow trends, but I do like quality and fabrics that are comfortable.

I have suits that are 8 or 10 years old, and I still wear them. They hold up because I'm careful with them; have them stored, cleaned.

Do have a memorable fashion moment?

For a special black-tie event, I saved up and bought a black and turquoise short beaded dress. It cost a bundle. Everybody told me I looked terrific, and I felt terrific. I let a friend, who has more of a figure than I do, borrow it. She got twice the compliments and rave reviews.

Any accessory favorites?

Belts. I can't pass up a good belt, and I collect unusual ones when I travel. They add interest to clothes and don't take up much room.

Do you know some snappy dressers? Let us know. Write to Vida Roberts, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

Pub Date: 6/20/96

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