Whatever matches her mood is wardrobe's only pattern

Candid Closet

March 27, 1997|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,SUN STAFF

On any given day, Reta Stewart, 43, is a new person. On Monday, her makeup and attire are sophisticated. On Tuesday, perhaps she has raided her 22-year-old daughter's closet, and in a short, short pleated skirt she looks more like a school girl. "My style is versatility," she says.

Stewart, an aesthetician with her own line of cosmetics -- Royal Expressions -- savors the ability to transform her personal look from "real natural" to dramatic, according to her mood.

Working from her home and from the Nailery as well as Sibanye Says, a West Baltimore emporium specializing in African-American books, clothing, art and cosmetics, Stewart is also anxious to show clients how to transform themselves and treat their complexions. "I'm just into skin," she says.

Where do you shop?

Nordstrom and consignment stores. I used to shop at Encore, which just closed. In Pikesville, Deja New and in Mount Washington, Just a Second Boutique. I also go up to the Reading outlets.

Name some of your favorite designers.

Ann Taylor and DKNY. And I only get underclothes from Victoria's Secret.

It's easy to buy everything at consignment shops. How do you temper your shopping urge?

I don't just buy anything I see because it's cheap. I can be real particular. I won't buy something unless it's really exceptional.

Do you hunt for bargains elsewhere?

When I'm traveling on vacation, I'll pick up the paper and look for consignment shops. My family laughs at me. I'll be on vacation in Florida and looking at consignments.

What kind of shoes do you usually wear?

Every time I go shopping to get some flat shoes, I fall in love with another pair of heels.

Do you wear much jewelry?

I don't wear a lot of gold. I like costume jewelry, it's more fun. I have pierced ears but I wear clip-ons most of the time. I like modern, upbeat jewelry. I'm not into old pieces.

How do you negotiate borrowing clothes from your daughter, Ladell?

I still go to her apartment. We borrow from each other.

What do your daughter's friends say about your way with a pleated skirt and blazer?

"Oh, your mother's jazzy!" Or they say, "That's your mother?"

Do you know any snappy dressers? Let us know. Write to Stephanie Shapiro, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St. Baltimore, Md. 21278.

Pub Date: 3/27/97

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