Anita Stewart has a highly advanced radar system for shoes. Wherever she is, at a strange mall, a new department store, "I will find the shoe department. It never fails," Stewart says. "My two teen-age daughters are the same way."
Imagine the Stewarts' Baltimore home: shoes under the bed, stacked in the closet, on racks, in the basement cedar closet. Recently, Stewart called across the country to locate a particular pair of Jones of New York shoes in her size, but they didn't turn up. No matter. "If I really want them, they'll come to me," says Stewart, a software trouble shooter for Commercial Credit.
Do you pick out your shoes every morning and go from there?
Yes. I start with the shoes. I'll happen to see a pair I haven't worn, and dress from the shoes up. A lot of people start with pants and blouses and then choose their shoes.
Why kinds of shoes do you like?
Pumps, "croc" style, suede, cloth, sandals, it doesn't matter. I like thicker heels, not real, real pointy ones. I just bought a pair of stiletto shoes though, with a slightly thicker heel.
Where do you find shoes?
Everywhere. ... With two daughters, I have to go bargaining, at the Nordstrom Rack, and we hang out at the Saks outlet in Hunt Valley and at Value City, you can get some nice brand name shoes.
Do you have any other clothing passions?
I love belts, scarves, bracelets, silver, gold, earrings, pins, pendants, all accessories.
Do you have a specific style?
I love the tailored look. I love the tailored pants, the way they cuff and drape. They're very flattering.
Where do you wear your skirts?
I like my skirts or dresses short, above the knee, or really long. I love long split skirts and wrap skirts, sheer blouses with camisoles. And my underclothes always match my outfit.
Did your mom have a smart sense of style?
She worked at Hochschild Kohn when I was young. She kept us really nice. And she dresses really sharp, especially when she goes to church.
What is one of your earliest fashion memories?
A pair of Buster Brown shoes, the beige and brown ones with the little flap on them. I begged my mother. She usually bought us those burgundy tie ups at Zimmermann's. This was in rTC kindergarten ... I would not take those shoes off to take my nap. I woke up with those same shoes on under the covers.
What is your favorite pair of shoes?
They're pink. They're called Barbie shoes and they're by 9 West. Every time I wear them, people just stop and say, "Look at those pink shoes!"
What is your trick to looking good?
It's the way you carry yourself.
It sounds like you don't believe in taking the conservative style route.
I dress to please myself.
Do you know any snappy dressers? Let us know. Write to Stephanie Shapiro, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.
Pub Date: 4/23/98