Secret to looking great: Coordinate Matchmaker: Pamela Bishop will go to great lengths to make sure colors and accessories all go together.

Candid Closet

November 12, 1998|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,SUN STAFF

Pamela Bishop is the first to admit she wouldn't be caught dead in an uncoordinated outfit. She figures she takes after her grandfather, who on his death bed refused to go to the hospital before his family scrambled to find socks to match his blue suit. Brown socks just wouldn't do.

"We were digging and digging and digging, my mom and sister and grandmother," remembers Bishop, 43, who was 8 at the time. "We had to find the right color socks before he would even go."

Today, Bishop will take two years to find the right hue of blue shoe, if that's what it takes. She realizes this might be excessive and has at times conceded to an imperfect match.

However, "I will hold off as long as I can," says the administrative assistant at the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy.

Aside from sharing your grandfather's affinity for coordination, describe another fashion influence in your life.

Ever since I was 12, my mom used to send me to pay her mortgage. There was a lady there, a secretary, who was always well dressed.

I never saw her in the same outfit twice. She was gorgeous, always color coordinated, I asked her what I had to do to get a job like hers. She said to go to school first and if you really want to do it, you can do it. And I've always had a job like that.

How do you plan your wardrobe?

I get everything out on Sunday. If I'm going to wear a blue suit, I'll pull out the blue shoes. If I'm wearing black, I'll take out several pairs.

Do you change pocketbooks?

You'll never, ever see me without the matching pocketbooks. You'll never see me in black shoes and a blue pocket book. I take everything out, lipstick and credit cards.

This must be easier to do with grown kids.

Back in the day, I didn't have as many things. The kids had everything. It's human nature, I guess. You look out for your family.

Where do you keep everything?

That's the story. I have three racks in the basement, and when I change from summer to winter clothes, I put everything that I can fold into 32-gallon trash cans.

Does your need to match extend to your husband?

We went on a cruise recently and we were the two in blue. Everyone wondered what we were going to have on the next day. I wouldn't tell them.

Do you shop together?

We don't shop together. My husband hates shopping, I shop for him.

It sounds like you've shopped around.

The only mall I haven't been to from here to the Midwest is the Mall of America.

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

Pub Date: 11/12/98

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