Crafty approach to classic design


Candid Closet: Kathy Sabatier, director of the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing, likes to be well-suited for the job.


January 20, 2000|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,SUN STAFF

Kathy Sabatier's come a long way from her uniform days. The one-time candy striper has a master's degree from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. But, in recent years, the 51-year-old director of the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing attends more board meetings than patients. And that means wearing more suits -- another kind of uniform -- but always with an intriguing twist.

"I'm not a plain old suit person," Sabatier says. "When I wear a suit, I usually wear an interesting pin or perhaps an unusual jacket with a plain skirt."

Count on the Roland Park resident's wearing something snazzy at this Saturday's Heartfest 2000, the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center's annual celebration of healthy living, great food from local restaurants and caterers, and entertainment. This year, Harry Belafonte performs at the event, which takes place 7: 30 p.m. until midnight at Martin's West. Tickets are $75. Call 410-653-9968.

Do you tend to wear slacks or skirts with your suits?

Most of my suits are with skirts, and most of them are short skirts.

What kind of suits do you prefer?

My favorite suits are the classic-cut kind that pack well, like the Garfield & Marks label. I find suits at Nordstrom and Panache. That fabric is great and they have a lot of interesting jackets. If a jacket is boring, you can put it over an interesting skirt.

Where do you shop?

I go to places like Gazelle or Jones & Jones. Both have wonderful clothes. I have expensive taste, but I don't have the budget to support my expensive taste. The way I handle that, I shop at the sale racks in the best stores in town and on these sale racks I find the leftover pieces of an entire outfit.

Where do you shop?

I love to shop at the ACC Craft Show, and I usually buy one thing a year. Inevitably it's something I'll wear forever -- maybe three or four times a season, but I can bring it back every year. One year, I was looking for a winter coat. I found one that has stripes of different black fabric appliqued on the front and a geometric pattern on the back. It's classic, but not boring.

How do you avoid craft designers' penchant for baggy, one-size-fits-all clothing?

I don't like baggy clothes. The last thing I bought at the fair was a short-sleeved tunic, made out of different Japanese prints. It's lovely, built along the lines of a kimono. I can wear it with a skirt, pants or over a dress, but I had to have it taken in. I'll probably wear it to Heartfest with a long black skirt.

Do your children, Andy and Julie, remind you that you're not a teen any more?

Julie's 19, and she's my conscience. She'll shop with me, and when I see something that's not right, she'll say, "No, that belongs in my closet, thank you very much!" I actually think she keeps me hip but doesn't let me act like I'm 20. The reality is physically, I've been able to maintain my weight; still there are some things I can't wear. But I don't think you have to look dowdy just because you look older.

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

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