Kati Kershaw, operations director and on-air personality at classical radio station WBJC-FM (91.5), has tried more than once to create a single signature style for herself.
She just can't do it. Her life, her appearance, her personality is "definitely a study in contrasts," says Kershaw, 33. Just when "my colleagues at work think they have me pinned down, you can't really pin me down. No way. I really love it all."
The product of an "eclectic household," where there was no television but plenty of classical and bluegrass music, Kershaw -- and her wardrobe -- reflects that multicultural background. One day the North Baltimore resident (whose off-air name is Kati Harrison) may come to work in a "Lois Lane" suit; on another, she'll be all frills and flowers but grounded in Doc Marten boots. Expect to be surprised by her dozens of hats: "I love hats because you can feel just a little bit different," Kershaw says. "I can be a tomboy in one, or a flapper, or Annie Hall, or the Dodger from `Oliver,' or I can feel French."
Did your childhood in Mexico influence your style?
The one thing I do remember that had nothing to do with growing up in Mexico: I had this nanny, and I'd hang out with her and her friends. They were into miniskirts and the '60s. I loved those clothes, those shoes, the cotton miniskirts and the belts. They dressed me up in them, and I loved it.
How do you wear headphones with a hat on your head?
With my Annie Hall hat, I have one headphone on one ear and another on top of my hat. I'd like to point out, if you're having a bad hair day, wear a hat. And if you think you can't wear hats, you just have to believe you can.
What do you like about Baltimore shopping?
Baltimore is great with thrift stores. There's one called Vogue Revisited in Roland Park that I like a lot.
Do you have any vintage treasures?
I have a shawl that was given to me that's black and textured and has little silver dots crocheted into it. It's one of those very special things. I feel very exotic in it -- very, very exotic.
And I have a leather pea coat with funky buttons that belonged to my friend's mother. She was tiny but powerful. I feel powerful when I wear it.
Rumor has it you love shoes, too.
It sounds decadent and horrible, but I have three closets. One is filled with summery sandal-type shoes. One is full of wintery things, and one closet is full of boots. My love of boots probably came from riding. I even have riding boots I just wear. They're lovely.
What else do you love?
Perfume is another one of my passions. I think I have this delusion that if I find the right scent, it will make me eternally happy, like in the book "Jitterbug Perfume," by Tom Robbins. Nordstrom has a great selection of perfumes. I love the classics. Two of my favorites are Passion by Annick Goutal and Fleurs de Rocaille by Caron Fragrances.
You seem to be most comfortable being yourself, not dressing like everyone else.
Wearing great perfume, a hat and boots can make you feel just a little bit special.
Do you know any snappy dressers? Let us know. Write to Stephanie Shapiro, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.