Sarah Boone knows how to work hard, run hard and kick back. She also knows what to wear. By day, the business-location consultant for the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation is suited up in understated elegance.
But get her in a tropical clime, and she's strictly Tommy Bahama. In fact, when Boone and her family vacationed in Jamaica last Thanksgiving, "We all wore our Tommy Bahama outfits. My sons thought it was cool, and my husband even wears it. It is absolutely, positively my breakaway from the work routine," says Boone, who lives in Annapolis.
At work, how would you describe your style of dress?
My lines are very classic. Because my office is so dynamic, I have lots of meetings, and I have to dress accordingly. Basically I wear suits. I try to buy three-piece suits, the jacket, skirt and the pants, and I switch them all around. And when you're often the only woman at a meeting, you don't want to stand out. You want to do your job.
Whose suits do you wear?
I love Garfield & Marks. They're very classic suits with great colors and the fabrics are good. And I have a black Ann Taylor suit I have worn for years, and I love it. In fact, I have one in wool gabardine for winter and one in linen for summer.
Do you gravitate toward a specific cut?
Actually, I like all different kinds, double breasted, single, short and long. But not too long, because I'm not tall.
Do you shop because you have to?
I don't have to pencil it in. I love shopping. It's called "retail therapy."
Where do you shop?
I usually stick to Annapolis, although I love to go to Baltimore or Tysons Corner, but it's hard to get there. Then again, I do shop on vacation. When I was in San Francisco last summer, I almost died when I found a Cole Hahn shoe store near Union Square.
Why Cole Hahn?
I have a pair of Cole Hahn shoes that feel like they were made for my feet.
Did you come home with a lot of new stuff?
We had to buy another suitcase.
Describe the cult of Tommy Bahama.
Nordstrom carries Tommy Bahama, and it sells out in no time flat. He does a lot of silks, and most of his stuff comes in beautiful colors besides basic black: creams and a kind of minty blue and tropical prints. He does dresses, little wrap skirts and shorts and tops, and he does men's clothing. For Valentine's Day, my husband Joe bought me Tommy Bahama shorts and two tops, and I bought him a pair of Tommy Bahama pants.
How old are you?
I feel like age doesn't make any difference when you're shopping. The clothes I buy could be purchased for a wide age group. Some of the things I buy, my son's girlfriend or my other son's wife could wear. I think the same clothing can make me look younger and give them the sophistication they need when they are younger.
Do you know any snappy dressers? Let us know. Write to Stephanie Shapiro, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.