Cool Fashion

May 19, 2002|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

There seemed to be two schools of thought concerning fashion at the Preakness corporate village this year. You either ignored the wind and cold and bet on the Preakness outfit you had planned, or you scratched it and went for a late entry.

With temperatures in the 50s - and wind gusts making it feel like the 40s - many of those committed to their spring frippery conceded to wearing jackets or shawls, but stubbornly clung to their original choice of barely there footwear.

"It's the first chance of the season to get out and wear your spring finest," said Erin Castleberry, 31, of Annapolis, who was wearing a sleeveless white cotton pique pants outfit and sandals. "I wanted to look special, and rain was not going to get in the way."

Ruxton resident Candi Humphrey, 55, had an unusual explanation for her high-heeled sandals. "If my feet got wet, I wanted to wipe my feet off without ruining my shoes."

Others like Rose Carpenter, 47, of Federal Hill, adapted her outfit to the weather, but kept the Preakness spirit with a tangerine straw hat and matching chiffon scarf over a wintry wool knit suit, black leather jacket and boots.

The cool temperatures this year favored men's fashions. Guys got to wear dapper sports jackets and suits without sweating through the consequences. In fact, ties proved to be handy neck warmers.

However, some men also adapted their outfits to the weather. Paige Davis Jr., 22, of Ellicott City, had planned to wear a cream silk suit, but opted for his backup outfit in Preakness colors - a charcoal pin-striped wool suit over a gold silk knit shirt. Even the black and yellow label on his Cohiba cigar matched his clothes.

Rita Cook, 32, an Annapolis Realtor, stuck with the strappy slides and red capris she had planned to wear, but like many in the corporate village coped with the cold in another way: "very early drinks."

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