Pelbea Griffin-Sharpe doesn't let her job in government (an international trade specialist for U.S. Customs and Border Protection) tamp down her style. The 50-year-old Forest Park resident loves to combine autumn colors and different textures to suit her "funky eclectic" tastes, while still dressing appropriately for the job. You won't catch Griffin-Sharpe looking anything less than sharp. She's not a jeans-and-tennis-shoes type. In fact, she says you will almost always find her in pointy-toe, stiletto shoes or boots, her fashion passion. When we "glimpsed" her at Teavolve, she was wearing one of her favorite pairs. "Look, the zipper is on the outside," she pointed out. "That's what got me."
The look:: Butter-colored Wilson leather jacket. Beige, long-sleeve, cotton-stretch T-shirt and matching swing cardigan. Brown, black, sage, olive, gold and white graphic-silk straight skirt. Brown pantyhose. Dark-brown, pointy-toe, stiletto Nine West boots. Brown Coach mini-bucket handbag. Brown bead and silver stiletto earrings. Diamond Journey pendant.
Where it came from:: She picked up the jacket at an outlet store in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Her T-shirt, cardigan and skirt all came from Ann Taylor Loft. She found the boots at ninewest.com. Her handbag was purchased at the Coach store. She bought her earrings at Nine West, and her pendant at Boscov's.
Color her "fall": : "I like to have fun with my clothes. I like to mix textures. I like earth tones with a splash of color. ... I love orange. My car is orange. ... I really like autumn colors; the burnt orange, the browns. I really like that palette. They're warm colors."
She believes in sending a good message without spending a lot of money: : "I don't like to spend a lot of money on clothes. I like to find bargains. But it gives people a lasting impression of you. When you walk in a room, you command attention. It shows a person where your head is; that you have pride. It shows that if you're well-groomed, that you care about yourself."
Her favorite haunts:: "I really love Marshalls and TJ Maxx. But, when I get work suits, I go to Ann Taylor and Jones New York, because I have long arms, and their suits fit me. Really, you get what you pay for. ... Macy's has good sales. I still miss the Hecht Co."
How she adds her own touches to her work wardrobe: : "I like to take a nice traditional work suit and put a colorful or interesting top with it, to make it stand out a bit; put an interesting spin on it."
Shoes and boots are tip-top: : "I love shoes. I love boots. ... I never wear flats. I wear spiky heels and pointy toes. That's my signature. ... I probably have 10 to 15 pairs; shoe boots, mid length, tall. Most have the stiletto heel, but some have a short heel or a chunky heel."
What works, and what doesn't:: "I like form-fitting attire. Full blouses and poufy skirts; that's just not me at all. Ruffles; that's just not me. ... I like pencil skirts, not A-line skirts. I do not like A-line dresses. They look really funny on me. I'm very slim and I have long legs. I'm not tall, but I look it. I'm only 5-4. I like to wear longer skirts, too. I like longer skirts with boots."