Fashion tips from all over

March 08, 2009|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Cleaner, Greener, Chic-er.

Sheila Dixon has expanded her campaign to spruce up Baltimore beyond collecting trash and planting trees. She's also giving fashion advice.

"I'm just looking at your black stockings with your brown shoes," she told The Baltimore Sun's Annie Linskey last week when the reporter approached to ask a question about the proposed Land Bank Authority.

"Is that not so OK?" Linskey responded.

Dixon assured her: "No."

Linskey had paired a tan cashmere sweater and black pencil skirt with black tights and tan patent leather Anyi Lu heels.

Looked good to me, but I'm no fashionista. The mayor is. Dixon is a woman so stylish that Giorgio Armani and Jimmy Choo turn up not just in her closet but in her indictment, as unindicted co-conspirators.

So I turned to some style gurus to find out: Was Linskey's black-and-tan combo a Glamour Do or Don't?

"I will say unequivocally, opaque tights with a nude shoe is a Glamour Do," said Tracey Lomrantz, the "Slaves To Fashion" blogger on Glamour.com. "That's a look that we definitely would say works."

Dannielle Kyrillos, editor-at-large at Daily Candy.com, agreed - at first. "That color combination sounds so fresh and so exactly right for right now," she said.

But then Kyrillos stopped to make sure: They were opaque tights, right? We're not talking sheer black nylons with tan shoes? "An important distinction," she said.

I assured her the tights were opaque.

"If they were black pantyhose, it would look kind of weird," she said. "But opaque tights, that's very fashionable."

Saved by the opacity!

We want transparency in government, but not, apparently in black leg coverings - not if they're paired with light shoes, anyway.

Style mavens used to shun light shoes with dark leg coverings of any sort. But that rule has been tossed out, Lomrantz said, along with the one about not wearing white after Labor Day.

How could this trend have escaped the attention of our stylish mayor?

Maybe it's been a while since someone's taken her shopping.

Things are always busy at the courthouse

Anna Sowers, who lost her husband after robbers beat him into a coma and lost her faith in the criminal justice system when some of those involved got just eight years, told me last week that she was looking forward to jury duty, so she could "rightly deliver the justice that we never got."

I followed up to find out if she was picked Monday, when she was summoned to the Mitchell Courthouse.

Turns out Sowers was yet another no-show city juror.

"I had issues with my car and snow," she said.

Sowers is a young widow with the strength to pick up a bullhorn and turn herself into an activist. She speaks publicly about the dire need for better city juries. She has applied to law school with the hope of becoming a prosecutor.

How does she square that steely resolve with blowing off jury duty, even a on snowy morning?

With one more bit of courthouse dysfunction.

Sowers said she wasn't sure if courts were open since the snow had forced schools to shut. So she called the courthouse. And called. And called.

"I've been calling every 15 minutes since 8:30," she said. "It's been busy all day."

It wasn't until Thursday that she got through, to a recording.

"I was on hold forever, and I couldn't deal with it anymore," so she gave up.

I phoned the jury commissioner's office to find out if Sowers might be in trouble.

All I got was a busy signal.

Fun reading in court? It can happen

Let the lawyers wade through all the legal mumbo-jumbo. The rest of us can just appreciate how Maryland Court of Special Appeals Judge Charles E. Moylan Jr. can make anything - even the involuntary commitment case decided last week - fun reading.

Here's how he opened the opinion he wrote for the court in Byers v. State.

"This case is a classic appellate court's nightmare, except that it does not fade at the break of day. It is as if we were called upon to apply the official Major League Baseball rule book to a spirited and hard-fought neighborhood game of three-at-the-bat. It was a contest with competent adversaries performing skillfully on the field, except for an incorrigible tendency to make up many of the rules as they went along."

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