Elena Russo certainly puts a good face on law enforcement. The "over 30"-year-old Federal Hill resident works as the spokeswoman for Maryland State Police, and as producer/host of Red Carpet segments for Comcast. Before that, Russo worked for years in Italy and other European countries, and New York as a fashion model. So, it's easy to see where she gets her "classic with an artistic edge" style. "I try to be visually inspiring. I try to be put together. I try to make sense in what I wear, in an artistic sense." She certainly made sense to us, when we "glimpsed" her at Sullivan's Steakhouse popular Thursday night happy hour.
The look:: Elie Tahari light putty-colored, cropped leather jacket. Jean Paul Gaultier sheer, patterned, long-sleeve turtleneck over a nude camisole. Mynk skinny jeans. Tan leather belt. Mid-calf, pointy-toe tan Amalfi boots. Tan leather Kooba shoulder bag. Ruched black, gray and tan linen/wool blend scarf. Copper and yellow crystal brass chandelier earrings.
Where it came from:: The jacket was purchased at Bloomingdale's. The turtleneck came from Neiman Marcus. The jeans were a Classic Serendipity find. She bought her boots at Nordstrom. Her handbag came from Bettina Collections. The scarf came from a little shop in Barcelona when she was on vacation last year. She doesn't remember where she got her earrings or belt.
She likes hand-me-downs: : "I'm not a conservative dresser. I try to put things together outside the box, even when I'm at work. I have an 85-year-old mother-in-law and a mother who's 65. They'll give me their hand-me-downs. You know, those clothes you never will throw away because they're quality pieces? Well, they'll give me quality pieces from when they were my age. Then, I'll shop for something that is more modern or current that will make those older pieces look updated. Like a wide belt."
She often shops on the fly: : "I certainly don't [shop] on a regular basis. If I'm in a new town - or a different country if I'm lucky enough to be there - I like to shop because I like to pick up a unique find. ... [Locally,] I like to patronize Holly G in Federal Hill because she has some unique labels. She buys some Los Angeles designers that you wouldn't see somewhere else. There's also Babe in Federal Hill. She has some great sales. I love shopping the sale racks. I love to plug my sister-in-law's store, Bettina Collections. She's brand new, in the Village of Cross Keys."
She's economical with her pocketbook and in her closet: : "I'm putting a lot more things to use than I ever have in the past, and relying on those more affordable stores to update a look. One piece here, one piece there. Like Forever 21. ... One affordable little piece can update a $1,500 Italian-made suit. ... I believe in quality over quantity. I think you can really scale down your closet. There are a thousand ways to put three different garments together. I don't think you have to overdo fashion trends. You can easily update your own wardrobe by buying one or two pieces."
What she loves: : "I'm hard-core on fit. ... The high-end designers pay special attention to fit. That's the hard thing to find: something fitting. You find what fits you and you stick to it. Tahari fits me like a glove. I know I can order a size 6 online and it will fit me perfectly. ... Boots, I have a weakness for. You can't have too many black boots. Anything animal print, that's for sure. And leather. I like leather in any color. As long as it fits."
What she doesn't: : "Mustard yellow [on me] is pretty bad. I don't particularly care for the empire waist, baby doll look. I work so hard in the gym to keep my figure. It seems a shame to waste it. VPL [visible panty line] is one good fashion don't. And pantyhose with open-toed shoes. And popped collars."