When the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation held its "35 Under 35 Finest" event at the B&O Railroad Museum, the 35 community volunteers being honored weren't the only winners. Anastasia Allen was a style standout in the crowd. The 31-year-old East Baltimore resident might work in a white coat during the day as a dental hygienist for Dr. Martin Levin, but she loves to dress up when she's on her own time. "Looking good always makes me feel better about myself," she says. Allen loves a "sexy chic" look, with a particular passion for handbags and shoes. "As I get older, I'm a little more into comfort. But I won't sacrifice looking good or stylish for comfort. ... I do have a few stiletto heels that I do wear [when] I feel it a little bit in my feet. But sometimes you have to bear a little pain to look pretty."
The look: Wine-satin ruffled blouse. Black pinstriped high-waist skirt with suspenders. Pewter leather pointy-toe pumps. Pewter ruched clutch handbag. White gold and diamond circle pendant. Rhinestone and silver drop earrings.
Where it came from: She bought the blouse and skirt at Kohl's. Her shoes and handbag came from Aldo. Her pendant was a gift purchased at Zale's. And she found her earrings at The Icing.
Slowing her shopping: "I don't shop that often now because of the recession. Work is a little slow. So maybe about once a month, I might pick something up. There's not one particular store. I go to Aldo a lot to get shoes or accessories there. I like to go to Kohl's, TJ Maxx, Arden B. and Macy's. I really like to shop the Buckle store at Towson Town."
Her favorite current look: "I like to wear skinny jeans with boots, ones that go up to the knees. I like to wear those a lot. I have a black pair and a tan pair."
Accessorizing is a must: "I always wear earrings when I go out. I like big earrings. Other times, I'll wear my diamond earrings. I have a whole wardrobe of jewelry to match every color."
Her fashion rules: "I don't like black and brown together or navy blue and black. I don't like to wear large earrings with a necklace. I wear either one or the other. I try not to over-accessorize. If I'm wearing shorts with heels, then I like to wear a shirt that's not showing cleavage. Show only one body part. If you're wearing a shirt that shows cleavage, wear jeans or pants. If I'm wearing a turtleneck, I try to wear my hair up. If I'm wearing an open neckline, I try to wear my hair down."
Two things she'd save from her closet in an emergency: "I would definitely take a pair of my favorite Buckle jeans; I think they're Rock & Republic jeans. I would probably take my new boots - I got them from Baker's. They're tan. They go up to the knee and they're suede, and have brushed brass buckles on the side. They're flat with a small little wedge in the back. I like them because there's plenty of room for really thick socks, because my feet freeze in the winter."