Tracy Raff

March 14, 2010|By Sloane Brown | Special to The Baltimore Sun

Tracy Raff's life has a lot to do with aesthetics. Her work - as a graphic designer for the North Charles Street Design Organization in Baltimore - is only the beginning for the 40-year-old Frederick resident. "I've just always liked the way things looked, whether it's art, or graphic design or the way my home looks." Her focus on aesthetics also extends to her eclectic style.

The look: Orange, yellow, red and cream long-sleeve Thalia graphic T-shirt. Boot-cut Levi's jeans. Red leather boots. Red patent leather double-strap satchel. Gold tone, black and red triple-hoop earrings. Red metallic faux leather belt.

Where it came from: She found the T-shirt at a Goodwill store. Her jeans came from T.J. Maxx. She bought her earrings and belt at Walmart. Her handbag was a Target find. She's had the boots for a long time.

Fashion and feelings: "My style goes along with my moods. If it's nice, sunny weather, I go with brighter colors, lighter clothes. If it's gloomier [outside], I often go with more neutrals. ... Most of my shopping time is spent on my summer and spring wardrobe ... That's when I like to dress up and have fun. ..."

Her fashion favorites: "Summer shoes. I have 60 or 70 pairs of summer shoes. ... They're mostly strappy sandals ... In the heat of the summer, it's flip-flops - with leather straps, gemstones, shiny rhinestones, silver and gold metallic looks. ..."

Her shopping habits: "When I was young, my mom taught me how to sew, so I actually sew a lot of clothes myself. I know how clothes are fabricated, how much fabrics sell for and how much time is invested [in manufacturing pieces]. ... But, most of my sewing these days is to make costumes and pajamas for my 7-year-old son. ... I probably shop every couple of weekends. I'll go to the mall. I probably go to Goodwill once every two months. ..."

Trends with a twist: "I do like to follow trends to an extent. But, if something's too put-together, everybody just looks like everybody else. ... So, you introduce your own personal style."

Her fashion philosophy: "I've never considered myself a fashion guru. I just really like clothes and I love what they can do for how you feel. ... Sometimes I think I should just go to the store, and buy an outfit that's on a mannequin. And then I think that would be too easy and not much fun. You need to keep it comfortable and affordable, and have fun with it."

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