Martha Gibbons, 52, looked like a million bucks at LifeBridge Health's Magic of Life Gala, which raised money for Sinai Hospital and other health care institutions and which was co-chaired by her husband, Brian, who is chairman and chief executive of commercial real estate development firm Greenberg Gibbons. But in reality, nothing she was wearing cost more than the price of that event's least-expensive ticket price of $250. That's in part because she dislikes shopping. But mostly it had to do with her interest in bargain hunting and the example the Ellicott City stay-at-home mom tries to set for her six children, ages 15 to 25. "One day, it's not going to matter how successful we are," she says. "I tell them, you need to see how much money you have and how much money you really want to spend on clothes. You need to learn how to budget that, because Mom and Dad are not always going to be buying stuff for you. I want them to appreciate what they have, and also live within their means." Given her example, it's also clear you can do so in style. HER STYLE: "Classic with a little flair." HER ENSEMBLE: Pisarro Nights gray gown with pewter studs and oxidized beading from Dillard's in Florida. "I like that it's got [detail], but it's not glittery." Padri crystal and silver teardrop hoops and Bandolino nude patent peep-toe pumps from Nordstrom. Silver cuff ("My brother's wife's mother passed away. She had the same initials, so I got it. It has sentimental value.") Hoss soft silver basketweave clutch. NO MAJOR FASHION PASSIONS: "I'm a stay-at-home mom. I don't work. So I don't go, 'I need to have these shoes, or this purse.' I'm not like that at all." EXCEPT: "Gym clothes. I work out, and that's what I like to buy. ... My daughter works at Lululemon [Athletics]. So I love to go there. Although I feel that's for a much younger [crowd]. I like two lines at TJ Maxx -- the Balance Collection by Marika and MPG. And Nike. But I have a little complaint. I love Nike's old gym pants. I've worn them for years. And now they're making them tight and slim. I want them to bring back the old stuff."
Photo by Karen Jackson, For The Baltimore Sun