Mary Harper, 48, doesn't look at magazines or blogs to get fashion ideas. She's kept up on all the trends by her clients and staff at work - Backstage Dance Studio in Columbia, which she co-owns with her sister, Diane Andrews. "Because I work with teenagers a lot, they keep [my look] young. They keep me on top of what's going on. I have a young staff, and they know what's `cool,' what's not cool," says the Ellicott City resident, who went with a cool boho look for the Rotary Club of Baltimore's Oyster Roast, which raises money for scholarships and several chosen local charities, including The League for People with Disabilities. Harper says dance and fashion are both trend-centric, and she likes being on top of those in both fields. "Dance is so ever-evolving, just like fashion. Things change like that," she says, snapping her fingers. "You have to be what's-going-on-right-now - what's the hippest music, what do people like to listen to, what's a cool move, what's the hottest new thing?... If you don't stay on top of it, you're done." HER STYLE: "I like to be edgy, but it varies day to day. Today, I felt like being cowgirl-y." HER ENSEMBLE: BKE bone lace-up front lace patterned Henley T-shirt and brown crochet and macrame vest, both from Buckle. Park Lane Jewelry hammered brass necklace from a home party. Skinny jeans (she doesn't know what brand) and Jennifer Lopez metallic leopard print satchel from Kohl's. Not Rated studded bone suede cowboy boots from DSW. Pandora bracelet. Everything she was wearing was a gift. SHE DOESN'T SHOP: "I hate shopping. With a passion. So, my husband, Frank, does it. But he has my daughter, Haley [age 18], help him. He'll say, `Go buy your mother something." She picks it out, brings it home, [and asks] `Do you like it?' " THE ONE EXCEPTION: "Boots are my downfall. So, I will go to DSW. A lot. I probably have more shoes than clothes. ... I usually build my outfit around my shoes. Whatever shoes I want to wear that day, it goes up from there." If you are planning a fundraising party that you would like considered for coverage, contact email@example.com.
Photo by Karen Jackson, For The Baltimore Sun