Melanie Pefinis works as an assistant producer for the International Division of Maryland Public Television after graduating from Towson State University with a degree in film. She has had an appreciation for clothing and textiles ever since shebegan designing clothes as a hobby at age 8. She is also active in local theater and dance.
How would you describe your taste in clothing?
My taste in clothing is like my personality; a paradox. I love simplicity with a -- of eccentricity -- something classic paired with something shocking.
What's the newest thing in your closet?
There are two items, equally new, but they show my diversity in dressing. One is an Anne Klein little black dress from the clearance rack at Loehman's. The other is a clunky pair of black men's shoes I bought at an outdoor market in London.
What is the oldest thing in your closet?
I found a wonderful day-coat from the early 1920s at a vintage clothing shop recently. It's in remarkable condition; all black and lacy and strange looking, like something pulled out of a vampire trunk.
Do you have an outfit that you can put on at any time and feel good?
Anything black! I like the drama of sleek, simple black clothing paired with a sever hairstyle and big red lips.
What have you kept for sentimental reasons?
Because I admire the dress designs from the '30s, '40s and '50s so much, I value anything that belonged to my grandmothers or my mother. All the other old dresses I buy at thrift stores my mother calls "dead people's clothes."
What is your wardrobe weakness?
I can never seem to have enough 1930s style plain black dresses. Every time I go to a vintage shop I end up with yet another black dress.
What's the most expensive item in your closet?
When I actually do spend money on clothes, I believe in buying the highest quality and most classic style available. I always buy things on sale, but I guess the most expensive item I have would be a pair of leather pants.
What's the best buy in your closet?
My ever-present favorite is a man's jacket from a thrift shop. It's black and boxy and big and I wear it with everything. It cost $1.50.
What's the wildest outfit you ever bought?
This isn't a good question for me because one person's "wild" is another person's "ordinary." You're talking to someone who is comfortable wearing a 1950s marching band jacket with a turtleneck and jeans to work.
What are your favorite accessories?
I adore old, unique accessories -- jewelry, fringed scarves and hats. I have always felt that throwing an eclectic accessory on a simple outfit adds some drama. My friends tell me, "well you can get away with that stuff; I could never get away with it." But I feel that if you are comfortable in the way you present yourself, you can get away with any kind of dressing.
Do you have any shopping tips you'd like to share?
Accessorize! This can be the most fun and refreshing way to add life to a boring wardrobe. Why not add funky, flashy things to a boring uniform or mix two totally different styles together?
If you could buy anything wanted, what would that be?
There's a dress that Katharine Hepburn wore in "The Philadelphia Story" that I would die for.
Do you know some special dressers? Tell Sylvia Badger what makes them special. Write to Candid Closet, Evening Sun Fashion, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.