Chanels hang alongside the microwave


"My dressing room," says Connie Pitcher, "is probably more interesting than I am."

She's being modest, but this lavish space is indeed a spectacle. Never mind the Chanel jackets and Calvin Klein suits in the closet. In between the mirrors and bath are a microwave, stereo, washer-dryer, phone, coffee maker and bookshelves.

"I don't know what it says about me, probably that I'm a little spoiled," says Ms. Pitcher, 45, who lives in Brooklandville.

Having a well-organized wardrobe does help her manage a hectic life. She owns CDP Group Ltd., an interior design firm in Hunt Valley, travels frequently with husband Bill, an investor, and volunteers with many nonprofit groups.

This Sunday, she's involved in a Tasting at the Station, a benefit from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Green Spring Station for the International Visitors Center of Maryland.

What sets your style apart from others?

If there is a uniqueness about my style, it's probably because I haven't changed what I like over the years. Some of the pieces I'm buying now really do resemble what I was wearing in the '70s -- only updated, fortunately. I love great lines in clothing -- clean and conservative.

Where do you shop?

Bergdorf Goodman, Adolfo (which is going out of business), Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and Neiman Marcus in San Francisco. In this area, I go to Nan Duskin and Trillium.

What's been your best buy?

A basic little Anne Klein dress that I found on the "half of half" sale rack at Nan Duskin. It cost $95 and just happened to perfectly match a Chanel jacket that otherwise had been a mistake. I ended up with a very packable dinner suit which now probably has more miles on it than my frequent-flier file.

And your biggest splurge?

A creamy, pearl-outlined Chanel jacket. I bought it shortly after my father passed away. My husband was trying to keep me from being depressed, and I overdid it. The jacket cost $4,000. He's nagged me about it forever.

What wardrobe tips do you have for packing and traveling?

Many designers are coming out with multipurpose suits in packable, versatile fabrics, which really help to stretch your wardrobe on a trip. I personally like to add a lightweight sweater and a shell to be prepared for all kinds of weather.

When packing, I usually keep everything on hangers and covered with a plastic bag. This definitely makes unpacking faster and easier.

What's your favorite travel outfit?

For cooler weather, I love a basic black St. John knit suit. It's very comfortable and still looks fresh even after the longest trips. Plus, since I carry my jewelry with me, I then have the option to dress it up in a hurry in case my luggage doesn't arrive when I do. For summer climates, I generally wear something basic in raw or sueded silk.

With whom would you most like to shop? Where would you go?

Audrey Hepburn. She had an elegant, classic style. We'd go to the House of Givenchy in Paris.

What spring and summer purchases are you planning?

I have added a Calvin Klein sueded silk suit (pants, skirt, jacket and scarf) to my spring wardrobe already. I'd love to find a couple of great basic dresses, particularly for hot summer days.

What part do accessories play in your wardrobe?

Very minor. I've probably worn the same favorite gold chain and chunky gold earrings for weeks at a time before switching to a chain belt and longer earrings. The flashiest accessories are my Santa Fe earrings, which I've been collecting in a variety of colorful stones.

What one thing do you long to own one day?

A Scaasi couture gown. But it's like a sable coat. You have to be a certain age to feel you've earned it.

Do you know some dressers? Let us know. Write to Mary Corey, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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