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PLAYING favorites Style setters share their top choices for great products, great services


For these stylish Baltimoreans, style is not an end in itself. Rather, it's part of the fabric of their lives, defined by career paths, avocations, journeys, circumstance and sensibilities. And over the years, they have discovered sources and services that have polished the style that sets them apart. They have found a great place to buy shoes, the unique little boutique that speaks their language, the cherished masseuse who arrives blessedly at the door to knead away a month's worth of stress. Here, for your own style data bank, is a far-ranging roster of favorite things, from manicurists to botanicals, outlets to Saks, Florence to Federal Hill.

Joyce Baker

A consultant for customer service programs and merchandising for the Rouse Co. and other developers, Joyce Baker, 49, is also a seasoned personal shopper. And she still loves doing it for herself. After years of searching for "must haves" for clients, the maven of Owings Mills Mall has learned not to obsess on the most expensive items during her own shopping expeditions. It's important not to be "so focused," she says. "Not everything has to be genuine."

Perfume: I'll go from Banana Republic unisex fragrance, to Chanel 22 to Bob Mackie to samples.

Jewelry: From J. Brown Jewelers to a sale table for 99 cent-ers. Whatever works. It's all about your priorities.

Dry cleaners: Betty Brite to Beltway Cleaners. Beltway picks up at my house. But if I need something right away, I'll go to Betty.

Hairstylist and colorist: Betty Seidel at Rainbow Hair Designers in Owings Mills. She knows everything there is to know about me. If she says, "I think it's time to change your hair," I say, "Fine, let's do it." She takes care of everything.

Trainer: Glenn Berger comes to the house from 9 until 10 a.m. on Saturdays. He's also at Sinai Fitness. I need convenience, same as the Beltway Cleaner. It's perfect for me.

Manicure and pedicures: Magic Nail on Reisterstown Road. Jennifer does my nails. Her sister does my toes. They split me up.

Body lotion: I go from Lubriderm to Garden Botanica to samples from a hotel, as long as whatever I'm using I don't feel like an alligator.

Makeup: There is a certain makeup I use -- Pan-Stik by Max Factor. I've been using it for 25 years. I called a friend, a distributor who did me the biggest favor of my life. He sent me a case of that. All I need to get more is go into my own store, better known as my closet. That goes as well for Revlon's Orange Flip lipstick and nail polish.

Anne Boucher

Anne Boucher, 59, artist and volunteer extraordinaire who has given countless hours to CARE, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Red Cross, the Maryland Commission for Women and the Medical Eye Bank's Eye Ball, has learned to do more with less. And savors the challenge.

Source for the color black: I get black turtlenecks from the Gap. And I just discovered stirrup pants. I get them from Target.

Story behind a favorite possession: I have a collection of scarves I got in St. Barts that were handmade by David Picon. They are beautiful, silk chiffon. I've seen him make and hang them on the line after they're done, blowing in the wind. He made me a special one. I have a fetish for hearts and he made me one in olive green and black with hearts.

Shampoo: I do like that Mane 'n Tail shampoo; it leaves my hair nice and shiny. I found a whole batch of it at the dollar store at the Hunt Valley Mall.

Elusive beauty items: There are two things I wish I could find: Those silk beauty spots backed with adhesive that you put on your face. My mother always wore them. And those wonderful, feathery powder puffs.

Yesteryear accessory: I did love glamour when I was younger. I had the most wonderful ostrich feather boa when I was 21. It was 6 feet long. I would really love to find one just like it.

Moisturizer: I like Pond's as well as any.

Perfume: That's an integral part of my life, like music. Red Door by Elizabeth Arden is one of my favorites. Red Door bath gel is just heaven. And the eau de parfume is just as good as perfume. I love Carolina Herrera, it's a wonderful, wonderful smell.

Edie Brown

After years of modest self-denial, Edie Brown, 63, the Baltimore Arena's down-to-earth publicist for 18 years, now has several luxurious rituals to look forward to, week to week and month to month. "In the past year, I've decided I was going to smell the roses a little bit more," she says.

Personal trainer: Melyssa St. Michael. She's a trainer/nutritionist and she's been wonderful. I never thought I could get thin, but I've gone from a size 12 to a size 8 in three or four months.

Masseuse: Lori Storm. She brings her massage table and I get a massage at home, which is lovely.

Nails: Now I get my nails done once a week downtown at Cheryl's. I walk there.

Hairstylist: I go to Corbin for my hair. I had been going to him at the Colonnade, then I started going to him at Patrick's, then back to the Colonnade, then to Towson, then back to the Colonnade. I've been going to him for eight years.

Facial: Tobey Katz, at Advanced Aesthestics: I just find that she's very thorough. She doesn't do anything mechanically. She looks at your skin and changes her treatments accordingly. And she's always studying and looking for new products and techniques.

Gil Cohen

The clothes make the man is a credo that Gil Cohen depends on, in business and in his own life. Since 1904, the family business, Cohen's Clothiers in Cockeysville, has earned a reputation for dressing private school students.

"I went to Friends School and wore a shirt and tie every day. You couldn't take your coat off in class unless it was 90 degrees. It's a discipline you carry the the rest of your life."

Though not "a possession person," Cohen, 59, dresses impeccably in conservative, exquisitely tailored suits and remains a firm believer in the decorous propriety of a uniform.

Manufacturer: I had all my clothing made by a very small local company, Oakloom Clothes. [The company was bought out last year.] I've been dealing with them since I was about 14 years old, in the days before designers. They make lovely, lovely clothing with no brand name or identification. But their clothing is carried all over the country. They make clothing in a way most companies don't. They make most of it by hand.

I have bought some clothes recently from Hart, Schaffner & Marx. I've enjoyed their things a great deal.

Shirts: I wear what we sell: Polo shirts, Burberry, we just started to carry them. We've carried Hathaway for 25 years. Perry Ellis, a couple of those.

Ties: I buy ties right in the store. I have some whimsical ties. Nicole Miller, I have all of those: Peanuts, Save the Children, Mickey Mouse, Looney Tunes.

Barber: Sam's, near the store. I've used him for 25 years. He's a barber, not a hairstylist. I don't believe in all that.

Extravagance: Cultural things are really where I spend my money. I spend my money on the opera and the ballet. I buy tickets in the better seats. I'm not trying to be snobbish, I'm deaf in one ear.

Tony Hubbert

Tony Hubbert, 32, works at Gaines McHale Antiques Ltd. and tends to a restored townhouse on Union Square. He is drawn to well-made, vintage pieces, be it an armoire or a dinner jacket. The classic, clean-cut Cary Grant look is very much in vogue, Hubbert notes, but remember: "It's not what you pay for, it's how you wear it."

Work attire: We basically wear khakis. It's a Tommy Hilfiger casual, everyday look. Occasionally, I'll wear a Brooks Brothers shirt, jeans and a tie. The best designers are Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.

Shoes: My Kenneth Cole suede shoes with double buckles. I love them. He makes the best shoe.

Hair: Kelly's and Company Hair Studio on South Charles Street. They have a good reputation among people in the neighborhood, but a lot of people don't know about it.

Cologne: Men should wear cologne in moderation, so it's a faint scent, not enough to fumigate the room. I wear Hugo Boss Sport, or the regular; it's a great cologne. Calvin Klein is great, too.

Skin care: Men are using wrinkle cream beneath their eyes, and Clinique anything with alpha-hydroxy. And if I haven't slept all night, I turn to the old-fashioned remedies: an ice pack on the face or warm tea bags underneath the eye.

Closet gem: I have an old dinner jacket from the '50s. Believe it or not, it's from Brooks Brothers. It's black wool, and has sort of a Ricky Ricardo look. I've had that thing for 15 years. Good-quality clothing lasts forever if it's taken care of.

Shopping nirvana: I do a lot of outlets in Rehoboth. I try to avoid the malls as much as possible; too many kids.

Rebecca Katz

Rebecca Katz, 35, who works for Martin Gillet and Co., a Baltimore manufacturer of salad dressing and condiments, returned last summer from four transformative months in Italy. During her personal sabbatical, Katz studied painting and cooking and absorbed the Italians' heightened design sensibilities. "No matter what they do, they do it with tremendous style," Katz says.

Style pick-me-up: It was not until I got to Italy that I really started to understand the art of the shoe. There are two particular pairs of shoes that I got when I was in Italy that I am very proud of. They are such standouts that even the Italians noticed them.

One pair I bought at a store called Antica Cuoieria on the Via del Corso in Florence, in a little store where they make all their shoes by hand. The shoes are black, with a square toe, a low heel and white piping. They really are so simple and so elegant, and the leather is like butter.

Then when I went back to Rome I found my little "Audrey Hepburn" salmon/peach melba square toe sling-backs. The store was called Borini, and was tucked away in some little piazza near Trestrevera. They were handmade of Nubuck with leather soles. Gorgeous. If you could eat these shoes, you would. Did I need them? No. Did I have to have them? Yes.

Renaissance kitchen couture: My cooking teacher in Florence gave me an apron that is incredibly unique, because it is a white apron with Michelangelo's shopping list on it. He drew the list because his servant could not read. The list includes fish, cheese, meat, pasta and some indecipherable Italian scribbling. It's such a Florentine thing.

Accessories: My Italian watches, which were made my an artist friend of mine named Anne Williene. One has a black band and on the face is the writing of Dante. The second is a brown band, and it has Leonardo da Vinci sketches of his gravity studies. The third is a green band that has a piece of map from Christopher Columbus' voyage. These are great mementos.

Beauty/down time: My favorite place to relax, besides the pine forest on the island of Elba, is this place called the Yoga and Martial Arts Center at the Mill Center. My yoga teacher, Josephine Murray, is truly magnificent. She's a real healer and gentle. I've taken classes in different parts of the country and she's one of the best.

Stylist: For the best haircut and the best color it's Bridget Moran, at Lola's in Mount Washington. She is not only technically terrific, but she's got the best sense of humor. She's got a wonderful perspective. She never will let you take it all too seriously. ... that's what I think makes her a standout. Besides the fact that she's incredibly talented.

Pam Malester

Pam Malester, 50, often subsists on four hours of sleep a night. How else could she commute to Washington, where she is an official in the civil rights office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, co-own Mollett Travel at Cross Keys, fly the world and devote untold time to Junior League and other causes? Certain stylish constants get Malester through her long, fruitful days.

For clothes: Ruth Shaw. It's the best, the only place in Baltimore. You can go all over the world and still find the best at Ruth's. I love buying new things, and I also love recycling old ones. I just put on something the other night, something I bought from Ruth's years and years ago, a jumpsuit. That's why investment shopping is the smartest thing to do. If something is well-made, well-designed, it will go from year to year. Absolutely.

Hair: Howard Fong has been cutting my hair for 22 years. He is great with straight hair. He's at Carl's at Cross Keys. People in Paris have stopped me in the street to ask me where I get my hair cut. I get stopped in elevators. The wife of the guy who is now the curator at Giverney asked, "Where do you get your hair cut?" They ask on the street in London and Washington.

Nail color: Moscow Red by OPI Products Inc.

Jewelry surprises: My husband went to Italy for a few days and then I came back from Chicago at 2 a.m. He bought me the most gorgeous gold bracelet. I'd never seen one really quite as beautiful. It's a big, heavy bracelet. I couldn't imagine how he had found it.

He hides jewelry, too. He hid diamond earrings in a carrot cake.

Ginny Marks

Ginny Marks, 37, wears many hats. On one day, as an associate with her husband's advertising and public relations company, she may be meeting with an important client. On another, she is plucking wildflowers for a dinner party in the Markses' Baltimore County home. Or, she and her husband, John, may escape for a week of sport fishing in Florida. Her fashion sense is similarly versatile, and practical as well. "I would rather have a few nice things, than a lot of things that aren't so nice," she says.

Place to shop: I go to Philadelphia to Saks Fifth Avenue. Because I'm a member of the Fifth Avenue Club, the sales staff actually pull clothing they think you will like. In Palm Beach, I love the St. John Knit Store.

Designer: I love to wear Armani suits. You can mix and match blazers, skirts, slacks and different sweaters and things. I love the classic look of Ralph Lauren. And Geoffrey Beene.

Skin care: I love La Prairie, for my skin: all of their cleansing products and line inhibitor and night cream, the gel, the whole routine.

Manicures: D K Salon & Co. in Lake Falls Village. Lana does my nails. She's so sweet.

Masseuse: Some people can't go a week without a manicure. I would gladly give up a manicure for a massage. Andrea Malkus comes to my home.

Salesperson: Theresa Toohey at Nordstrom's collectors department. She will call me if there's a sale, and she knows what I like.

Fitness routine: I walk five miles a day, and I do 100 stomach crunches and 100 leg lifts on each leg daily.

Michael P. Meisel

As the director of Maryland Permanent Bank and Trust Co., Michael Meisel, 30, takes a nontraditional entrepreneurial approach to his work. Don't expect to find him in traditional banker pin stripes, either.

Where to shop?: I go up to Barney's in New York for all my business shopping. They have the best selection and the coolest clothes.

Suits?: I only wear Giorgio Armani, for the cut, the look, the feel.

Favorite Armani suit: It depends on how much I ate.

Shirts: Made by the Custom Shop. Typically, they're plain white with long sleeves. I like to show cuff at the end of my suit.

Ties: Armani's.

Cleaners: That falls out of my bailiwick. My wife handles that.

Way to relax: With a glass of port wine and a good cigar -- the Partagas 150s. I was raised in a cigar-smoking family. My father used to flick his ashes into the scrambled eggs.

Camay Murphy

As she pulled her niece's long hair into tight, bright braids, Camay Murphy's aunt used to tell her, "Beauty knows no pain." Little Camay thought otherwise. And today, Murphy, arts advocate, author of the book "Can a Coal Scuttle Fly?" and daughter of jazz great Cab Calloway, is too busy for elaborate dos anyway. Her hair is blow-dried and trimmed to a short length, enough said. "It's very, very simple," she says. "I don't have time to fool around."

Salon: The Rotunda Hair Cuttery. I find that they have wonderful operators there. The important thing when going to the hairdresser or doctor or anybody, is telling them exactly what you want. You cannot leave it to them.

Where to shop: I'm a bargain-type person. I like Loehmann's in New York, or I'll occasionally go to the one in Rockville. Generally I can find what I want in the Backroom.

Designer: Donna Karan is my absolutely favorite. Her things are very understated, but very smart. If you're kind of heavy hipped, she takes that into consideration.

Personal passion: I love antique jewelry, that is kind of my signature. I go occasionally to Heirloom Jewels. When I go to New Orleans, I go to the garnet shop in the French Quarter and I do buy some jewelry at the Maryland Historical Society.

Skin care: I can't live without castor oil. I use it a lot on my skin, even for rashes and chapped lips.

Vera Newton

Vera Newton, 51, trains new principals in the Baltimore City school system. It's exciting, high-pressure work, but Newton has learned that treating herself well is the best antidote, "or else you get so frustrated, you lose your sense of humor and become a very boring person."

Shop stops: I find that I'm quite an eclectic kind of dresser. I find things at Marshalls, T. J. Maxx and Ross Dress for Less. I love going to C-Mart. They have great bargains and high-quality clothing.

I go from one gamut to the other, from discount to stores with upper-price quality clothes. I'm a tall person, and most suit skirts tend to be very short. But at work I need that kind of business look. I have been very lucky at Nordstrom. The salespeople there will call me and let me know when something is available.

Shoe ins: SRI Warehouse. You have to go. They have everything from Ferragamos to 9 West.

Beauty rituals: I love to get my nails done. It's very relaxing. I usually get something very simple in a very neutral color. I like French nails, they're very simple and easy to take care of.

I love facials; they put you in another world. I go to About Faces occasionally. One really hectic day, I left work at 3 o'clock. I actually fell asleep while a woman gave me a facial. She let me stay there. When I left, I felt like a new person.

Martha Royall

"I'm definitely not one to pamper myself," says Martha Royall, 57, who runs Taylor Royall Catering and Taylor Royall Casting companies. Although she allows little time for luxury, there are several "must haves" in Royall's fast-paced, generous life.

Shopping getaway: I tell you where I shop that is like a vacation to me: the Pleasure of Your Company, in Greenspring Station. It's one of the prettiest shops I've been in anywhere. I love cards and I love stationery. It's a great way to go and escape.

Pick-me-up: I love my ginseng tablets. My husband teaches at Hopkins and one of his students, years and years ago, brought us real ginseng root from China. It tasted like dirt, but we plowed through two cups and I am not kidding, for three solid weeks were so up and so creative. It was probably the best three weeks of my life.

R & R at home: I have a masseuse who is fabulous. Her name is Annette Laugel. She really knows what she's doing. I love the fact that she comes to our home. I don't see any point in going and having a massage if you have to fight traffic all the way back. This is why I give vouchers for her as presents.

Beauty gift: My daughter gave me this little satin pillow with lavender in it to put over my eyes. It's such a treat when I think to do that. It smells wonderful and is very soothing.

Dr. Rosetta Stith

Dr. Rosetta Stith, director of Baltimore's Paquin School for Expectant and Parenting Adolescents and host of the weekly "Ro Show" on cable Channel 58, possesses the secret of serenity in a strident world. It's called the "PM" weekend.

PM stands for pamper me, and Stith does it by lounging in bed on Saturday mornings with piles of magazines, newspapers and a "big, big cup of coffee." Instead of "running and ripping, you need that time to relax and recharge," she says.

Saturday-morning lounge wear: Lingerie from designer Josie Natori or a big T-shirt.

Fashion publications next to bed: Women's Wear Daily, W, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Essence.

"Pamper me" utility: That's my Jacuzzi.

Hairstylist: Carletta Simon of Perfectly Younique.

Personal-upkeep stops: Fields Pharmacy. They have a great collection of stuff, and so does the Cosmetic Center.

Clothing: A & G Boutique in Reisterstown Plaza and Leigh Ltd. in Pikesville. If I can't find it in New York, Betty Gach will at Leigh.

Purse staple: That cellular phone and $20. If things don't turn out right, you could always go back home.

A. Bruce Tucker

Understated is the operative word for A. Bruce Tucker's wardrobe. "Huge pinkie rings and flashy ties" don't engender trust, says the 60-year-old chief executive of American National Bancorp. "When it comes to people's money, they want you to be more conservative as opposed to a high flyer. My office looks like something out of Williamsburg, not Madison Avenue."

But on weekends, Tucker, an avid cook, cuts loose in chef's finery and a tattered basball cap pierced with souvenirs.

Look: Maybe as opposed to conservative, it is understated. Not a lot of jewelry, not a lot of flash.

Suit source: I certainly vacillate back and forth between Brooks Brothers and Jos. A. Bank.

Ties: I hit Nordstrom for ties. If you listen to my daughter, she'll say, "Dad bought another red tie." A lot of people look just like I do.

Weekend wear: I tend more toward khakis than jeans. I do have quite an extensive sweater collection; they can be kind of bright. If I'm going to the country club, I will wear Black Watch plaid pants and a red sweater.

Retro look: I do wear sweater vests. I see those guys on "Friends" wearing them, and I'm twice their age.

Aftershave: I like Polo and Canoe.

Hat: Since I'm balding, I do wear a lot of hats. On weekends I wear baseball caps, not typically what you would expect me to wear. Being a Baltimorean, I hate to say this, but one of the old hats that my wife would like to get rid of, is a white cap with "Yankees" on it.

Accessories: Over time, I've collected a bunch of pins from jazz festivals and put them all over it.

Cuisine wear: I have chef pants I sometimes wear decorated with red and green chili peppers. I saw them on the chef at the Polo Grill and ordered them from Chefwear USA, a catalog out of Chicago.

Carol Jean Young

A high-profile life is a high-maintainance life. But touch-ups and wardrobe deliberations take a back seat to something else in the life of Carol Jean Young, 39, a former Peabody Institute faculty member who serves on the school's advisory board and last year chaired the 27th Grand Opera Ball.

Some people may seek joy in a new hat or suit, but Young seeks it in profusions of flowers, which in color and texture remind her of the music she loves. "Nature is so incredibly difficult to believe. The beauty of it," she says.

Splurge: I can never be without fresh flowers arranged in my house. I consider it pampering, and also an indulgence and a real creative outlet. Fresh flowers -- I fill my house with them and I arrange them. My first stop today after car pool was to buy some fancies. I do that all the time. It's my absolute favorite in a hustle-bustle life.

Flower finds: I have discovered Rutland Beard in Ruxton and Flowers and Fancies in Stevenson.

Arrangement: It is full of tulips, irises, anemones, white daisies, and a lacy filler I call September kraut.

Pub Date: 2/20/97

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