Style fits like a glove


Peta Richkus, a vice president at Buchart-Horn, an engineering, architectural and planning firm, has a well-honed admiration for old things, be they the well-preserved Victorian homes in her Charles Village neighborhood or her splendid collection of vintage gloves.

So at this weekend's Charles Village Celebration -- a two-day party featuring a run, community parade, festival and garden walk -- expect Richkus, the event's publicity coordinator, to look her vintage best. It may be too warm for gloves, but of course, Richkus will have on a lovely summer brim that protects her fair skin from the June sun and a lightweight cotton frock. (For more information about the festival, which benefits three area elementary schools and the Charles Village Recreation League, call 410-662-7777.)

What kind of clothing do you concentrate on when you're shopping?

I collect classic styles and colors so I have some things in my closet that I've had for 20 years.

How did your glove collection get started?

My mother was quite a clothes horse and she had a huge collection of gloves and hats. The hats didn't last but the gloves did. I saved many of her pairs of gloves, because I wear gloves nine months of the year. I have cold hands! Also, gloves are a very big fashion thing. I stick them in my [breast] jacket pocket.

Are gloves of different hues made today?

It's difficult to find quality gloves. I can find cheap gloves in different gaudy colors. But that's where the vintage stuff comes in. Some are stunningly beautiful. I have a really neat pair of gauntlet gloves that are hot pink and reach about three-quarters of the way to the elbow. Instead of being totally straight, there's a flare. I have another, great mustard yellow pair with a button at the wrist.

Talk about your hats.

I have a few vintage hats. But mostly I find hats in places like the Burlington Coat Factory. They have a great collection. Wards has nice hats. And I've bought hats at Harborplace. I have one really wild formal hat that sits on the top of my head with plumes. I usually wear that with a black velvet dinner suit in the winter.

How do you color-coordinate your accessories and the rest of your wardrobe?

Mostly I use scarves, hats and gloves to add color. For example, when I went to my daughter's graduation at MIT, she just had to tell people to look for the lady with the hat. I had on a bright fuchsia hat, a black pants suit and a big scarf.

How do you balance your work image with your flamboyant streak?

If I wear my black silk suit and a very brightly colored scarf, that is acceptable in my work world. It says, "This is a serious person who has flare and a sense of creativity." But it's not so distracting as to make people wonder where did I get that scarf or if I really know what I am talking about.

When work is over, do you shed the conservative image?

We have an active social life and I'm also a gardener, a mother and a grandmother, so I do have a lot of different kinds of styles that I wear. I'm comfortable in all of those.

Do you know any snappy dressers? Let us know. Write to Stephanie Shapiro, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

Pub Date: 6/04/98

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