'House Pins' help keep wardrobe looking sharp; Candid Closet: GEDCO volunteer Lucille Baudot tirelessly sells pins benefiting the housing organization, and she wears them every day.; Fashion


It's hard to believe that Lucille Baudot is 84. She's blond and elegant and energetic with a sly sense of humor. Baudot was also once accused of having "volunteeritis," a condition that hasn't changed in decades. Since 1989, Baudot has been a tireless volunteer for the Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation. "I'm always doing something that's helping somebody who is less fortunate," she says.

Baudot wears her efforts not on her sleeve, but on her lapel. Everywhere Baudot goes, she sells one-of-a-kind "House Pins" designed by a formerly homeless woman in Maine to raise money for GEDCO and other housing groups.

Once Baudot sold a pin off her collar. Now, she's known as the "pin lady," and take it from Candid Closet, you can't leave her home without investing in your own pin.

Those who haven't encountered Baudot may purchase a GEDCO House Pin at Need Ice Cream on W. Cold Spring Lane, Bendann Art Galleries on Kenilworth and Favorite Things in Hereford.

Do you wear a House Pin every day?

It's part of getting dressed.

Did your mother dress you in frilly things when you were a little girl?

I was born into a Mennonite family and my family didn't believe in fashion. Maybe that's why I downplay it. I do like nice clothes, don't get me wrong.

What do you wear when you are volunteering at the GEDCO food pantry?

Usually sweat suits. I really don't like slacks, though. I'd rather wear skirts and blouses. I'm always looking for dresses, but I don't like the styles right now.

How did you learn about fashion?

My parents died when I was young, and I went to live with a foster family. They were Junior Leaguers and I got a lot of their castoffs. The daughter cast off her clothes quite often. Living there broadened my outlook.

But I didn't always wear the clothing they offered me -- I was independent as a hog on ice!

For my 16th birthday, my foster mother finally got me to wear a beautiful dress for a surprise party. Later, I went to see them and apologized for being so stubborn.

Where did you learn about fashion?

In nursing school. We were always swapping clothes, and when someone had a date, she would raid your closet. We were required to wear a hat and gloves whenever we went out.

We were never allowed to go in the street in uniform. And we had to wear a girdle. I remember being pinched by a nursing superintendent. She was checking to see if I had on a girdle.

At first I thought it was some fresh intern!

How do you wear your House Pins?

You can use them to hold your scarf in place; you can use it to dress up a sweater or on a coat. And for men, they have tie tack House Pins.

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

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