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She's conservative with a mass of class


Tia Noakes, by nature an independent woman, likes nice clothing but doesn't let fashion rule her life. She shops when she has to, buys what she needs to carry her through a season and looks for sales. "I just don't hang out in malls," Noakes says. "One day I'm going to have a personal shopper. That's my dream."

Noakes, 30, hardly has time to shop, even if she wants to. An enterprise risk manager with the Moore Corp. in Glen Burnie, the Elkridge resident is an MBA candidate at Loyola College, mentors middle-school girls at her church, is active in the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and is a board member of ACTS, a Towson organization that helps survivors of domestic violence.

On Sunday, Oct. 8, you'll find Noakes at "Make Tracks for ACTS Fun Fest 2000" from noon until 3 p.m. at Oregon Ridge Park. The benefit includes a walkathon, cookout, nature hike, live band, games and rides. Minimum donation for the event is $15. For information about the event or pledging, call 410-825-8773.

As a child, did you have any fashion role models?

I come from a big family. Having the best clothing and the most popular clothing was not a priority. It was not until I became an adult that I took more of an interest in what I wore.

Describe your style.

Fashionably conservative. I was never trendy.

Do you favor skirts or pants?

I'm a pantsuits person. You can feel dressed up but yet be comfortable. I do wear skirts and dresses occasionally. The employers I have been with the past six years have all had a "business casual" policy.

Do you have any favorite designers?

I'm 5 feet, 9 inches, and two-thirds of my body is legs. There are only certain designers that can work. Liz Claiborne, Jones New York and Josephine Chaus are my favorites because their pants are long. I tend to stick with them.

Where do you find weekend clothing?

Usually I get my jeans from the Gap. They fit perfectly.

Does your sorority hold benefit fashion shows?

Yes, we have an annual fund-raiser with glitter and gold and everything. We raise money for a scholarship. We hire professional models.

Some of the styles are pretty out there. It's entertainment more than sensible clothing.

You're tall. Do you still wear heels?

I usually do, maybe up to a 3-inch heel. I like the way pants fall on a heel. It gives them an entirely different look.

Do you ever have friends who urge you to dress less conservatively?

I did go to New York and I bought something that was out of the norm for me. I had two friends to encourage me to buy a pair of Capri pants. I never thought I would wear them. I love them!

Do you know a Snappy Dresser? Write Stephanie Shapiro, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St. Baltimore 21278.

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