Casual reflects her style of dress


It's not that Theresa Leatherbury of Catonsville wouldn't like to spend more time on her wardrobe. But with two small children, Allison and Freddie, a full-time job and volunteer work, shopping just isn't a top priority for the 36-year-old working mom. "I end up wearing stuff I've had for years," she says.

In the same vein, formal attire is not a priority for attending "Splash!2000," an annual benefit for the National Aquarium in Baltimore put on by the Aquarium Associates. (The event takes place 8 p.m. Saturday at the aquarium. Admission is $85. For information, call 410-727-3474.)

Leatherbury, an actuary with Milliman & Robertson and president of the aquarium's advocate group, is an ardent supporter of the gala's casual dress code. This year's theme, Legends and FantaSeas, calls for fun and flowing hues of blues and greens, but nothing too fancy that you couldn't wear it again - for Halloween, perhaps!

How would you describe your style?

I've always had more of a classic style. I've never been into the trendy clothes. There are a couple of designers who really fit me well. I particularly like Anne Klein. She used to have a lot of outlet stores. I can't seem to find them. And lately, there have been a lot of Jones New York, classic business-type outfits that work also. And I like Ellen Tracy.

Do you follow in your mother's fashion footsteps?

My mother, Diane Rachuba, has a very good sense of style. She's not quite as conservative as I am. She knows how to accessorize down to the bracelet. I don't quite have that knack. I remember that she, my sister and I would take trips to Washington to Saks and Bloomingdale's before there was anything really great in Baltimore. Twice a year, we'd have a girls' day out.

Do you tend to shop more for your children now?

I do. I like the clothes at Nordstrom and the Growing-Up Shoppe at the Kenilworth shops. They have the cutest little outfits. I buy a lot of their basics at less expensive places and then get couple of special things, like Easter outfits at Nordstrom, the Pied Piper in Cross Keys or Talbots.

Do you get wrapped up in dressing your kids and forget about yourself?

There was one day last year, my husband and I went to New York to see a play. We were walking down Fifth Avenue, and we saw the cutest kids' clothes. We ended up spending a lot of money, but never bought anything for ourselves.

Does your daughter like to dress up?

Allison loves it. She's 16 months old, but she knows when she has a little dress on and she's looking good.

Do you have a sports wardrobe?

My husband and I are both golfers. That could be another reason my sense of style is conservative. I usually wear a pair of pleated shorts and a polo shirt on the golf course.

What does your husband wear?

He loves Ashworth clothes, the same golf apparel that Fred Couples wears. That's Jay's favorite golfer.

How do you dress for work?

I have suits and things for meetings, but most of the time we're casual in the office. I have had to expand my wardrobe into some casual clothes.

Is it difficult finding clothing to fit?

I'm tall, so I have a hard time finding pants that are long enough. What I like about LL Bean is that they realize that. They offer three lengths.

What colors work for you?

A lot of colors are good on me.

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

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