Three cheers for fashion with a purpose! We're not talking about fanny packs or those plastic rain hats you tie under your chin. We're fans of clothes that have a function, but have the good sense to look stylish, too. That's what drew us to Barbara Press, who, on this day, tossed on a sweater / shawl to keep warm. She liked the way the lightweight cover-up, tied breezily around her shoulders, made her comfortable without being too stuffy. But we like the way it makes her look as classy as she does cozy.

Age: 60s

Residence: Pikesville

Job: Homemaker

Self-described style: "Updated classic."

The look: Black turtleneck sweater. Greenish-brown sweater / shawl. Black slacks. Leather belt with shiny gold buckle. Funky black handbag.

Where it came from: Turtleneck from Nordstrom. Sweater / shawl and handbag from Gotta Have Bags. Slacks from Macy's. Belt from Chico's.

Define "updated classic": "Well, I'd say it's classical styles, but right up to the minute. But nothing too trendy. Classics with a twist."

Fashion over the years:"I think I'm a fairly conservative person in the way I dress. ... As I've gotten older, I've stayed away from a lot of the too-trendy things that I think could be too youthful."

Praise for the sweater / shawl: "Oh, I love it; that is one of my favorite things in my wardrobe. I wear it all the time. When it's hot, I take it into restaurants for the air conditioning. When I travel, I take it over a lightweight coat on the plane. It's very versatile and very comfortable and I have more than one. It's unique and it's comfortable and it wasn't terribly expensive. It comes in a variety of colors, but I'm into blacks and browns."

Equal-opportunity shopper: "I shop anywhere from TJ Maxx to Nordstrom to anyplace in between -- Talbot's, all of it. If there's something I really like and it's a little more [expensive] and I want it, I'll buy it. But at the same time, I've gotten many wonderful buys in TJ Maxx."


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