Glimpsed in Ruxton

The Baltimore Sun

When friends Jan and John Braun invite you to a casual little cocktail party at their house, what do you wear? Especially when their house has been turned into the Baltimore Symphony Decorator Show House? For fellow Ruxtonite, Amy Lewis, it's black and white. Literally. This 48-year-old stay-at-home mom always gussies up a bit, and black and white is one of her favorite ways to go.

Amy Lewis

Age: 48

Residence: Ruxton

Job: Community volunteer

Self-described style: "Classic, but fun"

The Look: Black and white Anne Klein cotton pique coat. Black Elevenses cropped tropical wool pants. Black cotton knit camisole. Black Tommy Hilfiger wedge sandal. Black vintage Anne Klein small hobo bag. Three antique crystal bead necklaces.

Where she got it: The coat came from Bloomingdale's in Tyson's Corner. She bought the pants in Nordstrom's Juniors department. The cami is Express. She doesn't remember where she got the shoes, but she does remember where she got the bag - from her mother's closet. And the necklaces she found at an antiques show.

Spontaneous slurge: "I'm a spontaneous shopper. My friends say I shop anywhere and everywhere. That's not true ... I got to Tyson's [Corner]. I go to Loehmann's. I got to Nordstrom. I shop a lot at Banana Republic, and small boutiques in Charleston ... I really have fun shopping when I'm away. And relaxed. Especially in the South. Women really dress in the South. Dresses, feminine clothing are really easier to find in the South."

Mix and match: "I buy things I like that I know might work with something I already own. I mix and match when I get home. I don't like a cookie-cutter look."

Call her classically trendy: "I like to mix trendy pieces with classic oldies but goodies...I love [current trend] cropped jackets with tunic tops and cropped skinny pants. And I love wedges. I think they're comfortable ... I love Banana Republic jeans and pair them with a pashmina and a tunic."

Black and white, or bright: "I wear a lot of black and white and bold colors. I stay away from pastels completely. Remember "Color Me Beautiful" eons ago? In the middle of a "Color Me Beautiful" lecture, the speaker pointed me out as someone who should never wear pastels. I was wearing them all. I shrank in my seat. That's forever printed in my brain."

High-minded about heels: "I love every kind of shoes: good peau-de-soir or suede pumps with a sexy heel. I love heels. I'm 5'5 1/2 ", so every little bit helps. I have shoes that are 20-years-old, I'm embarrassed to say."

She never leaves home without one: "I love jackets. I almost never leave the house without one. It gets cold in restaurants. A couple great jackets can go far."

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