Nathalie Beatty

The Baltimore Sun

No one will ever be able to accuse Nathalie Beatty of being a wallflower - in either her style or her personality. This "professional volunteer" is known for carrying off a cutting-edge style. Just check out her outfit as she co-chaired the Ruth Shaw Fashion Show at the Baltimore School for the Arts. The 41-year-old Baltimore resident credits her Egyptian-born mom. "I was definitely influenced by my mother's European aesthetic, but I've always had my own strong opinions about what I like. ... I admire women who can put anything on and make it their own." That means, with Beatty, there's plenty to admire.

Age:: 41

Residence: : Baltimore

Job:: Community volunteer/fashion show co-chair

Self-described style: : "Classic with an international vibe"

The look: : Sheer cotton black, green, white and gold Etro print dress. Black Wolford leggings. White leather Aketohn flat boots. Silver-coin Fendi necklace and bracelet. Diamond cross pendant on a silk cord. Tom Ford sunglasses.

Where it came from: : The dress came from Barney's New York, and she bought the leggings at a Wolford store in San Francisco. The boots? She found them in Capri, Italy. She dug up the Fendi treasures in Florence, Italy. Her pendant was a gift from husband Michael Beatty. And her shades were a find at Baltimore's Jean Pool.

Fashion is one of life's necessities: : "It's up there with shelter, food and water!"

Shopping is often an international experience: : "I tend to have the most shopping success when vacationing, because I'm relaxed and I have the time to enjoy it. ... We travel often to Europe; to France (I have a lot of family in Paris), Italy and to more exotic places like South America and Africa. I love anything with an ethnic feel. Some of my favorite pieces of silver jewelry are from Egypt and Argentina. ... My parents were both born and raised in Cairo, so I have an attachment to anything Egyptian. I also have a real weakness for crosses and religious medallions. ... When I'm home, I can always count on Ruth Shaw."

Even when she's at home, she "travels" the Web to shop: : "After everyone goes to bed, I love getting on my computer and shopping online. I can do it for hours. Some of my favorite Web sites are YOOX, Net-a-Porter, Browns, Shopbop, Kate Boutique and La Garconne. ... I am a master at finding things online. When I'm on a mission, I usually succeed. Years ago, I bought a pair of boots (the ones I'm wearing) in Capri, Italy. Almost two years later, I decided that I wanted a second pair in a different color. I surfed the Web for weeks and, sure enough, I found a second pair! I was so excited; I had heart palpitations."

There's no method, and no madness: : "I never shop for 'outfits.' I look for special pieces that I know I'll love and wear for years. I'm not influenced by sales and trends. I prefer to buy few high-quality pieces. I've had some of my favorite accessories for over 20 years and I still wear them."

Her fashion do: : "If you have great hair and shoes, everything in between will look good, too."

Her fashion don't: : "Don't wear anything that doesn't fit your personal style. A forced look is never good."

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