Christine Simeone describes her style as "preppy eclectic." Certainly seersucker is a preppy mainstay. But, the 33-year-old architectural representative for Pella Windows makes that fabric look anything but stodgy in the miniskirt she wore to a Federal Hill pub crawl. How does this Federal Hill resident create her classically chic look? It's all about mixing it up.

"With anything professional, like suits, I've tended toward more neutral colors, but I can add a bit of flair with a trendy top underneath, like Bebe. It has cute, trendy tops. ... Tiffany jewelry and a Louis Vuitton purse - those are the little things that ... make you look all pulled together." We couldn't agree more.

The look: White cotton V-neck T-shirt. Blue seersucker miniskirt. Blue American Eagle espadrille-style wedge sandals. Small black canvas and leather Ralph Lauren hobo handbag. Antiqued glass dangle earrings.

Where it came from: The T-shirt came from Ann Taylor Loft. She bought the miniskirt years ago at The Gap. She found the shoes at Marshalls, and the bag at T.J. Maxx. Her earrings were a gift from her mom.

Her shopping go-to's: "My favorite stores are definitely T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Loehmann's, Banana Republic and The Gap. I'm taller, so sometimes shirts don't fit a longer torso properly. I've tended to seek out designers who make longer shirts, or I'll specifically buy tall clothes. Tahari is one of my favorites, [for] shirts and pants. If I do anything from The Gap or Banana Republic, it's got to be a 'tall.' Abercrombie has taller stuff. And Kenneth Cole pants are good."

Her shopping habits: "You've got to go by the 80-20 rule: You wear 20 percent of your clothes 80 percent of the time. I've got enough of the good basics. I do try and go out and get a couple of fun trendy pieces. But I don't want to spend a whole lot of money on those pieces because they won't be fun and trendy in a year or two. ... It's more worth it to spend on the classics."

Her basics: "Very good-fitting jeans; you want to spend money on those. And pants in general; they really have to fit you. If they don't, they have to be tailored. Good-fitting T-shirts."

This summer's trendy pieces: "The cute espadrilles that I'm wearing. I have gotten a couple of looser cotton tops from Old Navy and some cute sundresses from Calvin Klein at Marshalls. So, I'm not breaking the bank."

Her fashion do's and don'ts: "You do really have to try clothes on. Do make sure it fits properly. Do tailor it if it needs to be. Don't keep it if it shrinks in the wash and doesn't fit you any more. Don't keep it if it has stains on it. And do listen to your friends if they tell you something doesn't work."

Sloane Brown can be contacted at

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