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John Yuhanick, president, Yuhanick Associates Public Relations
“I love my Armani tux. It’s a very fine wool and has a lovely shawl collar, and instead of the satin, shiny stripe down the leg, it has some texture to it. I always feel good in it and it always signifies a celebration. Now I hate to tell you where I got it: C-Mart. The regular price would have been several thousand dollars and I didn’t pay anywhere near that. I hadn’t been to C-Mart in years, but I saw an ad promoting what looked like a good shipment coming in. I arrived early. When I got there, there were five cars in the parking lot waiting for the store to open. I knew all five guys.”

Liz Hergenroeder-Pepple, psychotherapist/life coach
“I have a beautiful shawl that my four daughters gave me over 20 years ago when they were little girls. They took their baby-sitting money from baby sitting each other and they purchased this shawl in a shop when we were vacationing at Sea Colony in Bethany Beach. It’s red and pink with gold threads running through it. The colors are so beautiful. It’s a mantle of their love. When I started doing psychotherapy, I kept it on my shoulders as a reminder of their gentle care and to be purposeful and meaningful in the work that I was doing. I’ve worn it so much it has holes in it.”

Marty Bass, TV personality, WJZ-TV
“I always have a seersucker suit in my closet. Sometimes it is gray and white, sometimes it is blue and white. This is an extremely comfortable suit to wear in the spring and summer when it’s hot. And if you have to wear a uniform- and that’s what a suit is- it might as well be comfortable. It always puts me in a different frame of mind. It’s totally not me yet I can never be without one. A good seersucker is like getting away with wearing pajamas to the office. It feels different than any other suit on those days when you want to mentally be sitting in a tiki bar instead of going to work.”

Julia Keelty, community volunteer, mother
“About 10 years ago my husband and I were in a cute little boutique in San Germaine in Paris. We saw this silk mandarin suit with a long tunic jacket in red and orange and hot pink. I know it sounds awful, but my husband made me try it on and I loved it then and I love it now. Whenever I’m stuck for a weeknight event, it’s perfect. It’s not too dressy; it has a business/cocktail feel to it.”

Lainy LeBow-Sachs, senior vice president, external relations, Kennedy Krieger Institute
“My father’s sister never had any children so my sister Linda and I were like her children. My Aunt Frances would take us everywhere- the circus, the Ice Capades or amusement parks. As a child I would always go through her jewelry box and say to her, ‘Let me try on your watch.’ I loved it. When she passed away at 91 about three years ago, she left it to me, this gorgeous old Omega. It has an elaborate wide silver band with a diamond cover on the face. I always wear it when I get dressed up, no matter where I’m going.” 

Kendel Ehrlich, First Lady of Maryland
“I can’t remember the designer, but I love this off-the-shoulder, very straight-cut, floor-length green evening gown that I got at Octavia; I just wore it to the Miss USA Pageant. It’s a beautiful shade of green- deeper than citrus but not emerald. The fabric is wonderful, too. It’s a very thick silk. I love it because the color is so good for me; it’s different for a black-tie event. My Saucony running shoes are also important to me for my mental health. I try to run three miles about three or four days a week and I need a good shoe for support for my back and knees. If I had to leave in a hurry and grab stuff I couldn’t live without, it would be my running shoes and that dress.”

Mitzi Perdue, philanthropist
“I have two categories of favorite things in my closet. The absolute best thing in my closet is Frank’s collection of 38 awards and plaques that he was given from universities and civic organizations. Frank was so humble that he’d never display the awards publicly, but they were meaningful to him, so he had them lining the walls of the closet where we were the only ones to see them. 

The next best thing in my closet is a black, woven Bottega Veneta handbag that Frank gave me for my birthday 17 years ago. I’ve worn it so much over the years that if I amortize it by the amount of times I’ve worn it, it’s a really inexpensive handbag. It holds up beautifully and I don’t think anyone would know its age. I hope I wear it for another 17 years.”

Sylvana Khouri, free-lance photographer
“I live in a pair of G Brand blue jeans from Ruth Shaw. They are straight cut, low-waisted with no glitter or crazy designs so you can dress them up or down. They are just very classic and very well cut. My other current favorite is a navy blue polka-dot YSL blouse that I bought last year. It looks exactly like a blouse I had in 1972. It has long sleeves that are a bit like a peasant shirt.”

Mary Beth Marsden, news anchor, WMAR-TV
“The one thing I’d be sad about if I lost it in a fire is my charm bracelet. It has charms from Tiffany’s with my kids’ names and birthdays on them and one charm that my mother and father gave me on my wedding day. They had a little pocket sewn into my wedding dress and that’s how I found the charm, it was tucked in this little pocket sewn into the lining. This bracelet is absolutely, positively my most favorite thing that I wear.”

John VolponiJohn Volponi, general manager, Inn at Perry Cabin
“My most favorite piece of clothing is an Irish knit sweater that my maternal grandmother [of Irish descent] made years ago when I was in high school. It took her months to make it because of all the unusual stitches that were required. I remember her going back to her local knit shop to learn a new stitch or to rip part of the sweater apart and redo it so that everything would be perfect. It was a true labor of love and the only sweater of this type that she ever made. It is quite heavy and I always wore it in cold weather. Unfortunately, it is a bit small for me now, but it still sits all wrapped up in my closet.”

Amy Elias, president, Profiles Inc.
“I cannot live without white, white T-shirts. They have to be really white with just the right neck. Mimi & Coco from Canada and Theory from Barneys are two brands that are perfect. They’re not expensive, about $35 a tee. I wear them year-round under everything- suits, sweaters or just as is, with pants or a skirt. They’re great for travel, too. I just roll them up in a ball and wash them when I come home. I have stacks of other brands, but these are the best.” 

Melissa KirbyMelissa Kirby, owner, Shine Collective
“I still love my black ankle Yves Saint Laurent boots that I found in a consignment shop in California about seven years ago. I was super excited when I saw them; I felt they were meant to be mine. If they were in a regular store I could never have afforded them, but there they were, waiting for me. I’ve had them resoled a few times ‘cause I could never get rid of them. They’re classic with a high stiletto heel, so comfortable and well made. I wear them with anything. They look awesome with jeans, of course, but I also wear them with a pencil skirt for a rocker kind of look.”

Larry Wolf, retail consultant
“I have a number of favorite clothes but one of the best is my Wolf’s Hot Dogs tee; we had several of them made for a barbecue a few years ago. On the front there is a small rendering of a yummy hot dog on a roll. On the back it says in big letters, ‘Wolf’s famous hot dogs’ along with a large reproduction of the dog rendering on the front. Underneath the dog it says, ‘With all the fixins, best you ever ate.’ It is impossible to wear it anywhere when someone doesn’t stop me and say, ‘Where can I get one of those?’”

Molly Shattuck, NFL Ravens cheerleader
“I love matching scarves and hats and wear them as part of an outfit. About six years ago, I bought a leopard print one from a New York street vendor for about $7. I don’t think it will ever go out of style. It’s such fun, you would never know I bought it on the street; I get so many compliments on it. My favorite hat for three seasons is a cotton hand-knit one I got in Colorado. It’s pink, yellow, blue, green and purple and has hearts on it. It looks fabulous with a turtleneck.”

Susan Dunn, editor, ‘Paper Doll’ magazine
“I have a solid black button-down cotton Theory shirt that I could wear every single day. I got it at L’Apparenza for about $175 this spring and I wear it with just about everything- black-and-white striped linen pants or jeans with flats or heels. It’s fashionable and simple, form fitting but not too tight, a perfect body fit, it’s very slenderizing. I was just looking at my closet and realized I could wear that shirt five days in a row.” 

Carole Sibel, volunteer, charity fund-raiser
“I bought a fitted, black, sequined jacket about six years ago that’s so versatile. When I wear it with tweed pants it becomes an unusual dressy yet sporty outfit. I wear it with velvet pants or satin pants for very dressy occasions. Now with all the skirts that are popular, I’ll probably match it up with some of those. The salesperson at Ruth Shaw’s convinced me that it would have a lot of uses and he was right. I’ve taken it with me several times on trips. It’s great for travel and, of course, it doesn’t wrinkle.”

Carrington North, fashion enthusiast and mother
“I love couture. I have an LBD [little black dress] by Valentino that I swear, every single time I wear it, I get rave reviews. It’s ancient; it was my mother’s, so it’s more of an emotional piece. The other thing I couldn’t do without is my collection of over 25 Hermés scarves. Each one has been collected over a long period of time from many geographical locations and they really are a part of me. Besides having bushels of memories, I wear them as belts, head covers and even use them to serve as a nice blanket. They are virtually indestructible. And, I couldn’t do without my collection of beautiful sarong skirts from Java. They just carry my imagination away and get softer each time I wash them. I could be happy as a clam if I owned nothing but those things.”

Jill Andrews-Taylor, women’s costume designer, Center Stage
“I bought a pair of gorgeous black suede Manolo Blahnik boots with pointy toes and stiletto heels at Neiman Marcus Last Call in Philadelphia in 2002. When I saw them I knew I had to get married so I could design my whole wedding outfit around them- I wore black dotted Swiss. They are the most timeless things I will ever own, a true classic. I paid just $260, isn’t that great?”

Andrea Stieff, floral/handbag designer
“It’s a toss-up. I love all my vintage jewelry, I love the workmanship and history and I like to think of the ‘life’ each piece led; the parties, events and dinners and the women who owned this jewelry in the 1800s through the 1950s. I don’t wear it much, I just like to look at it. I know that’s odd! I also love my Prada shoes, not the fancy stilettos, but the casual leather ones. I have about eight pairs, all of which are beat to hell from wearing them for working. Crazy as it sounds, they fit my feet and have great support and I can walk in them forever. Problem is, I don’t think they were designed to be used as work shoes. I probably am the only person in the world with Prada shoes featuring various shades of spray paint, gobs of hot glue and flower funk in the treads. So pitiful!”

Dan CollinsDan Collins, senior director of media relations, Mercy Medical Center
“I have a very dark navy, almost black, double-breasted jacket that I bought through a catalog that offers military surplus items. This was a German dress naval jacket; you can tell by the golden buttons, they’ve got the naval anchor on them if you look close enough. I love it because it fits great, works well for dressy occasions or with a pair of blue jeans. And, it cost me less than $20. I love a bargain.” 

Sascha Wolhandler, co-owner, Sascha’s
“If a ship was going down and I could grab only three things, I’d take my plain black and very high Manolo Blahnik sling backs, red lipstick and these huge, marvelous, gold one-of-a-kind earrings that belonged to Pat Moran’s mother. That’s all I need to turn my jeans and T-shirt into an outfit that can go from drab to glamorous in about four minutes. The shoes are the best- I got them at Bergdorf’s during the day after Christmas sale. Another woman and I were clinging to them, but I managed to cling longer than she did. (During this sale, women turn into piranhas.) These shoes were way more than I should have spent even on sale, but I love them. I am a stiletto addict. I even cater in them.”

Diane M. Becker, professor of medicine and community health, Johns Hopkins University
“I don’t have one favorite; I like everything at different times. I change my entire wardrobe often and reject anything I have had very long. Nothing is safe from regular closet cleaning. I love all jewelry, all shoes, no matter how ugly, anything silk and anything very expensive! My only favorite thing is a very old Brown University sweat shirt. I got it the day my daughter entered Brown as a freshman 14 years ago. It is pretty battered and has a large indelible chocolate ice cream stain on the front. I would be devastated if anything happened to it!”

Dolores Deluxe, bon vivant
“Over 20 years ago, when I was in the vintage clothing business, I bought a black bakelite heart pin that I love. I’ve purchased a gazillion things in my life but this simple black ‘plastic’ pin spoke to me the minute I saw it. I wear it as a pendant or I put it on a hat or wear it as a pin on anything. Years ago, I was the only one who wanted that stuff. Now I see pins like it in Manhattan where Diane Keaton might shop for one.”

Donna Crivello, co-owner, Donna’s restaurants
“My closet is mostly a sea of black pants, jackets and sweaters, with some splashes of olive green, browns, tan (the blues and magentas are from friends and family who are tired of seeing me in black!). My most favorite fashion accessory is a black velvet scarf dotted with small open squares of olive green. Yes, of course it goes with all my black and green stuff, but more than that, it is a great design. Being a former graphic designer I go for the geometric. It’s the “chameleon” of scarves, it blends with everything and becomes like the color it’s with. It came from Amaryllis at Harbor Place. Even though I’ve owned it for over five years, I still get compliments when I wear it.”

Nancy B. Lattmann, co-owner, L’Apparenza
“This year for Mother’s Day my three daughters gave me a pink Chanel reporter’s bag that I adore. The double C’s are in black and the rest of the bag is in pink. They also gave me a Gucci wallet trimmed in hot pink inside and out. It’s fabulous. I keep them for special occasions; I never would have bought them myself. I love pink and I love Chanel bags. I have two others, but this one is my favorite.” 

Lisa SimeoneLisa Simeone, National Public Radio host, “World of Opera”
“I love my Suzy Perette 1950s summer dress that is kind of a gold color with splashes of brown. It’s very Dior. It’s sleeveless, fully boned and lined with crinoline, including an interior waistband called a petersham that takes the weight of the huge skirt that’s got these swoopy swags on the side that then come up and cross at the fitted waistline. It’s simply a knockout. This dress stops people on the street, men and women; and when women come up to me and ask about it, I know it’s something special. Women understand these things.”

Amy Newhall, community volunteer, mother
“I have these little Chanel bags that are the perfect size. I have four of them in several staple colors like beige, white and black. They are so versatile because I can carry them as a clutch or turn them into shoulder bags and they go with everything from evening wear to jeans. I’ve had them forever. They’re flat yet big enough for reading glasses plus they have a space for charge cards and a little zipper area for loose money. I take them everywhere and they are always right.” 

Jonathan Murray, investment advisor and “Today” show contributor
“I have a Ralph Lauren Purple Label light brown suede blazer that I love. Whenever I put it on, it makes me feel great. I got it at Samuel Parker Clothier on Falls Road about a year ago. I love it because I can wear it with jeans and a T-shirt or I can wear it with a tie. It’s versatile, practical, sophisticated and elegant all at the same time. I can write my name in it with my finger, it’s so soft. As Joan Rivers says, ‘It feels like buttah.’”

Donna Hamilton, news anchor, WBAL-TV  
“The favorite item in my closet is a Marc Jacobs black quilted Venezia handbag. It comes from Saks Fifth Avenue in New Orleans. When Katrina hit, stores there weren’t necessarily damaged but they were left with their new fall stock and no one to sell it to. The insurance company bought Saks’ entire stock and sold it to the highest bidder, which turned out to be C-Mart!  I made the trek out there, and was able to buy this really beautiful bag at half-price. It has the most gorgeous deep-purple suede lining, I almost feel bad putting things inside it!”

Sloane Brown, Sun society columnist
“There are two pieces in my wardrobe that I’m most attached to- a silver concho belt from Santa Fe that my husband gave me years ago. It reminds me of my own history- growing up in Colorado, and my ties to Santa Fe, where my father grew up. In fact, the belt came from a childhood friend of his, who owned a trading post on the plaza there. Also, a gorgeous embellished black long jacket/coat by Trelise Cooper, from Ruth Shaw. I modeled it for Style’s ‘Women of MAP’ shoot a couple of years ago. Ruth Shaw manager Ray Mitchener had picked it out for me, and the minute I tried it on in the store, I was in love. When we finished with the photo session, I was taking the coat off, and Ray told me to check the pockets. Inside, I find a card from my husband that read, ‘Happy 20th Anniversary. Love, Steve.’

Delegate Catherine Pugh
“I’m a gown person. I love several, but my favorite is a clingy black, jersey knit gown with a very low-cut see-through back edged in jewels. At first glance it looks like the back of the gown is bare, but it isn’t. The front is pretty plain but when I walk past someone and turn around, it deserves a second look. I can only wear it every couple of years because it makes such a statement.  I bought it at Octavia in 2001 and when I tried it on it was like someone had made it for me- it fit so well and needed no alterations.  I wore it on the auction night of the ‘Fish Out of Water’ project a few years ago. I think it helped raise that million dollars.” 

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