Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

Q&A with a Baltimore style expert

September 25, 2009

If anyone knows Baltimore style like its their job, it would have to be Carrie Oleynik. A Towson University alum, this former Towerlight news editor has written for Baltimore magazine, Urbanite magazine, Metro.Pop magazine and many other publications.

Baltimore style expert Carrie Oleynik

Baltimore style expert Carrie Oleynik

Oleynik is a full-time writer working in the Office of Communications at the University of Maryland School of Law and currently blogs as a Baltimore Style Examiner. This past summer, she was featured as a style expert on the Baltimore City Education Channel.

Read on to see what Carrie thinks about Baltimore style and how college students, like me, can buy style on a budget!

Q: How would you define the type of style Baltimoreans have?

CO: Eclectic, bold, playful, and casual.

Q: What do you think are the hot trends in Baltimore?

CO: I’ve noticed a lot of purple on both men and women. I thought more about this while standing at a light rail station in West Baltimore recently. All I could see around me was a rich hue of purple– bold, and in patterns, in work clothes, street wear, all kinds of looks with just so much purple.

Q: What are your favorite Baltimore boutiques and stores you like to shop at?

CO: For work clothes I shop at The Limited and Loehmann’s. I really like doubledutch (Hampden), Cloud 9 (Charles Village), South Moon Under (Harbor East and Kennilworth), 9th Life (Fells Point), and Shine Collective (Hampden). I really love Red Tree in Hampden for household items and gifts. For online shopping only, I visit to treat myself.

Q: What about vintage shopping? Do you think its popular in Baltimore?

CO: Yes, at area stores like Value Village, Salvation Army, Ten Car Pile Up and others.  You probably can’t try things on (well, you can at Ten Car Pile up), but you will probably walk out with a bag of clothes for way less than what you’d pay for two or three items at a regular department store. There are some great shops in Hampden, with vintage furniture, jewelry, and clothes.

Q: What separates Baltimore style from other cities like New York and DC?

CO: I haven’t traveled enough outside of Baltimore lately to feel like I could answer this question accurately. I love New York (not as big of a fan of D.C.), but it’s been a while since I’ve been there. I remember thinking that New York has a more sophisticated style. The looks that people have there are usually two or three steps ahead of Baltimore (if not more than that) and there’s so many fun, yet affordable clothes to choose from — especially in those shops in Greenwich Village.

Q: How do you think college students can put together stylish looks for less?

CO: There are so many options. Target, Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls, Loehmann’s in Timonium, and a number of stores you can find at malls like Forever 21 and H & M. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your money.

  • Always try everything on. Or you may come home disappointed and who has the time to go make an exchange?
  • Take the time to look through the stores carefully. Many times you can find really cute stuff on clearance or sale racks. If you don’t have time to shop, then you will rush and most likely miss good finds. I only recommend quick shopping if you are looking for one thing, and one thing only. Like a white collared shirt for example. You can find them at a lot of different places and should have no problem getting in and out.
  • Also remember that you are on a budget. Before you go into a store, figure out how much you can spend and base your decisions around it. You should do this every time you go into a store actually. Say your budget is $30 and you find 6 items that you really like. Figure out what you can and can’t do within the $30. Maybe you picked up two $10 tank tops, two $25 shirts, and two $30 pairs of pants. Maybe you want the two tanks and have $10 to spare or just pick up a pair of pants. Maybe there is a middle-ground. One of the $25 shirts and the two tanks? It’s $5 over your budget, which really isn’t the end of the world. Anything more than $10 over your budget is.
  • Have a concept in mind, too. How will the new piece fit into your wardrobe? What role will it play in your future (i.e. is this something you’d wear more than once or could see yourself wearing for awhile)? Don’t buy something just because you think it’s cute at the time.
  • There is a rule of thumb I always follow: if you still want it after walking around the store for 20 minutes, then you should probably get it. When you’re walking around, think of things that you can buy that can go with it. Maybe it will remind you that you may already have something in your closet already (and if that’s the case, put it back immediately because that means that you don’t need it). I do this often.