Mary Ellen Brown 2


Sartorial Baltimoreal: Legal Ease


The phrase “lawyers who lunch” brings to mind pinstripe suits and depositions over the fast-food-catered conference table. But that’s not always the case. Father and son team Bob and Nolan Weltchek dress up only for the courtroom. During a typical workweek, they make time for lunch together, clad in classic denim. Their casual yet stylish look caught our eye, as did the senior partner pop’s long-ish hair…

Bob and Nolan Weltchek


Can we take your picture? You must be in the entertainment business? 

Actually we’re lawyers in the same firm.

But your hair is so long and hip for a lawyer!

I’ve worn it long since high school.

And your son here is so clean cut?

We have different styles. I’m more “shoot from the hip.”

My son is more by the book. Plus, I’m older!

Are your wardrobes are completely different? You both have great looks today.

I grew up in New Jersey. I have worked since I was 13 years old. By the time I became successful, I wanted to take a deep breath and smell the roses, and that included buying nice clothes!       

And Nolan?

He has great clothes. Just not as many as I do.

For example?

I may have 100 shirts and he might have 20.

But you worked long and hard for those shirts!

Nolan works hard too. He’s a partner at 28.

Lots of great shirts in his future!

Harbor East Hottie


Like a scene in a movie, Nicole Schiavo walked out of the beautiful new Four Seasons Hotel in Harbor East to pick up her car from the valet. Looking very chic and Hollywood in her over-sized shades and 5-inch heels, she put one very ladylike leg in, then the other. That’s when we glimpsed the red soles. Maybe this was a casting call.

Nicole Schiavo, The Four Seasons, Harbor East


You have such style. What’s your job?

 I’m a lawyer in that building across from the hotel.


How would you describe your look for work?

Sophisticated professional.


Do you always wear dresses to work?

Lots of dresses and skirt suits. Never pants. I’m 4’10!

So that explains those killer heels. Louboutins, right? Red soles!

Yes. I wear them all the time.

And your dress hits just perfectly at the knee. You are perfectly proportioned!

Thank you. I hem everything I wear: to the middle of the knee for work and really short for the weekend!

Does your height make a difference in the workplace?

I’m a lender liability litigator. People underestimate me all the time ’cause I’m little. 


You go girl.


Looking Chic, Big Easy Bound


As Sartorial Baltimoreal photographer Lee Kriel and I rounded the corner at the JHU Barnes and Noble on St. Paul recently, she said to me, “Look at the purple coat with the old Samsonite luggage straight ahead.”  I saw nothing more than a bunch of kids waiting for the bus, but as we walked closer, Charles Village couple Anna and Ross came clearer. When they turned around and Anna’s magnificent eyes met me, the flashes went off! Sometimes only the trained eye of a photographer can spot the stars in a well-populated scene.

Ross Brendle, 28, and Anna Hoffman, 25




Hi!  Where are you all traveling?
Anna: We are going to New Orleans to see my family.

Are you boyfriend and girlfriend?
We are married. 

What do you do here in Baltimore? 
Anna: I work at the front desk of the BMA.
Ross: I am a graduate student in classical archaeology at Hopkins. I want to be a professor.

You both look so fashionable.  Did you think about what you were wearing on the plane this morning?
Anna: I always think about what I wear. I love fashion. I am an artist and I knit all the time. (She made the scarf she is wearing.) 
Ross: I dressed as I normally would dress.

And your individual styles?
Anna: I think I am colorful-vintage, highlighting homemade knits!
Ross: Stylish academic.

You are both so retro! Your cats-eye glasses and lined eyes, Anna (such the rage now). Your coat. Your shoes. Ross, I love your hair and cardigan! So ’50s!  
Anna: I have been wearing eyeliner like this since I can remember. It’s so popular now.
Ross: My sweater is from H&M and my hair just has gel in it.

And this old Samsonite you are carrying? 
Anna: It’s from the 1960’s. And it cost $5! 

She’s a Total MILB


On a recent chilly afternoon, we spotted a beautiful woman, Rachel Bloom, in a romantic fur vest. She stood outside the chic Stevenson shoe store Joanna Gray. Fur vests are all the rage for fall, and we were happy to spy such a pretty one making the scene in Baltimore.


Rachel Bloom

I love your vest.
Thank you. I got it at a sample sale in New York.
What’s a sample sale?
It’s when vendors (designers) sell the samples that they showed at market to the public. You can find great deals.
Do you shop only in New york?
I shop when I’m traveling. And in Baltimore. And I love sales!
What would you call your style?
Fun and easy.
Do you have children?
A daughter 23 and son 21. 
Does your daughter dress like you or do you dress like her?
Oh, my daughter is much more conservative than I am. I’m braver with my wardrobe the older I get. I just turned 50!
Well you don’t look it.
Thank you!

An English Country Gent


On a crisp fall day we took a (car) ride out to Greenspring Valley. Horses (even sheep) in pastures dotted the lush landscape. We parked in Stevenson Village hoping to spot a sartorial gentlemen farmer or two. Instead, we encountered a true English version of the Baltimore Huntsman. Michael Finney, and his shop Yoicks, brought to mind those mythic days when men never left the house to work or hunt without a hat or a tweed sports coat on. 

Michael Finney

How would you describe your style?

Eclectic Anglo-American.

Can you be more specific?

I  sell and wear literally clothes my father bought in 1965 and my grandfather bought in 1935. Traditional sporting art clothes of the 19th and 20th centuries. Men’s and women’s country clothing. No pleats. Three-button jackets. Lots of tweed.

What did your father and grandfather do for a living?

They were thoroughbred auctioneers.

Do you ride horses in similar style?

I whipper-in for the Elkridge-Harford Hunt.

Excuse me?

A “whipper-in” assists the huntsmen in hunting with the hounds.

And the name Yoicks?

A huntsmen exclaims ” Yoicks!” when the hounds find a scent of a fox.

And all the while these huntsmen are looking as dapper as you do right now?

They did in my grandfather’s and father’s day, and I think many of our local huntsmen look great today, too.

Hidden Finds in Hampden


We spotted super-cool Sue through the trees on a sidewalk in Hampden one cold October afternoon. Her orange boots jumped out at us. She giggled when we asked if we could take her picture. When I told her she had much style going on, she gave me the full details of her look without further prompting!

Hampden Sue

Your outfit is so colorful and confident.

Well the orange boots came from a yard sale. They were 50 cents. The jeans and pink sweater were from the St. David’s (in Roland Park) thrift sale — $5 for a bag of stuff. And the coat is from the Salvation Army. The purse I don’t remember. I just love leopard.

The coat looks real!

I know.

Do you work around here?

I volunteer and work for different organizations: Hampden Family, Highland Elementary School, Friends of Roland Park Water Tower, St. Mary’s outreach program and a few more…

You are a busy lady. Do you enjoy fashion?

Oh, I don’t like designer names even though I did own a great pair of Lily Pulitzer pants once. I loved them. Very colorful.

So your style is all about color?

Yes, but most of the time my look is very classic and tailored.

Scenes from Occupy Baltimore


We ventured downtown yesterday to ask Occupy Baltimore protestors how they’re faring three weeks in. At McKeldin Square, at Pratt and Light, we met plenty of nice, idealistic young people — camping temporarily on a concrete landscape dotted with colorful tents and food stations, the scene decked with makeshift signs. A band was setting up, too. It’s creative democracy at work.


Why have you come to Occupy Baltimore?

For our generation. For those of us who have graduated from college and can’t find a job. We can’t pay our student loans back. We live with our parents. My mom is living paycheck to paycheck. We just need a voice.

 Do you have a job?

I have been cut back to two days a week at an organic grocery store. So yes, sorta.

Do you sleep here? Is it safe at night?

You should come back tonight! That’s when all the people who make an honest living during the day show up. The teachers, coaches, bus drivers, taxi owners etc. who all work but can’t pay their bills. And it is safe. We have a buddy system.


Where do you work?

I write copy for websites.

What brings you to Occupy Baltimore?

A girl named Ashley and social injustice.

Are you accomplishing anything?

Well, this protest has brought people together who would otherwise be isolated. Together they are creating concrete forms of social change.

Such as?

The production and distribution of food. Food is being donated. People are learning how to cook here and feed people in an effective way. Basic needs are being met. Society induces people to compete and not cooperate with each other. We are trying to change that here. 

So it’s not all about finding jobs or making money but working together to make a difference in society?  Not the high unemployment rate or the imbalance of salaries in this country?

Wall Street is out of control. They are “gaming the system” of money and law to get more for themselves and corporations as opposed to using the system to benefit the needs of others and their community.

Will you go to New York?

Maybe on my way home to Massachusetts for Thanksgiving. I’d like to see it. But I really like it here in Baltimore.

In in email to BFB editors this morning, here’s what our talented photographer, Lee Kriel, had to add about Occupy Baltimore: “The people we met were inspiring and bright.  Elise was adorable and articulate.  Vulnerable and kind.  I worry about her.  She lives with her mom and her grandfather.  Her mom works full time for a company she has worked for for 20 years but she is in debt.  Her mother also cares for Elise’s grandfather.  Stuck in the middle.

And Leo…such a bright young man.  Beautiful words flowed from his mouth.  Seriously. (He asked if the Fishbowl was hiring!)   I smiled at the end when we told Leo we were there for the SartorialBaltimorial.  He quickly took a look down at what he was wearing and smiled and said, “Really?” He had a great story about his coat.  A teacher who comes in the evening, offered to take all of Leo’s clothes home to wash and dry after the rain.  But Leo declined because he thought it was too much of an imposition.  So the teacher gave him the coat off his back.”



A Casual Look Among the Suits


Erin’s pretty, casual style stands out among the sea of downtown urbanites and shoppers in Harbor East, where she works as the manager of South Moon Under. But it was her tan that we noticed first. It’s her best accessory!


Erin Alessi, 29 



Are you always this tan?  

Just in the summer.  I’m still holding on to my summer tan.

How would you say you dress? Like all the professional women who work around here?

No. I go from edgy to rocker bohemian!

So you dress this way to scare off all the suits?

No, just the opposite. We offer the young downtown professional woman a wardrobe that is casual-but-chic and a little funky. We sell her her weekend look, her I’m-not-too-serious look, her my-boyfriend-loves-me or her little sexy look!

And your boyfriend. Does he like how you dress?

Oh, he doesn’t care what I wear. 

Spoken like a true fashionista.

A Glamourous Greeting


Mary Stone Eddins

Tark’s Restaurant, Green Spring Station.

You look like a model. Have you ever been photographed?

My father is the photo-editor of The Washington Times. He has used me in stories before. 

I love your long dress. Do you prefer long over short dresses this summer?

It depends on my mood. My sister often dresses me. She used to work for Marchesa in New York so I trust her.

What are you doing here in the restaurant?

I’m a hostess!

How would you describe your hostess style?

Very feminine. I wear dresses every day.

What’s the best part of your job? The worst?

I’m on my feet for five hours every night so that can really hurt your back after a while. The best part is interacting with the customers.  We get all kinds of fun people in here!


Owning Her Look in Colored Sleeves


Looking for people with a look, we headed to one of my favorite hair salons in Baltimore, balance the salon. Balance is located on Cold Spring Lane in Roland Park and I think it is a prerequisite that you must have a tattoo to work there.  

What do you do for a living?

I’m the front desk coordinator at balance salon (on Coldspring Lane in Roland Park). The receptionist!

How would you describe the way you dress?

Eclectic. I love vintage. I love Urban Outfitters. I love color.

So lets talk about that tattoo!

You mean my sleeve?

Sleeve. Of course. The colors are amazing!

It took six months to complete. I got it in Frederick, Maryland.


What do you see in your future?

I’ve worked in salons since I was 16 and I cut hair for two and a half years, but I have a business degree so who knows!