“Style File” column for March 26, 2013

Maria McNeely, seen at the Baton Rouge Symphony League luncheon
Maria McNeely, seen at the Baton Rouge Symphony League luncheon

NAME: Maria McNeely

AGE: 49

OCCUPATION: “Well, I’m an RN but at the moment I run my own physicians’ office assessment company.”

Tell us about what you’re wearing. “It’s my Ivan Grundahl dress; it’s a greenish-gray color, Bohemian style, off one shoulder. I’ve paired it with a gray and brown leather chain belt that hangs low on the waist and my Viva red paisley boots. ... My jewelry is Stella & Dot; I wore costume jewelry since it was a daytime event.”

What’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever gotten? “I tell my daughter and friends all the time, don’t pick an outfit based on trends. Have classic pieces you add a trendy item to. Accessorizing is key.”

What’s your favorite trend right now? “I like the fact that, this winter, we went back to wearing riding-style gear … the riding pants with a white shirt and tailored jacket. Not only is it comfortable, but it transitions from day to afternoon to dinner and you’re still OK. I like that they’re bringing corals and salmon colors back for spring, along with greens and bright blues.”

Finish these sentences. I splurge on ... “My husband, everyone who knows me, really, would say I’m a shoe horse. When we moved here I got rid of 50 pairs, but I probably still have 100 to 150 pairs of shoes. I want a shoe for every outfit. They’re my accent.”

I skimp on ... “Formal dresses, only because I’m the same size I was 15-17 years ago. I’ve got quite a few and I can recycle them. If you change something that goes with it — shoes or jewelry or a wrap — most people don’t notice you’re wearing the same dress. I buy high-end but I recycle.”

Name a celebrity whose closet you’d like to raid. “There’s not one celebrity who really stands out in my mind who dresses wonderfully all the time. Their stylists dress them for the camera, not life.”

What’s the one beauty product you can’t live without? “My skin care regimen – Epionce. I was introduced to it by my plastic surgeon’s esthetician; I use the entire line.”

What was your worst fashion mistake? “I went through this phase from age 30 to 32 when I thought I was getting old, so I thought wearing micro-mini skirts would be wonderful. They weren’t!”

Your house is on fire and you can grab only one thing out of your closet; what would it be? “Everything Louis Vuitton.”

Pam Bordelon

Advocate staff writer