Lizzie Garrett Mettler saddles up for a ride around her home base of L.A.

“My style is somewhere between East Coast, Mid-West and California – with preppy roots.” Lizzie Garrett Mettler’s sartorial sensibility may go broad, but it’s always grounded in the classics. Her blog and book Tomboy Style is a spirited take on women dressing for everyday adventure – from roughing it on a camping trip to biking around the neighborhood. A post on buffalo plaid features a vintage shot of a flaxen-haired fly fisherwoman sporting thigh high waders, while a Q&A profiles a Montana ski patroller and bee keeper who is equal parts “grace and grit.” Let’s hear it for the Tomboy.

You feature a lot of classic pieces on both ends of the spectrum – from Barbour raincoats to Vans sneakers. What makes something a classic?
It sounds cliché but I want something that’s stood the test of time. There’s so much out there. You can go to H&M or Zara and find everything of-the-moment but it’s a horrible investment. You might not want that piece in a year. You’ll have a well-made white button-down forever.

A Barbour jacket and Vans sneakers seem like an unlikely pair (English outerwear meets American skateboarding?) but work together when worn-in to perfection.

What about updated pieces that refresh an old favorite?
I tend to be a purist. I like the thing as it always was. Materials are also really important to me, so I’m a big fan of historic companies like Woolrich. I want that touchstone to the past. Recently, L.L. Bean Signature came out with a Zipper Duffle similar to the company’s 1934 original, but the colors are different. Things change so quickly now, and there’s so much new stuff that it’s comforting to have something stay the same. Usually L.L. Bean is good at maintaining the original design of its products, but that suitcase was a fail.

The original L.L. Bean Zipper Duffle.

Do you ever want to have an item remade because you wore it to death or you can’t find it anywhere?
I have a pair of jeans I’ve been fixing for two years. They’re just a patchwork of thread. I’m not that crafty!I’d love to find a good painter’s coat that’s cut for a woman. Those coats are kind of like a field jacket with lots of pockets (originally for paintbrushes) and in white. You can order XS but then the shoulders are too boxy and the waist is too narrow.

A fisherwoman shows how to live on the fly (above); Audrey Hepburn serves up inspiration for the modern ping pong get-up (top).

Your posts often include a bit of history on a piece of clothing or material, like the Henley shirt and camouflage patterns.
I majored in history and so I’ll often wonder about the backstory of something – even if it’s simple like a t-shirt. Looking back, you can see the connection of clothing and identity, like which country a person was from. A tartan signals the family of the wearer, for example. You have to dig for the information but I enjoy it.

Our Gene Wiseman knife, sans chain.

Do you have a favorite everyday tool?
My pocketknife from KM! It’s on a chain and so small – a good size for women. This one is sharp and perfect for cutting boxes, flowers, rope… I need a knife that can fit in the front pocket of skinny jeans.


Lizzie shared her top picks for the holidays from Kaufmann Mercantile and Westerlind:

Tomboy Style wishlist.

1. Wood & Leather Camp Stool 2. Tomboy Style 3. Kletterwerks Essential Handpack 4. Faribault Buffalo Check Blanket 5. Canvas Carryall 6. Ronsir Tortoise Frame Sunglasses 7. EDC Brass Key Ring; Caran d’Ache Red Metal Pen; Makr Sketchbook 8. Bush Smarts Hiking Socks 9. Gransfors Bruk Tan Hand Hatchet 10. Elkskin Suede Gloves 11. Armor Lux Natural Wool Slipper 12. Westerlind Black Felt Hat 13. Jungmaven Scout Red Mountain Henley

Images courtesy of Tomboy Style, except for The Wishlist.

What are your favorite finds – for the holidays and into the New Year?

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  1. Other KM
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    I am SUPER thrilled I learned about your blog through KM! Completely made my week and right along with my taste. Quality, not quantity indeed and this blog is an example.

  2. Shirley Runge
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    Light up my day with rugged charm! Love the look – it is so me, too! The slippers are great – they go with the socks I knit (for cancer patients, babies, family, and me). Just wrap me in your tough sophistication – a pedigree of its own.

  3. J D Peix
    Posted December 13, 2013 at 3:55 AM | Permalink

    The camp stool would be great for walking on the beach.

  4. Christina G
    Posted December 13, 2013 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    This is a great lict—my favorite are the socks (pictured as #8 in the contest photo).

  5. Posted December 13, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    Agreed! Motivation enough to plow through these chillier months.

  6. Posted December 13, 2013 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    Yes! All the items you see in Lizzie’s wishlist (above) will be sent to one lucky winner as part of our Tomboy Style giveaway. You can sign up here: Good luck!

  7. Jody
    Posted December 13, 2013 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    Can we enter more than once? I want to win SO BAD. I love every single item in this give-away.

  8. sarah elenes
    Posted December 14, 2013 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    I am really excited about everything!

  9. Jill
    Posted December 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    What a cool lady, this is a really nice post

  10. Kate
    Posted December 16, 2013 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    Best giveaway ever.

  11. Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    You can enter as much as you like, although we only choose from a pool of unique entries (i.e.: one email each).
    Good luck!

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