“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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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