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How to Style Your Boots: A Q&A with L2Style

9-minute read

Tall leather boots that fit narrow calves, wide calves, or something in between. As a fashion-tech startup, we love to multi-task. And so we landed on our feet when we booked stylist Lazina McKenzie of L2 Style, a style consultancy based in Edmonton, for our F/W '13 Lookbook shoot. In addition to pulling clothes and dressing models, she also agreed to be one of our models. That's beauty and brains, people! With that, you have to believe that each look was picked with precision, vision, and damn good taste. Lazina has been running L2 Style since spring 2011, and today, is sought after by corporations, individuals and media outlets across the city for her expert opinion on the topics of image, style, and personal branding. Whether she's offering tips on the morning news, preparing a client for a big job interview, speaking at events, or collaborating on photo shoots, she believes that strong personal branding and presentation can be two of your greatest assets. Pictured above, Lazina pairs Poppy Barley's Classic Riding Boot in Essential Black with a fur-trimmed Smythe coat from Coup Garment Boutique, a printed sweater and knit hat from Simons, her own jeans, sunnies, and a treasured briefcase she bought in Amsterdam. Below, she explains what to wear with boots and breaks down all the outfits from Pt. I of our three-part lookbook, called "An Autumn Afternoon". Tall leather boots that fit narrow calves, wide calves, or something in between.
L2 Style dresses Jenn (our other gorgeous model) in a soft white sweater and wool infinity scarf from Simons with black leather pants and an Angeliqué Chmielewski Raglan coat from Coup Garment Boutique. Jenn is wearing Poppy Barley's Savannah Hill Boot in Essential Black and Kaki.

What’s one must-have item you should invest in as the months get colder?

A stylish and warm winter coat. I love the red, oversized-yet-structured ¾ length coat by Angeliqué Chmielewski (a NYC-based designer originally from Edmonton). This coat is for the bold fashionista who is happy to stand out from the sea of black we typically see during cold winter months. Although the slightly boxy shape is right on-trend, I know that many people aren’t sure how to wear it. I’d suggest keeping the rest of your look fairly fitted so as to keep the attention on the coat. A skinny-leg pant or jean will help keep you from looking overwhelmed by oversized garments. I’d also suggest adding a scarf (yes, you should add another pop of colour—why not!?) and your favourite pair of PB boots to complete this look.

What kind of boot topline would complement my height the most?

The “V” on The Savannah Hill Boot is going to help to create a more proportional look if you’re on the shorter side. Since the bottom of the V is well below the knee cap, this will create the illusion of a longer leg line. But honestly, ladies, we’re talking custom-made boots here! You don’t have to settle for boots that are too high or too short for you—design them just the way you want to. Tall leather boots that fit narrow calves, wide calves, or something in between. Tall leather boots that fit narrow calves, wide calves, or something in between.
L2 Style pairs black leather pants from Coup Garment Boutique with a grey peplum jacket and a fuchsia silk blouse from Simons. Jenn is wearing The Uptown Boot in Essential Black and Royal Purple Nubuck

What body type is flattered by shorter, form-fitting jackets?

A fall jacket that ends right at the hip with a narrowing at the waist, like the peplum-style one pictured above, is going to do wonders in accentuating a small waistline, in addition to making your legs look longer (yes, short ladies, I’m talking to you). This is also a great shape for a woman with wider hips, as it will truly draw attention to her waist and, in fact, away from her hips. I know that might sound counterintuitive, but it’s true—especially when paired with a straight-leg pant or straight skirt (not a pencil skirt). If a long coat has less shape to it, it’s best left for a tall, lean lady.

If I choose to accent my Poppy Barley boots (The Uptown or The Downtown) with Royal Purple Nubuck, how should I think about styling them? Does the suede-like material now make this style a dressier boot by default?

For the shoot, we paired these boots with fairly dark, neutral colours (black and grey) so that the Royal Purple Nubuck can really stand out. Having said that, there are some interesting details in this outfit that really help to elevate it—such as leather pants and the pleated peplum on the back of the jacket. Though we’re showing a dressier look, go ahead and dress these boots down with a great pair of dark-wash jeans and a casual, cozy sweater. Don’t forget to add a cable knit scarf. Tall leather boots that fit narrow calves, wide calves, or something in between.
L2 Style pairs black leather pants from Coup Garment Boutique with a soft white sweater, colourful scarf, and colour blocked bag from Simons. Jenn is also wearing Poppy Barley's Everyday City Boot in Kaki and the stylist's miltary-esque Smythe jacket.

Leather pants. Can I do leather pants on leather boots and can I pull this off at the office?

Yes, of course you can pull off leather pants with leather boots. Just make sure you rock it with confidence. Should you wear this to the office? It really depends on what kind of office you work in. If your dress code is more flexible and allows you to be more creative in the office, go for it. If not, save this leather-on-leather look for an evening out. Either way, you’re going to look fabulous!

Is it okay to mix brown and black?

Ladies, think outside the box when it comes to brown and black--they are not exclusive, you don't have to choose one or the other. Mix and match, as we've done above with the outfit above, featuring The Everyday City Boot in Kaki, as well as the colour blocked Savannah Hill Boot. These neutrals are versatile and can be worn with many different colours.

Tall leather boots that fit narrow calves, wide calves, or something in between.

Lazina pairs an emerald tweed circle skirt, a quilted leather jacket, a graphic cardigan, a polka-dot blouse and accessories from Simons with Poppy Barley's Savannah Hill Boot in Chocolate Brown and Toffee

Tall boots and skirts: how much space should there be between the two?

It really depends on where you’re going. If you’re wondering what to wear with boots on your way to work, I’d opt for a more conservative skirt length—aim for just above the knee. If you’re wondering what to wear with boots when you're going out on the town, I'd opt for a short skirt or shorts (with tights in winter). Your PB boots will work well with each of these looks.

Speaking of skirts… you tucked a cardigan into a high-waisted skirt (pictured above)! How do I make this work?

This works because the cardigan is a thin weave and is paired with a tailored leather coat. This is not for everyone. If you have a large chest, tucking in a cardigan into a high-waisted skirt is going to bring all the focus to your chest. To avoid this, pair the skirt with a cropped cardigan so you don’t have to tuck it in. Remember, you want to make clothes work for you, you don’t have to work for the clothes.

You mixed a printed blouse and a printed cardigan in these photos. What’s your take on mixing prints/textures?

I think you can—and should—mix many different prints and textures together. It’s about creating balance and not overdoing it. Also, it’s about you. Style is personal. Pick prints and textures that fit with your style and work for your body shape. You’ll see that I mixed a printed blouse and printed cardigan together, and it worked well. I also mixed leather (jacket and boots) and tweed together. It might sound like a lot, but when you put it all together, the overall look is balanced.

And finally, after wearing our F/W '13 boots and flats all day long: which styles are your favourite?

*Photography by Carmyn Joy

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