Fashion advice: Three boots to buy this year, how to avoid hat hair, this season's must-have skirt

In this regular feature, Chatelaine's beauty and fashion editor, Catherine Franklin, finds solutions to all your style questions

boots, hat, fashion, style

Alvaro Goveia

Dear Catherine, I have a boot-shopping expedition in my near future and I’m wondering what three styles (casual, dressy, practical) you think I should go for this year?

A: There are so many amazing boots in the stores right now that are both practical and stylish. If you’re building a shoe and boot wardrobe, I suggest that you start with a classic riding boot with a relatively flat heel. This is definitely the most versatile boot and you can wear this style with everything: tuck in your jeans and leggings or wear them with skirts of all lengths. The next style I would recommend would be an ankle boot with a high heel or wedge. This silhouette is great for dressier occasions, I especially like them this season in suede – just remember to treat them with a protective spray and they will last for years. Third is the wellington. They have been around for a number of years now and besides the traditional rubber boot they are now available in every colour imaginable and are anything but boring.

Dear Catherine, I love wearing hats, particularly in the fall and winter, but what I don’t like is hat hair.  As soon as I come inside and remove my hat, my hair goes flat. And if I’m wearing my hair down, the hat creates an indent in the middle of my medium length hair. Are there any hairstyles or products you recommend to prevent hat hair?

A: Back in the day, women who wore hats left them on. In other words if you like the look of a stylish chapeau you might want to commit to the whole experience. But that’s not always practical. Whatever you do, don’t weigh your hair down with extra styling products – gels and thick creams will only make things worse. That said once you remove your hat turn your head upside down and give it a good brush or give your hair a lift with a light misting of hair spray at the roots to revive its shape. 

Dear Catherine, Hemlines seem to always be changing. What type of skirt is in this season?

A: This fall, designers have revived the classic pencil skirt. It’s a basic shape that is slimming, sexy and serious. (Influenced by Mad Men, perhaps?) The hem should touch the knee and I love the high waist silhouettes. Pair the pencil skirt with a feminine blouse for a great career look.

Dear Catherine, I’m going back to work in an office after being away for quite a while and would like some guidance regarding my wardrobe. For instance, what style of pant goes best with ballet flats, and what jacket is best paired with wide leg pants? Also, I’m 5’4″ and wear size 12 pants and size 14 tops.

A. As a petite woman, you need to make sure to keep the proportions of your clothing in scale with your build. When it comes to jackets, if your pant or skirt has volume then your jacket should be tailored and fitted, probably best if it is a cropped length. Oversize jackets, knits and tops will suit you best if paired with a slimmer pant or a pencil skirt. Ballet flats will look best with a slim pant for your height, but if you want to wear a wider more voluminous style of trouser you would benefit from a leg-lengthening pair of heels. Right now the wedge heel is popular and has the added advantage of being comfortable – but you’ll never go wrong with a pair of classic pumps in an office environment.

If you have a style question for Catherine Franklin, please leave a comment below or send an email to: