Monday, March 20, 2023

Kelly Latz

Latz walks one of fashion’s toughest runways on a daily basis: the high school hallway. The Cardinal Stritch marketing maven bucks the rules, though, and keeps her workwear fun and lighthearted. We stopped Latz to chat about everything from high heels to hemlines.

Why is dressing up important to you?
I guess I just feel better when I think I look good and I think that I’m stylish, especially the older I get—I have a daughter going to college. I just want to feel and look my best for my age.

Are there any things you had to pare down and not wear anymore?
There are times when I’ve probably worn things that I shouldn’t have. But if you’re happy and comfortable and you feel good about yourself, you should wear it. Style and fashion is personal, and you just do what makes you feel good, regardless of whether other people like it or not.

How do you juggle the rules of hemlines?
My boss always says I’m slightly inappropriate! [Laughs] But I always make sure that my shorts are longer than my finger tips.

I feel that it’s hard to dress up because you feel very stared-at in Toledo.
I wear heels to school everyday, so a lot of my friends make fun of me. I was out of the womb with heels! They laugh because they know I’m coming when they hear the clicks.

How would you describe your personal style?
Classic with a twist. As a former art teacher, I love to work with colors and textures. I like things that are different.

How did your style evolve?
I don’t know if I’ve always stood out but I’ve always dressed pretty artistically, taken a few more chances than most people. I kind of carved my own path. Even in high school. For my senior prom I wore a vintage dress from an antique store.

Who are your style inspirations?
Obviously the classic Audrey Hepburn. But I even like Betsey Johnson because she’s so creative and fearless. My middle daughter, she wants to be a fashion designer, and she is very chic and very outside-the-box. She always screens my outfits—“Yeah, that’s really good” or “No, that’s not so good.” [Laughs]

What are some style rules that you live by?
I always wear black in some way or form. I’m just comfortable with it and I think you can do a lot with it—you can always wear all black and wear all kinds of different accessories.

Any trends you’d like to see permanently buried?
Long ago I used to work in a retail store and we used to sell a lot of the Hammer pants. I don’t think I’d like to see that trend come back.

What are your favorite places to shop?
I like to shop at antique stores—there are really great ones in Waterville. My best find ever was in Elmore, Ohio. I walked into this shop and they said “We’re closing, you can take anything you want, free.” There was this double breasted jacket that has fur around the collar. Everytime I wear it I get all kinds of compliments, and it was literally free.

I also like to shop at different, smaller boutiques. If I do go retail, it’s TJ Maxx. I am a bargain shopper.

What do you think of Toledo’s style?
I think Toledo style is who we are. You see people dressed up and you see people dressed down. I think we’re a very genuine town and we’re down-to-earth people; we wear what we feel comfortable in.

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