Photographs by Eliesa Johnson; styled by Elizabeth Doyle
Betsey Kershaw and Paul Buttenhoff on campus at St. Catherine University
Betsey Kershaw and Paul Buttenhoff, on campus at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, where Buttenhoff is a professor. On Betsey: Hackwith Design House dress, The Hill-Side scarf, Red Wing boots from the new women’s collection, J.W. Hulme Co. bag. On Paul: Wallin blazer, Banana Republic vest, Gitman Bros. shirt, Steven Alan tie, Raleigh Denim Workshop jeans, Red Wing boots. Hair and makeup by Julie Lam/Wehmann Models & Talent, Inc.
It’s the season when Minnesota truly shines, and we can return to what comes most natural here in the North: sweaters, scarves, and boots. Meet four Twin Citians who don’t need a trend report to tell them what to wear this fall. Their fashion sense is intuitive. Figuring out their next outfit is never a dilemma. Buyer’s remorse is not in their vocabulary. We envy their confidence, their clear sense of self, the way their wardrobe serves as a natural extension of who they are and what they do. Meet our September stylemakers, and let their signature looks inspire you to make some of the season’s best pieces your own.
Betsey Kershaw's fall look
On Betsey: Gitman Sisters shirt, Raleigh Denim Workshop jeans, Crockett & Jones oxfords, Booth & Bruce glasses, Apple watch. Hair and makeup by Julie Wehmann Models & Talent, Inc.
Digital Marketing Strategist. St. Paul resident. Mom of two girls—a high school junior and a college freshman. Wife of a professor. Competitive squash player. 52.
Style: Menswear inspired with a feminine twist
Favorite stores: Blackblue, Idun, Hackwith Design House
Fall wish list: A Rachel Comey shirt dress
When St. Paul menswear store BlackBlue added a women’s section, Betsey Kershaw was the muse. She embodies the store’s quality-over-quantity philosophy. She appreciates craftsmanship, an authentic brand story, and fine details. “Early in my career as a young designer I learned not to compromise my personal style for a job,” she says. “I wore a bow tie to my very first interview at Children’s Television Network in New York City. I got the job, and the rest is a rich history of working with great brands on amazing projects.” That includes Red Wing Shoes, J.W. Hulme Co., and Shinola—heritage brands that fit in her wardrobe as well as her professional portfolio. Betsey could inspire the girliest of girls to become a tomboy—she makes jeans, button-ups, oxfords, and tweeds look so pretty. (Her ginger mane is the cherry on top.) Sure, she had her punk phase in college, but Betsey traces her love of menswear back to her father’s closet. “He had the most amazing wardrobe,” she says. “I’d walk in there as a kid and admire the wing tips, the button-downs, everything perfectly pressed.” If ever she’s tempted to step out of her style, her daughters are at the ready. “Every now and then, I’ll try something different and they’ll say, ‘No, that’s terrible!’ Having opinionated teens is definitely a good gut check,” she says. Of course, Betsey’s new Red Wing boots have already gone missing a time or two.
“I know exactly what fits my body. It’s always a shirt dress. Always a button-down. Always a pencil skirt. At my age, I’ve tested every silhouette, and eliminated the ones that don’t cut it.”
Get the Look:
Eye-Openers. A chic switch from your standard tortoise shell frames. Eyeglasses, ($425), by Robert Marc, from InVision Distinctive Eyewear, four locations including 867 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-291-0318, invision-optical.com
The Bag. Navy can be every bit as versatile as black. Convertible drawstring bucket bag ($895), from Shinola, 228 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-338-5493, shinola.com
Two-For-One. “Cati” layered look sweater ($350), by Veronica Beard, from Nordstrom, Mall of America, 952-883-2121, and Ridgedale Center, 651-900-6800, nordstrom.com
The Go-Everywhere Jacket. Hey, they’re showing puffers with ball gowns this season—you can wear this transitional piece over everything! Nylon parka ($528), by Engineered Garments, from BlackBlue, 614 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-260-5340, blkblu.com
The New Oxford. Navy patent oxford ($370), by AGL, also from Nordstrom
The Everyday Dress. Works with boots, or heels. Short-sleeve plaid dress ($264), by Engineered Garments, from BlackBlue
To get Betsey’s look, avoid trendy colors and wild patterns—invest in classics, and splurge on statement accessories. (She bought her favorite oxford shoes eight years ago!)
Kim Ferguson's fall look
On Kim: Donna Karan dress, Brian Atwood heels, Alexis Bittar ring, earrings from Boutique To You. Hair and makeup by Brynna Heiser.
Financial Executive. North Loop dweller. Native texan. Arts enthusiast. Frequent traveler. 39.
Style: Professional meets glam
Favorite stores: GH2, Nordstrom
Fall wish list: A new coat—sailor-style, or long trench
Every outfit is an opportunity,” says Kim Ferguson, an anomaly in the staid, suited- up world of investment banking, where she is now a vice president of fixed income trading at U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. Always interested in numbers, she grew up watching CNBC with her father, and then shopped away the weekends with her stylish aunt. “Fashion became a way to express myself without saying a word,” she says. So when she got to the trading floor, she looked for ways to dress professionally, yet show some personality. “I never want to look like I’m wearing the female version of a men’s suit.” Kim favors dresses over suits; straight skirts over A-line. “When I’m all sucked and tucked, it shows that I mean business,” she says. And whether casual or dressy, “there’s always going to be an element of glam—a sparkle here, metal there.” Kim’s advice: shop the holes in your closet, rather than the next occasion. “When I lost weight, I got into a bad habit of event shopping. Now, I’m back to building my closet. I’m going through and making sure I have a long-sleeve dress, a short-sleeve option—then you don’t have to worry about running out and making an impulse buy every time you get an invitation.” Shoes, however, are always the exception.
“Texture is really big for fall, but it isn’t really my thing, so I’ve been thinking about how I can add it with accessories: an animal-print shoe; a calf-hair bag. I like to add a little bit of edge.”
Get the Look
Get Laced. Lace shift dress in navy ($425), by Rebecca Taylor, from bluebird boutique, 3909 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-746-8675, bluebirdboutique.com
The Essential Fur Vest. Faux works too! Silver fox fur vest ($1,495), by Vince, also from bluebird boutique
Go Red. Laria pump in Bordeaux ($650), by Jimmy Choo, from Nordstrom, Mall of America, 952-883-2121, and Ridgedale Center, 651-900-6800, nordstrom.com
Stack ’Em Up. A chic way to pile on the shine. Stack of silver bangles ($78), by Kate Spade New York, also from Nordstrom
Something Shiny. Patent leather medium satchel ($995), by 3.1 Phillip Lim, from Pumpz, Galleria, 952-926-2252, pumpzco.com
Showstopper. It’s all about the sleeves this fall. Zipper sleeve top blouse ($1,920), by Lanvin, from Macy’s Oval Room, 700 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-375-2200, macys.com
A little charm. Adds whimsy to a serious satchel. Faux fur pom bag charm ($20), by Halogen, from Nordstrom
Try a choker. Black leather and jewel necklace ($135), by MaxMara Weekend, from Dugo, Galleria, 952-746-4440, dressupgoout.com
Kim is always willing to try a trend—especially at an H&M price point. But she never loses sight of what works best on her. “I love all the ways the shoulder is coming into play,” she says, letting that peek of skin be her statement, and keeping the rest simple with just a couple of bold accessories.
Paul Buttenhoff's fall look
On Paul: Pointer Brand jacket, Left Field shirt, Raleigh Denim Workshop pants, Red Wing boots, vintage bandana, Brady Bags messenger bag. Hair and makeup by Julie Lam/Wehmann Models & Talent, Inc.
Biology Professor. Boot fanatic. Instagram influencer. Yoga instructor. Foodie. Minneapolis resident. 47.
Style: Academic meets heritage work wear
Favorite stores: Blackblue, Heimie’s Haberdashery, Martinpatrick 3, Askov Finlayson, Wilson & Willy’s, Brightwater Clothing & Gear
Fall wish list: The quintessential cable knit sweater and lightweight wool slacks
Behind the extremely popular Instagram handle @bothrops1 (46,400 followers and counting) is a biology professor whose students at St. Catherine University want to know where they can get their boyfriends a pair of jeans that fit as well as his. (It’s all about the tailoring.) His handle hints at his inner geekiness: Bothrops is a genus of venomous snakes native to Central and South America. Paul was playing around with Instagram to keep up with the kids, and when 17 people liked a picture of his boots, “the vanity kicked in.” The more boots, blazers, and watches he posts (food is another favorite subject), the more Instagram seems to like it—to the point that brands are now offering him gear in exchange for a post. (“It’s got to be stuff I’d buy,” he says.) He’s become famous for neck-down shots of his daily outfits, generally a tailored jacket, raw denim, a good watch, and, of course, boots—he owns more than 50 pairs (and jokes he’s “seeking help” for the obsession). “On any given day, I wear a piece or two that would be recognized, and hopefully approved of by my grandfathers,” he says. “I’ve heard from folks that I dress like Mister Rogers, Indiana Jones, and Casey Jones. I take all of those as compliments!”
“I’m drawn to classic materials made well: wool from the UK, denim from North Carolina, chambray from Japan. I’m conscious to always remind myself that this is all a crazy luxury and that I’m fortunate to have some amazing gear.”
Get the Look
Thinking Man’s Scent. Bergamot, grape, and oakmoss—inspired by the novelist Oscar Wilde. Wilde Eau de Parfum ($95), by Jardins D’Écrivains, from MartinPatrick 3, 212 3rd Ave. N., Mpls., 612-746-5329, martinpatrick3.com
The Professor’s Pack. A refined backpack for work, made in St. Paul. “Editor” backpack ($745), from J.W. Hulme Co., 678 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 612-222-7359, jwhulmeco.com
New Neutral. Go for the unexpected. Floral camo button-down ($192), by Gitman Bros. Vintage, from BlackBlue, 614 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-260-5340, blkblu.com
Dark Denim. The only pair you’ll need. “Jones” raw denim ($285), by Raleigh Denim Workshop, also from BlackBlue
Re-Boot. A sleeker take on the work boot. Trench boot ($426), by Oak Street, from Wilson & Willy’s, 211 Washington Ave. N., 612-315-2280, wilsonandwillys.com
Chore Coat. Worthy of its name. Waxed chore coat ($279), also from Wilson & Willy’s
Local Pride. Inspired by the Minnesota United Football Club. Designed in St. Paul; manufactured by Ebbets Field Flannels. Hat ($59), by Talisman & Co., from talismancaps.com
It’s Time. Nautical Chronograph ($275), by Jack Mason, from MartinPatrick 3
Paul mixes high and low. He invests in jackets, and pairs with less expensive shirts. “There’s nothing wrong with a cool-looking $9 shirt from J.Crew Factory!"
Linda Kaysen's fall fashion
On Linda: Ann Taylor sweater jacket, Citizens of Humanity jeans, Madewell booties, necklace from her mother-in-law. Hair and makeup by Ingrid Kent/Wehmann Models & Talent, Inc.
Interior Designer. Wife of celebrated chef Gavin Kaysen, owner of Spoon and Stable. Mother of two boys, ages 7 and 4. Swedish. Lives in Edina. 35.
Style: Simple, classic, timeless
Favorite stores: J.Crew and Anthropologie
Fall wish list: Chloé saddle bag—“I finally feel like I’m at a stage where I don’t have to carry all my kids’ stuff around.”
Her husband knows food, but Linda Kaysen helps him visualize it: the plates, the tables, the surroundings. “I kind of translate his idea,” Linda says modestly. She met Gavin Kaysen in a French class in Switzerland. Together, they lived and cooked their way through Europe before moving to San Diego, where she attended design school, and settling in New York. Then came kids, and the couple decided to move back to Gavin’s native Minnesota. Three years in, the blonde Swede says it feels like home . . . although she still can’t bring herself to wear a “yoga outfit” to school drop-off—unless she’s actually going directly to yoga. “I like to be dressed and ready for the day.” She juggles mommy duties (Gavin is at the restaurant six nights a week) with her latest design project: working with Shea Design on the French bistro Gavin will open next year in Wayzata. And while most days call for jeans and flats, there are frequent invitations to dinners and galas, so she’s always got her eye out for the next great dress. “I always go for the classics,” she says.
“I always go for that clean, simple, Scandi-navian aesthetic. I get anxious if things are too overdone,” says Linda. That philosophy holds true for her interior design projects, and her wardrobe. She gravitates toward preppy pieces, but likes to bring in boho details.
Get the Look
Best Blazer. When you’ve got the J.Crew blazer in every color, this is a stylish switch. Burlap blazer ($595), by Smythe, from Equation, 5045 France Ave., Mpls., 952-567-7399, equationmn.com
The New Jeans. They’ll work with all your go-to shoes. High-rise cropped boot-cut jeans ($264), by AMO, from bluebird boutique, 3909 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-746-8675, bluebirdboutique.com
Essential Accessory. There’s a reason everybody has one—it’s an easy way to polish the most basic of outfits. Antler necklace, ($175), by Tess + Tricia, tessandtricia.com
Be Cozy. You can never have too many. Turtleneck sweater ($88), by John and Jenn, from Evereve, multiple locations including Ridgedale Center, 612-314-0722, evereve.com
Totes. Big enough for kid gear; cool enough to carry to work. Dark khaki green tote ($378), by Allsaints, from Nordstrom, Mall of America, 952-883-2121, and Ridgedale Center, 651-900-6800, nordstrom.com
Dress Up. The ultimate day-to-evening dress. Note the flattering below-the-knee hemline. Graphic silk dress ($495), by Tory Burch, from Nordstrom
Black + Gold. Always the right choice. Nautical button earrings ($70), by Freida Rothman, from Nordstrom
A closet of neutrals makes it easy to add in the pops of pattern, sparkle, and color that Linda uses to keep it fresh. But the best accessory? Her pup, Rudy.