Minnesota style with confidence and a little dog hair

Kylie Bartz wants to be seen as the person in the room who people can walk up to and talk to.

Kylie Bartz on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Rochester. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
Traci Westcott
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Home has long been where the hearth is and often where the heart is. For Rochester Diversity Council education and communication specialist Kylie Bartz, that is Minnesota and now Rochester since moving here a little more than a year ago.

Bartz grew up in Stearns County, attended St. Cloud State University and then graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, focusing on a career in human services. But after working in Cincinnati briefly, she was homeward bound to Minnesota with a Rochester ZIP code.

In addition to the Diversity Council, Bartz is enrolled at St. Mary’s Winona pursuing a master's degree in public administration with a focus on non-profits.

Beyond work and school, Bartz enjoys volunteering, exploring restaurants and the walking paths and trails here.

“When I send pictures of Rochester to friends in other states,” she said, “they think the city looks so beautiful.”


Please describe your style.

Preppy with a little bit of dog hair included. But the main part is comfort. I have a Chihuahua-dachshund mix. His name is Otis and he is 6.

Kylie Bartz on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Rochester. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

And would you give us a little background?

Growing up, I was more of a tomboy. I preferred to just wear jeans. My mom always wanted to take me dress shopping. But at the end of high school, I started telling myself it would be fun to wear really bright colors and dress up a little bit more. Once I entered college, a lot of what I wore was shaped by my program. The expectation was you dressed business casual. For me, that sounded like so much fun. You can wear heels. You can wear skirts. It became taking your confidence and putting it out there.

Anything more?

My hair and makeup are a big part of my style too. I have chronic leg pain. A nurse suggested I start doing makeup as a way to start my morning and not experience the pain I typically wake up with. For me, one of the biggest factors is self-care. It gives you a sense of control.


What do you wear to work and elsewhere here?

Unless you see me wearing sweat pants for camping reasons, you will see me in the same things I wear to work. I’m pretty much the same person across the board. I wear a lot of leggings. For in-person work meetings or presentations, I can be seen in some color and/or neutrals. For formal events, weddings or a formal family dinner, typically I also will be less bright with makeup and more neutrals. I love purple and blue lipstick, but those colors are not right for every event.

Kylie Bartz on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Rochester. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

What do you hope your style communicates?

That people see me as approachable. I want to be seen as a person in the room who people can walk up to and talk to.

What should every well-dressed woman have in her wardrobe?

It’s really important to have a comfortable cardigan. Whether you’re a man or a woman, having at least one stylish cardigan is the way to go. I have about six, ranging from black to orange to purple. I think they’re fun and a good way to dress up or down depending on your event. And they’re very comfortable all of the time. A second thing is lipstick. And this also applies to all, not just women, as we see a shift in understanding gender. It’s really important to have a lipstick that is bold and I don’t just mean red. I think it’s really cool if people feel comfortable enough to express themselves wearing those blues and purples because, at end of day, it’s important to capture your creativity and confidence.


Favorite accessories?

I don’t wear it all the time or inside, but typically in a car or on a walk, it’s a Rockville Gas & Bait hat. The gas station does not exist any more. It was my uncle’s and he passed away on my birthday in 2014. We were very close and the career path I’m on is inspired by him.

Preferred shopping in Rochester?

I have not shopped a lot here but I have bought earrings from Artria Jewelry. I like wearing earrings and I like supporting local artists. I’m not huge into necklaces or bracelets. I think they’re beautiful, but I just wear a hair tie on my wrist. When I was working with less fortunate clients, individuals who were homeless, I never wanted to portray myself as being able to buy expensive things.

Anything especially “Minnesota” about your style?

I asked my friends in Cincinnati and Kentucky to help me out here. And I guess I own a lot of the plaid pattern you see so often. I also apparently own clothing that says where I’ve been in Minnesota -- Moose Lake, Duluth, Birch Bay Resort.

Parting thoughts?

What really matters is that you wear something that shows the world who you are -- and that you have a kind heart.

Do you know someone who has unique style? Send nominations to with "Your Style" in the subject line.

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