Your Style: Catharine Richert

Catharine Richert

"Ten years ago, I was a reporter living in Washington, D.C. covering Congress," says Catharine Richert, of Rochester’s Minnesota Public Radio. "It was a glamorous and exciting time to live and work there. But the job could be boring and professionally unsatisfying — there was a lot of standing outside closed door meetings on Capitol Hill to ask questions that were rarely answered.

"So, in 2009, I followed my now husband to Rochester, where he had just started his residency at Mayo, and where I soon landed a job covering politics for Minnesota Public Radio.

"Fast forward a decade, and we have three kids, no pets and no plans to leave. Covering Rochester’s transformation has been the most challenging and interesting episode of my career. I can’t think of a better time to be a reporter in this city."

Please tell us about your style.

Preppy late 1950s meets my long-lost bohemian soul, the one that once wanted to follow the Grateful Dead when not surfing in Hawaii.


It represents a marriage of different periods of my life. When I was a teenager growing up in North Carolina, I made a lot of my clothes and shopped at thrift stores for late 1960s, early 1970s vintage wear. In buttoned-up Washington, I had to wear a suit most days for work. I fell in love with high-waisted A-line skirts, trim capri pants and pointy flats. In my 30s, I enjoy both these styles in equal measure.

How has your style changed?

I buy fewer items, but what I do buy is high quality. Also, I have many, many, many pairs of boots. Since moving here, I’ve come to appreciate down vests, Sorel snow boots and Swedish wooden clogs in a way that I never thought I would.

As the mother of three, including a new baby, your thoughts on maternity wear?

Maternity wear is awful, and maybe someone can make a lot of money solving this problem. So, throughout all three pregnancies, I didn’t spend much or think too much about maternity clothes. I bought a few items or borrowed clothes from friends and dressed them up with great shoes and accessories.

And on style for mothers of younger children generally?

There’s this enduring myth that mothers can’t or don’t deserve beautiful and sometimes impractical clothes. It’s like the less thought we put into our clothes, the harder we must be working at motherhood. To be sure, leggings and sweatshirts are practical choices for parenting! But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a colorful and varied wardrobe that highlights who we are as people, not just as mothers. And ditch the diaper bag for a sturdy Duluth Pack.

Your wardrobe essentials?


This is cliche, but they really are my little black dresses. I have one by French brand Cacharel that I’ve worn to work, to events and to funerals. It’s moved with me all over the country and still looks as good today as it did 12 years ago when I bought it. For work, it is my black ponte dress from Boden, which I also have in hunter green because the cut fits so well. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my denim jacket.

Do you have a priceless sentimental piece?

My engagement ring, which was worn by my paternal grandmother and then my mother.

Anything surprising about your wardrobe?

My fur coat! I’m not really a fur coat person, but I inherited it from my stepmother. I wear it once a year around the holidays — and love every second of it.

My husband doesn’t understand why I have more than one winter coat. The same rules I have about multiple pairs of boots apply to winter coats. For the record, I have three.

Parting thoughts?

Dress your age, but have fun doing it.


My husband doesn't understand why I have more than one winter coat. For the record, I have three.

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