I Love Your Style, Anchorage

Did you know that Anchorage was recently voted the worst dressed city IN THE COUNTRY?

Sure, we tend to rock our carharts and xtra tuffs, and yes, my husband bemoans the amount of down filled jackets/vests/pullovers I have in my closet  (I wonder if he knows that certain family members of mine occasionally wear down long underwear and booties?) but we also have access to any number of classic/trendy options at our local boutiques, consignment shops, the Anchorage Nordies, and a new-fangled thing called online shopping if we’re so inclined.

So what if we like to mix it up with athletic gear, local designers, or our latest find from Target? Isn’t that what style is all about?  Taking the clothes that work for your life, mixing them up in ways that make you feel comfortable, happy, and able to take on whatever comes your way? Whether that whatever is a moose, a mountain, or a meeting, we’re focused on doing, not dressing.

Worst dressed?  Debatable.

Wearing our clothes instead of being worn by them?  Yes.

Overflowing with guys and gals who spend all day sweating in their softball jerseys / fish in chest waders / don spandex for a multi-mile bike adventure / insert out-doorsey-pastime-here and yet clean up very nicely to catch a show at the PAC or live music at Taproot? Absolutely yes.

I’ve read a handful of articles, blogs, and Facebook posts about our red lantern style.  I think my favorite one so far is by Andrew Halco (the only thing sharper than Halcro’s style is his wit); although we have a different perspective, I especially enjoyed his and Julia O’Malley’s thoughts about politician’s style choices while campaigning (so true! And, in my book, inauthentic dressing DOES qualify for worst dressed).

We are a fiercely independent, original bunch. Quirky, cool, confident, trendy, colorful, only-wearing-black-ever, spandex sporting, hand knit headband donning, Dansko loving Banana sales browsing, baseball caps and fleece vests rocking, fabulous diamonds dahhhling, second-hand shopping, don’t give two sh*ts about what I’m wearing; I’m glad that we’re not all contenders for Travel and Leisure’s best dressed list. Maybe we’re the Helena Bonham Carter of cities instead of a classic little black dress.  We’re a mixed bag baby, and it’s great.

I love your style, Anchorage.

Author: Gretchen Fauske

I love Anchorage. I love what it is, what it's been, and what I dream it will be. I share my adventures with DJ (my husband), my fabulous family and friends, two frenchies named Grover and Teddy, and now, all of you. If you love Anchorage too, get in touch - guest posts are welcome!

3 thoughts on “I Love Your Style, Anchorage”

  1. Form follows function in Ancorage. When I was a kid a trip to the symphony would reveal “Alaskan Tuxedos” (Filson crusers and pants in grey or green whipchord cloth) and traditional tuxedos paired with fancy dresses and diamonds. Lots of big nuggets on some of those old timers too. Many of the Filson set were as sophisticated in their listening as the fancy folks. That mix is still commen in Fairbanks where what you do is still more important than how you look. Perhaps we should be good sports and give our new standing to our Northern neighbors.

  2. When I first arrived in Anchorage 40 years ago, a city girl from the Mid-West (Chicago/Cleveland/etc), I was impressed by the “dress code” here. It’s not so much a style as it is an attitude. It’s not about what you wear, but who you are and what you do.

    It was refreshing that no one cared what you were wearing- bunny boots, fur parkas, down, blue jeans, work boots, a suit, wool caps or cut-offs, so long as you were warm and comfortable enough to get your job done. It didn’t matter if you were a student or a teacher, banker, wait staff, attorney, construction worker, health care professional, flipped burgers, a salesperson or worked in an office. No one was judged by their attire. In fact, what they were wearing usually clued you in as to who they were and what they did. It was common to see a guy in a 3 piece suit having lunch with a friend in Carharts and a hardhat. It’s just who we are.

    Alaskans are an active group. We hunt, boat, ski, bike, fish, run, skate, hike, camp, build, climb, swim and play lots of sports. And hey, with the likes of REI, Lands End, Skinny Raven, the Gap, Nordstrom and many more, Alaskans can be warm, and stylin’, in any profession, sport or recreational activity- regardless of the season. Because Alaskans don’t just endure the weather… we embrace it!

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