“I would describe fashion in Anchorage as casual, chic and sensible! The climate and environment effects what ‘style’ is in Anchorage. In many other cities, it’s easier to wear fashionable clothing whatever the time of year. In fact, most people wear North Face or Patagonia down jackets because it’s trendy, not because the 40-degree winter weather calls for it. In Anchorage, you wear down jackets because you’ll freeze if you don’t. You wear knee high boots with jeans or a nice skirt because your legs might fall off otherwise.
“As an Alaskan girl I have the urge to wear UGG boots and a North Face vest 300 days out of the year (and I’m sure most have been in my shoes at some point); the other 65 days are dedicated to Extra tuffs and flannel button ups. Not to say this look isn’t adorable or extremely comfortable, it just doesn’t fit the part for every occasion. There are a few simple and basic things you can do to add style and class to your everyday wardrobe: when you add the wool mittens with the exposable finger tips and the headband, you have the look to kill and it’s simple to leave the house feeling and looking on point.
Interested in sharing why you live in Anchorage, and what would make you leave? Hop online and take the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation’s Live.Work.Play. survey to help shape the future of Anchorage; you’d better hurry though; it closes Monday, August 31!
Here’s why I choose Anchorage for living, working, and playing:
I grew up here and my roots are deep. When I left for college I didn’t expect to move back, but after graduation and a couple of years on the east coast, I felt the pull to return. Not only is my family here, I love the larger community – it’s easy to make a difference and there are so many incredible, creative, passionate, FUN people to meet. As a city, there’s plenty of room for growth and although sometimes I wish we were farther along, most of the time I’m happy and excited to be part of determining our future. We’re in the enviable position of learning from other cities around the world and applying that knowledge to Anchorage in a way that works just for us…our future is incredibly bright.
“Fashion, to me, is like the waxing and waning of a fickle moon. I don’t pay much attention to it until full moon craziness ensues. Fake-n-bake skin, those shoes with the fishbowls in the heels and excessively bedazzled jeans are just a few examples. Now style – that’s something completely different. Style is innate and individual and unique. What looks great on one person will look dismal on another. And style changes to reflect many things; moods, circumstances, location and age.
“We live in a come as you are world. This is even more true in Anchorage. The city and its inhabitants are often underestimated. Partly because of the misconceptions that people have when they hear the word style. The worst misconception is that style, in some way, equals vanity.
“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.
I wrote this three years ago about style in Anchorage, and still believe it today:
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.
“It’s a misconception that Alaskans are not fashionable. Given our ability to connect with global fashion today, it’s easier than ever to see what the latest styles and hottest trends are. The issue in Alaska is figuring out how to express our sense of style given our challenging weather conditions.” – Dawn
Tucked away behind Orso and Glacier Brewhouse is a shoe shopping nirvana by the name of ShuzyQ. Despite loving ShuzyQ since its arrival in Anchorage more than five years ago (how could you not love someplace that describes itself as “…a love letter to the practical Alaskan woman and the princess inside of her.”) I’ve never really thought about where all the lovely shoes come from (too busy thinking about how they all need to come home with me and live in my closet!) until last week when I chatted with Shawna, who co-owns the store with her mother, Dawn, about their recent buying adventure to Atlanta.
I’m at the phase in my life where there are A LOT of little people running around and on the way. And some of them have super style! Read on Eloise’s take on how to dress when you’re an AK baby:
Hi. My name is Eloise. I’m a crazy, fun-loving Alaskan girl. I will be 2 in November (you can send birthday presents to me now if you would like though), and I LOOOOVE everything about my Alaskan fashion.