Monday, March 14, 2011

OMG. OMG. OMG. Really?

As many of you know, I have just returned from a trip to Anchorage, Alaska. Well, technically I flew into Anchorage and then headed about 45 minutes north to a town called, Wasilla. You know--Wasilla...Sarah Palin's Wasilla (even though her show was called, "Sarah Palin's Alaska"--I hunted down a lot of the places she went in that show on my trip and it was mostly "Sarah Palin's Wasilla"--believe you me). Wasilla, Alaska. Otherwise known as "The Valley" or "The Matanuska Valley" or "The Home of Sarah Palin"--this is mostly because nobody knew it existed until the 2008 elections (with the exception of people in Palmer, Anchorage, and Fairbanks--and Willow and Talkeetna). However, as someone who attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I was familiar with the town of Wasilla and actually went to school with a fair number of "Valley Girls" (insert any jokes from the movie Clueless that you would like, but there is little to no similarity).

Let me start off this blog by poking fun at myself. When I was in college up at the University of Alaska Fairbanks I got quite tired of seeing everyone bundled up in "practical attire" for the weather. The plunging temps that could get as low as -70F+ were enough to make fashion a non-issue altogether. People would roll into class in bunny boots (no--not stylish FUR (of faux fur--xoxo PETA) bunny boots--the ugly white and black gigantic boots that the military jumps out of planes at -110F in--the ones that looked like you were trying to compensate for having bilateral clubbed feet; Carhartt overalls that were wool lined and mustard colored, flannel shirts, Grizzly Adams coon skin caps, and full beards--for the women, too (you may think I'm joking but I had chemistry with two bearded ladies and they were full on beards)). Coming from a small, mostly well-to-do town in Colorado I decided after "bundling" myself up for the first three months I attended UAF that there had a be a better, more fashionable way to go about all of this "arcticness". The go-to flannel shirt had been WAY overused in my opinion. Facial hair started taking over people's entire body (I thought many times I was enrolled in school with stunt doubles for "Teen Wolf"). Anyway, my friends and I decided that at one point we were going to overlook practicality and embrace winter fashion--to an extreme. A plethora of wool mini skirts, chic cardigans, wool tights, and platform lug-sole shoes were obtained to accomplish this feat (the lug sole was important so you didn't slip on the ice and snow and kill yourself--nobody looks good in a cervical neck collar--not even a bedazzled one). Anyway, so my girlfriends and I spent upwards of 5 years enjoying our feeble yet valiant attempt to bring fashion to freezing cold. As a matter of fact, not much has changed.

Upon my arrival to Alaska this trip I realized that I was the most disorganized and had done perhaps my poorest pack job ever with respect to clothing. Everything I went up to Alaska with was much more suited for spring days in San Diego at 70+F. I wasn't anticipating 30F and 115 mph winds--which was why I posted that I was pretty sure I was going to blow away and I needed my red, sparkly shoes on Facebook while screaming out for my Auntie Em as I was couped up in my cottage on the bluff in Wasilla. I ended up trekking to Sports Authority in Wasilla and scoring a super sweet sweater that was normally fairly expensive for next to nothing (end of season--it's 30F up there which means 50F is right around the corner and that means SPRING!... so who would need a sweater?). With two giant pink Diane Von Furstenberg suitcases full of beautiful clothing for this trip--I ended up wearing the same sweater EVERYDAY with a different undershirt/tank and pair of jeans/shoes/bling as my only change ups. Ahhhh...nice to be back in the fashion mecca of the world!!! I feel like I fit right in--only...that's a problem!! So, with spring warm up in Alaska, I actually walked into Fred Meyer (local grocery chain) to purchase "must needs" (Diet Coke, circus peanuts, Brach's candy (butterscotch and cinnamons...YUM-O)) and I see a gal shopping for mangos in a tank top and thermal vest--fur trimmed at the collar. So let's tabulate--tank top (no arm coverage); thermal vest with fur trim (no arm coverage), and skinny jeans with black leather calf-length boots--Alaska style at its finest. Tristan and I went to a fine Italian restaurant where they were quite formal with service. I panned around the room to take in the attire. I am not sure "black tie" exists in Alaska. This is totally fine because in my mind I picture some well-to-do chap freezing his manhood off in a thin tuxedo in 150 mph 20-30F winds which doesn't look any prettier than the flannel and graphic tees everyone was wearing at the fine dining place (and me in my same sweater I'd worn for 6 days and jeans). This truly is the land where Xtratuffs and miniskirts meet up in the same ensemble--out of practicality. Nobody wants to trudge through spring meltdown in peep toe pumps--if you do, you're going to look worse than mixing Xtratuffs with a miniskirt.

So here I go again--a fashionista pondering a big move up north. Can I do it? Does this spell fashion disaster for Whitney Madison? Am I next to embrace "Alaska Chic"? I don't even think they make platform lug soles anymore--now what? However, I did come across the Pom Pom boutique in Palmer that had rubber boots that were made to look like cowboy boots with a practical, yet fun little heel and came in all sorts of prints and fun colors that looked AMAZING with above the knee skirts so I might just have to get some if I head that way. I have pledged to myself that I will not simply "blend" into the sea of flannel up in Alaska. I will matter-of-factly only wear flannel if I have a cute white tee underneath, keep it unbuttoned, and tie it at the waist. This will be coupled with a cute skirt and perhaps some leggings and rubber boots--cuz that's just what you have to do when you live in Alaska. ;) Or should I move to Maui?

1 comment:

  1. Go North, young woman! Maui is the same old boring 70 degrees every day of the year, and the fashion is too easy to come by. Where's the personal sense of accomplishment in that?
    I loved your description of Fairbanks Alaska winter fashion; as a former guy who used to chase those girls (the non-bearded ones), you were too kind on how fashionable they weren't.
    Anything you can do to add a sense of fashion to the Alaskan landscape is not only much needed, but a blessing the the herds of single guys, state wide.