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Clothes shopping is mostly limited to online orders in remote areas. Sometimes local retailers like Costco, Walmart or Fred Meyer have some chic, high quality items from a medium prize brand. Read these true Alaska lifestyle stories to learn about the funny situations such events may cause and how to handle when your colleague has the same clothes. 


  1. Lack of shopping opportunities leads to style clones
  2. A typical situation after shopping for clothes in Fairbanks
  3. When your colleague bought the same clothes by accident
  4. Shopping clothes at the groceries store
  5. When your friend buys the same dress
  6. How Not to Look Like Her in the Same Attire
  7. Wrapping Up How to Handle When Your Colleague Has the Same Clothes


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Lack of Shopping Opportunities Leads to Style Clones

Fairbanks only has no department store. Many clothing stores are specialized in outdoor wear or sportswear. There are some nice small boutiques addressing different style needs. But no H&M, American Apparel, Nordstrom, Macy’s or whatsoever. Thus, many fashionistas get their “supply” when they are out of state, online or in a consignment store. Thus, when someone comes back from the Lower 48s, 13 new pair of shoes are no news. But how do Fairbanks women deal with another woman wearing the exact same piece? This post tells real life stories of Alaskan women and their solutions to handle the style clone situation.

When Gottschalk was still in business, Chris, a fifty something, sat in her office. Someone knocked at the office door. “Come in” she said still looking at the excel spreadsheet full of numbers on her screen. Her voice reflected her good mood despite of it being a 40 below Monday winter morning and her being busy.

The door opens and a forty something woman in a beautiful purple silk cashmere sweater enters. “Hi Chris, how are …” she stopped in the middle of her sentence staring at Chris. Chris now looked up from her PC and turned her head towards the door. Her green eyes seemed to double their size.

“I see you had as great weekend as did I” the other woman said. Chris started to smile all over her face and nodded saying “In which other colors did you buy it?” “Gray and black that were the only other colors they had left in my size. And you?” “This purple one, orange, brown that were all the colors left in my size. What’s up that you came to see me?”

In Fairbanks, it is rare to find something great in town. If you find something you like, you buy it in all colors available that you like.


How to Handle that a Colleague Bought the Same Clothes

The leopard print cardigan in the photo below is another example. A colleague of mine owns the same. Fortunately, she works in another building. Thus, the risk to look like clones is small. We just avoid wearing the cardigan when we know we will be in the same meeting or building.


stylist in leopard print cardigan and striped skirt

fashion book author in work outfit
Outfit details: GNW leopard print cardigan worn as top, L.K. Bennett wedge pumps, Jaeger tote, DIY sea-snail earrings, Hermes collier de chien leather band, Hermes collier de chien bangle, onyx flower ring, Paloma Picasso sunglasses and striped skirt c/o eShakti



Shopping clothes at the groceries store

There also is a Fred Meyer. Their business concept is one-stop shopping, which I really like. However, you cannot go there with the idea to buy a dress, a coat or a floral blazer, tweed skirt. You get the idea. Thus, women browse the store’s apparel racks every time when they do the groceries. Once in a while (or in a blue moon 😉 ) one can score high. However, if you find something you like and it fits, you better get it right away. A week later it will be gone. And if you really love the garment, you buy it in all colors you like and can get in your size. Who knows when you will see something you like and that fits the next time?

Do cashiers find this behavior odd? Not at all! They are used to guerilla shopping. Grocery shopping in the bush is quite different from what you know.


style blogger Nicole in high-low hem floral sequin embellished dress
Asymmetric hem rose pink dance dress with T-strap 4 inch (10 cm) heel dance shoes for salsa


style blogger Nicole in floral high-low hem dress in blush with sequins and embroidery
Floral dress with asymmetric hem over lace slip with leopard print T-strap Neo Tango heels


Of course after I bought them in nearly all colors in my size (see two examples above). I wore the red one (not shown) to the next dance, a day later. A dance friend of mine asked where I got it, and whether I would mind if she would buy it too if Fred Meyer still had one in her size. Of course, I did not mind. She has a different size and was lucky to get hers the next day. Read more on what to do when your bff has the same clothes.


When one of your female friends has the same dress, bring another dress to a party when you wear yours. Just in case. #styleclones #problemsolver Click To Tweet


How Not to Look Like Her in the Same Attire

Turning fashion into style makes having the same piece no problem. One thing that is so fascinating about fashion and style is that the same piece  looks so different just depending on the style of the wearer.


Wrapping Up How to Handle When Your Colleague Has the Same Clothes

Always keep in mind that signature items and buying pieces in the same style whenever a piece has to be replaced is part of your personal style. Recall repeat is the backbone of great signature style (see post at the link for more information). Thus, having something you look great in all colors that flatter you is not wrong. On the contrary, it’s how to be effortlessly stylish.

When you live in a small town with limited shopping choices and you mind that another women may have the same garment, thrifting and consignment shopping are possibilities to find pieces that are “unique” in town. When you are new to second hand here is a list of designer brands to look for at thrift stores. Online shopping also reduces the likelihood your friend or colleague wear the same.

Stylist tip: Try online shopping, thrifting and consignment for individual style, when shopping opportunities are limited in your town.


Don’t let your outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy the book now.


Another example of buying the same item in different colors is a cardigan that I bought in teal and burgundy. It’a amazing that just another color can change the vibe of a sheath outfit.

Do you buy clothes you like in different colors? Did it happen to you that you don a new item and your colleague or best female friend don the same item at the same day and venue? How did you handle the situation? What did you do to avoid the situation to occur again? Just curious.


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Photos: G. Kramm

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