Alaskans who like it, buy it in all colors
Asymmetric hem rose pink dance dress with T-strap 4 inch (10 cm) heel dance shoes for salsa

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.

  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. Wrapping up

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

post logo showing same dress in burgundy and salmonA typical situation after shopping for clothes in Fairbanks

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.

When your colleague bought the same clothes by accident

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 (all own) 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.

When your friend buys the same dress

Fred Meyers had this dark asymmetric hem floral summer dress with sequins (see featured and next two photos). Its cut fits well for Argentine Tango, Latin dances and milongas. I bought the same dress in different colors, i.e. in purple, red, and rose. I still regret that I did not buy also the cobalt and hunter green one.

When you love it and it fits and flatters you, buy it in all colors. #agelessstyle #personalstyle Click To Tweet

Of course after I bought them, I wore the red one to the next dance, which was a day later. A dance friend of mine saw it and asked where I got it. She also asked 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. Thus, whenever I wear the red one to a dance, I have another dress in my bag, just in case, she would be there wearing the same dress. I never asked her whether she has the same backup plan.

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
style blogger over 40 in high-low dance outfit
High-low dress with purple floral print and Neo Tango Dalmatian print 4 inch (10 cm) heels, costume jewelry brooch, amethyst, peridot, citrine earrings and necklace (all own)
over 50 years old fashion blogger in an Argentine Tango dance dress with asymmetric hem
Asymmetric hem dress with floral print, sequins and lace, Seiko watch, garnet bracelet and necklace, Hermes enamel bangles, Neo Tango leopard print 4 inch (10 cm) T-strap dance shoes (all own)

Which one is your favorite? I guess I like the red one the most. If you liked any of these outfit inspirations, it would help me if you pinned them to your own Pinterest board. It’s a great way that your friends, family, and others can see them too.

Wrapping up

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.

Try online shopping, thrifting and consignment for individual style, when shopping opportunities are limited in your town. #personalstyle Click To Tweet

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.

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.

Focus Alaska is a series on Alaskan lifestyle.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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