What’s on my back to school shopping list
Orvis utility camouflage with floral print jacket, statment suede with gemstone buckle belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle (all own) and double layer tulle midi skirt c/o Lookbokk Store

Alaskan back to school

In Alaska, summer comes to an end in mid August. At this time, we get dark nights again. This means exchanging all the broken bulbs, back to school for most of the teachers, professors and students. In rural villages that live a subsistence lifestyle, school starts later so the kids can help their parents with berry picking and the hunting season.

The start of the new academic year means wearing fall clothing. The closet has to be overhauled to create a working wardrobe for the cold season. Except when living in the Anchorage area, most Alaskans have to rely on online stores to update their wardrobe.

In Fairbanks and Juneau, the two other cities of Alaska with more than 30000 inhabitants, only special niche stores exist. Think along the lines of wedding attire as well as outdoor and harsh weather clothing. In Fairbanks, there is also a Walmart, Old Navy and Fred Meyers where you sometimes may find some basic pieces. However, when these stores have something nice, Alaskans buy it in all colors.

Well there is also Value Village. But you can’t rely on them to do your cold season shopping prior to the season’s arrival.

over 50 years old fashion blogger standing on a rock in mules, midi skirt and military inspired jacket

blogger Nicole in tulle skirt, utility camouflage jacket summer to fall transition outfit

mature woman stepping off a rock in skirt, heels, striped bag and camo jacket

style book author in camo top, tulle skirt, striped bag, belt and mules
Outfit details: Orvis utility camouflage with floral print jacket, statment suede with gemstone buckle belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Coach bag, amethyst earrings, Chartier just un clou, Bandolino kitten heel mules (all own) and double layer tulle skirt c/o Lookbook Store

Like these outfit ideas? If so, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.

My back-to-school Must-haves

After taking the inventory what kind of clothes have to be replaced, are missing and what trends could be added to update old pieces, I came up with the following list.

  • A new bag (replacement of an old one)
  • Three new sheath dresses (replacements)
  • A fit-and-flare dress (replacement )
  • A jacket/coat for fall
  • A cozy cardigan
  • A coat dress (trend update)
  • New black ankle boots or have the old ones repaired (The repair is hard as there is no shoe repair shop in Fairbanks.).

What’s missing here are new underwear, socks and tights, but that’s available locally. Moreover, you are probably not interested in seeing a selection of long-Johns 😉 .

What items are on my short-list


I ordered the dresses except the red one pictured and the skirt in this Fashom styling box to try them on. I really love their service. In case you missed the review post on my first Fashom box.

fashom suggestions

Note that Fashom has a friend referral. When you use my referral link both you and I get a $10 credit on our next purchuase. How cool is that? Set up your personal style profile now.

I am also looking at these Karina Dresses fit-and-flares. When you are a regular reader you know that I have owned a couple of them over the years (see for instance the examples in the giftguide). I love the quality of their dresses and the great classic style. They are machine washable, i.e. easy to care for. Plus the micro-fiber fabric is wrinkle-free, i.e. perfect for business travel. Moreover, it is made in the USA. Thus, the carbon footprint from transport is not so large as if it were made far away.

3/4 sleeve fit-and-flare Megan dress in secret garden print Karina Dresses Megan Dress – Secret Garden $88.00 $108.00 USD
Ruby Dress - Carriage House fit and flare dress in hounds tooth Karina Dresses Ruby Dress – Carriage House $108.00


Speaking of fall jackets, these ones from Leafy Souls are on my short list.

Leafy Souls Caroline vegan women's long sleeve cardigan in green Leafy Souls Caroline vegan women’s long sleeve cardigan. Available in green and gray. Here the green one is shown. $53.97 $235.00
duffle coat with faux fur Leafy Souls Madeline women’s cotton classy coat $49.99 $123.99. I love that this duffle coat is tailored at the waist and not straight up-and-down

What I already bought

The first item to cross of my Must-have list was the bag. I bought a Bellorita designer bags orange fish satchel. You may have even already seen it on the blog, but look how I styled the orange bag if you missed it. I already carried it after its arrival in July. Why waiting for the leaves to fly? 😉

orange Bellorita large fish satchel
Orange Bellorita large fish satchel

Don’t let the right 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 my book now.

Look of the day: Summer to fall transition

The LOTD is my first summer-to-fall transitional outfit. I wore it on a windy rainy day. We were lucky to catch a break between showers to take the photos. I wore my layered blush tulle skirt with mules and a utitlity jacket. The latter served as a top.

Top of the World Style Linkup party

Welcome to the 219th Top of the World Style linkup party! Great you are here. The awardees are:


Top of the World Style Winner Cheryl of Cheryl Shops in vacation look
Cheryl of Cheryl Shops became Top of the World Style Winner. Photo from her post

Cheryl of Cheryl Shops is the Top of the World Style Winner. She blogged about her Copenhagen vacation wardrobe.

Top of the world style winner of the week


Top of the World OOTD Readers' Fav Grace Liang of the lifestyle blog Color and Grace
Grace Liang of the lifestyle blog Color and Grace became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from her post

The post by Grace Liang of Color and Grace was clicked the most. Thus, she became Top of the World OOTD readers’ fav. She participated in a breast cancer campaign.

Ladies, get your mamograms. #breastcancerawareness #womenshealth Click To Tweet

Top of the World Style weekly fashion linkup party at High Latitude Style @ http://www.highlatitudestyle.com


Top of the World OOTD My Fav Claire of Fashion on a Shoestring in a city print summer dress
Claire of Fashion on a Shoestring became Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photo from her post

Claire at Fashion on a Shoestring caught my eyes with her pretty print summer dress.

Top of the World Style weekly fashion linkup party @ High Latitude Style @ http://www.highlatitudestyle.com

Congrats Ladies! Grab your buttons for your awards page or sidebar.

See these awesome outfit ideas at the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #OOTD Click To Tweet

Click here to enter the party room

I just joined the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #timelessstyle Click To Tweet

To throw your own party, start here.

Photos of me: G. Kramm

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© 2013-2019 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved


This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. stinedurfdl

    I love the Bellorita bag…the color is beautiful! I didn’t realize that shopping options were so sparse in Alaska, even the cities. I live in a pretty remote area, but there’s a mall about 40 minutes away. Pittsburgh is about an hour and a half drive and I do go down there fairly often since my son lives just outside the city. I still do most of my shopping online though.

  2. Jennie

    Love the pattern mix and play with color in this look! Great way to elevate camo.

  3. Cheryl Shops

    Aww, thank you so much for the feature, Nicole! I am spoiled by living in a big city with a lot of shops; you must have to be so creative with your shopping options up in Alaska—or just go online. 😉
    Cheryl Shops

  4. mummabstylish

    Dresses are always a top contender for my shopping list – there’s something I love about wearing a dress. Thanks for sharing and hosting. Jacqui Mummabstylish

  5. That pink ribbon belt and colorful bag are so pretty. I could really use a new coat this Fall/Winter and bag… I’m looking forward to browsing the stores soon! 🙂


  6. Jess

    I like what you are adding to your closet for Fall. YOu know I am a fan of Karina dresses and the color in the first print is lovely! I do the same thing, make a list. Your new orange bag is perfect for Fall! ( I have the clutch)
    jess xx

  7. dousedinpink

    I just love the mix of the feminine skirt with the camo jacket! And your orange bag is fabulous! Thank you for the linkup!

    Jill – Doused in Pink

  8. shelbeeontheedge1

    Great outfit, Nicole! I live in a place that doesn’t have much to offer as far as shopping either. You have to travel at least an hour to get to the good shops. Or shop online! You have some great items on your fall wish list. And that orange fish bag is magnificent!


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