You can’t imagine living in Alaska? Is it the cold or because you are not an outdoor enthusiast? Or both? There is more to Alaska than the great outdoors, extremely cold winters and cool summers. Read what I love about living in Alaska. And yes, for me outdoors is the space between buildings.

  1. I Like the Friendliness of the People in Interior Alaska
  2. Life of a Non-outdoor Gal in Alaska
  3. Affordable Tickets for Great Opera Star Concert
  4. Awesome Fiddle Musicians
  5. Dance Privates from Champions
  6. Attending an Innuagural Ball as Jane Doe
  7. Wearing an Andrew Marc Shearling Motorcycle Jacket with Skirt

Disclosure: This post has paid and affiliate links.

I Like the Friendliness of the People in Interior Alaska

A while ago my friend Greetje from No Fear of Fashion asked me what I like about living in Alaska. Here is an example of many reasons to love living in Alaska:

No. 1 The friendly people in Alaska who are happy for others’ achievements.

Let’s turn the clock back about a decade or so to Mother’s Day. Since years, the University of Alaska Fairbanks  has her commencement on Mother’s Day. This story happened early in the 2000s after the commencement celebration was over and everyone rushed to the restrooms after 3.5 hours of sitting and drinking water in the hot arena of the Carlson Center.

Many women still stood in line when I left the stall in the restroom. Being a faculty I was dressed in full doctoral regalia. I was about heading towards the sinks when an old lady who was next in line for the stall stopped me. “Congratulation to your graduation. Your parents must be proud of you. Seeing her daughter graduating on Mother’s Day is probably your mom’s best Mother’s Day gift ever.” she said. “Thank you” I replied and smiled.

In the twilight of the restroom, she must have overlooked that I was already in my end-thirties and that my hood was not blue and yellow. Despite at that time my doctoral graduations were quite a while ago, I liked that someone who did not even know me, took the time to congratulate (even though several years belated).

People in Alaska care about each other. #Alaskalife Click To Tweet
professor in doctoral regalia
Doctoral regalia. The three blue velvet stripes indicate that the wearer has a doctoral degree. The hood shows the colors of the school where the wearer earned the degree.


Another example of  the friendliness is that people follow an unwritten law to help when you have a problem.

Life of a Non-outdoor Gal in Alaska

Why the heck would someone who is not into the great outdoors enjoy living in Alaska? Here is one of my reasons: Access to top notch people at an affordable price.

Fairbanks has brought up several musicians, dancers, and athletes who have become famous after they left (Obviously, you have to leave to become famous.). The long dark nights require people to be self-entertaining. Thus, many kids learn to play instruments at an early age, dance ballet, or play all kinds of indoor sport games.


#fashionover40 Shearling motorcycle jacket with denim skirt
Andrew Marc shearling motorcycle jacket with Oliveo denim skirt, GNW blue tights, heeled ducks, Michael Kors leopard print bag, gloves, GNW Luxe cashmere silk paisley print scarf, and white sailing pilot hat (all own)

Affordable Tickets for Great Opera Star Concert

For instance, when I lived in Europe, I could not afford to buy ticket for listening to a concert by Vivica Genaux – an American coloratura mezzo-soprano born in Fairbanks, Alaska. Since her parents still live here, Fairbanksans do not have to go to the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Dallas Opera, or the Bayerische Staatsoper where she sung The Barber of Seville, L’italiana in Algeri or La Cenerentola. When she visits her parents, she usually gives a concert in either the Herring Auditorium, which is the concert hall of a local high school, or the Davis Concert Hall of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The price for a ticket is not much more than a cinema ticket plus a bucket of unhealthy popcorn and a soda.

Awesome Fiddle Musicians

Have you ever heard of the Irish fiddler Caitlin Warbelow? She regularly comes to visit her mother and/or dad (both are dance friends of mine). When she is in Fairbanks, she usually plays in a pub or roadhouse. The information about the when and where goes by word of mouth. She always gets a full dance floor. And she is just one example of the many Fairbanksan musicians out there. Sure that she also is a regular to teach at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival which is also one of the highlights of entertainment in late July.


over 50 years old fashionblogger in heeled ducks
Zoom-in on the heeled ducks

Dance Privates from Champions

Another example is Melaina Larson. She studied classical ballet. She has been a finalist in many US National Championships in American Smooth Dance. When she visits Fairbanks to see her father and stepmom, she teaches ballroom lessons at the Fairbanks Ballroom Dance Club, and my dance partner and I can take private lessons from her. We are not sure whether we could (afford to) get on her calendar in Orange County where she lives and teaches today. Did you know that there is even a dance shoe named after her as she used to compete in these?

Fairbanks is also a place that people are curious to come visit. For example Juval Hod, a swing dance champion. When he visited Fairbanks in 2009 to work with a local high school dance team, he taught my dance partner and me to make a “flip.” This means I go into a hand stand, my dance partner catches my legs, and I land on his shoulders. From there, I just slip down, and on we go.

Attending an Innuagural Ball as Jane Doe

In which State can Jane and John Doe get a ticket to the Governor’s Inaugural Ball?

Wearing an Andrew Marc Shearling Motorcycle Jacket with Skirt

Enough reasons for today. Of course there are many other reasons, and I will write about them in future posts on Focus Alaska. In this OOTD, I went for an Amelia Earhart type of look for my outerwear with my Andrew Marc shearling jacket (first photo in this post). For my indoor outfit, I picked a cornflower blue sweater that nicely contrasts with my skin, the tan and winter white of the baseball jacket and the dark indigo of the denim skirt. I wore the jacket like a blazer.

One often hears that women over 40 should not wear utility jackets and/or denim skirts anymore. As this example shows, the sentence should be re-written to

Women over 40 should not wear anything that does not meet their life style! Click To Tweet

When wearing a denim skirt over 40, style it in a casual way. It’s a great look for Casual Friday in a casual work environment or setting. The skirt should be straight and have a professional length. When wearing a baseball jacket jacket over 40 the material and quality are key. It should serve a similar function as a blazer. Key is to pay attention to not style these items like a high school gal. It is all about looking mature and knowing what you are doing when you put your outfit together.


stylist in utility jacket with denim skirt
Michael Michael Kors baseball leather jacket with Oliveo denim skirt, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, cashmere wool GNW Luxe sweater, statement necklace, tights, and heeled ducks (all own) look



Moving to Alaska or planing a vacation in the 49th State? Read these other things you should know about Alaska. Do you like to live where you live? What do you like about living there? Let me know, I am curious.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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