The other day I was walking through our grocery store,. If you aren’t familiar with the store, you can literally walk in one side and buy your produce and deli items….exit out the other side with your new firearm and ammo.
I would say “fresh” produce but that would be a big fat lie. Due to the travel time tonothing arrives fresh. Recently I’ve started to use asparagus as bows on gift bags….bendy and decorative… yet can be recycled into the evening’s meal. You mean peppers aren’t supposed to be wrinkled up?
Anyhow, I pass by a guy talking on his cell phone and hear him say:
“I’m tired of dating girls that dress like men.”
Welcome to life in Juneau, Alaska.
I smiled to myself and reflected on all the cute clothes I have in my closet. Strike that. Closets….multiple. God bless Macy’s and my dear friend Ginny….who keep me looking cute. Big relief to know I’m not in the, “dresses like a man” category. Then I realized, I was wearing myjacket. Well hell. It’s warm. It’s purple. At least I wasn’t wearing my Carhartt pants at the same time.
In Juneau, dressing up means wearing your freshest, cleanest Carhartt jeans and newest pair of Xtra Tuff boots. By newest, I mean the ones without the duct tape. You could walk into any wedding, funeral or religious service wearing a combination of the above and fit in perfectly.
Sometimes, I can’t help myself. Just have to do it….be a normal local. Please note, my humorous foot attire for a winter ball I attended a few years ago. Don’t worry, I did bring my heels and changed into them after the photo. Only in Alaska… And yes, quite a fewbrides have had their photos snapped wearing these oh so attractive boots.
Honestly, you could walk into the fanciest restaurant in town and nobody would blink an eye. Actually, that’s a lie. Some people would blink an eye and would be shocked. Those would be…
They’d be wondering what the hell was wrong with you.
Certainly they came to dinner in their linen pants (because it’s summer and doesn’t Juneau have summers like everywhere else in the world….warm?) and breezy resort shirt while reviewing travel guides and local tour brochures. Here you come with your lover and look like you just got off a fishing boat. The tourists are dumbfounded while sitting there all prim and proper, looking down their noses at you…. saying under their breath: This is a linen table cloth restaurant and they let anyone in here – can you believe it? Those people look like they just hiked in from the back woods. Must be a homeless sympathy meal.
Recently, I was talking with a friend who had visited Alaska for the first time this year. They commented on all the reality shows featuring Alaska now. You name it, there’s a show about it. Yep, people still mine for gold, fish for crab, drive on ice, get arrested, mush dogs and survive on the bounty of. My friend commented how apparently some of the people in Juneau were obviously living off the land. Because they resembled the people in the reality show:
Only in town to stock up on supplies before heading back out to their cabin hidden away inside the forest or out into the sea for the next big catch.
Hate to break it to you my friend, those are just the regular locals. Scruffy around the edges. Yes, it’s true, even the women are scruffy.
I didn’t think much about the attire of our locals until I overheard that guy’s phone conversation. Then I began to seriously look around at the people near me. For example the other evening we went to a concert in town. “.” They were exceptional by the way. Before departing the house, we both changed into nicer attire.
He wore a nice sweater and jeans. I had on a cute top with jeans and heels. As we sat in our seats, enjoying our glasses of wine I took a moment to survey the fashion scene.
What color flannel did you need? We’ve got it all covered. It was a virtual sea of flannel shirts. Red. Green. Blue. Mustard. Black. Amazing. Quite a few women were dressed in what you’d normally wear to participate in outdoor sports. Fleece tops and black cotton exercise pants. Really?
On the other hand, there are people that show up to business functions and you can’t make up what they’re wearing for professional attire. Recently I attended a function where a lady, who I was unfamiliar with, arrived wearing:
Purple sparkly sweater.
Sparkly black stocking.
Mid-calf black boots.
>> drum roll please <<
Black spandex exercise shorts.
Crap, now we must have an Alaska reality show about “What theNOT to .”
Yes, I will take that glass of wine now, thank you. Did she even pass a mirror on her way out of the house? What magazine said that was the new look for the 2012 winter season? That’s at the polar opposite of wearing your pajama pants out into public. And by public, I’m saying you’re where other people can see you, not just on your front porch waiting for your dog to piddle in the morning.
Since we don’t have a mall – there are no make up counters. The concept of enhancing your features is akin to suggesting you reuse toilet paper. WTF? Luckily, the salon where I get my hair cut has a great make up line and my hair stylist did my make up on my last visit, while my hair was “processing.”
There was another lady getting her make up done next to me. She was amazed at what a little eyebrow definition can do. I told her, the one thing I never leave the house without are my eyebrows! Thank you colored powder and pencils!
Note: It is the one facial feature I can choose to create every day. Angry eyes. Crazy eyes. Shocked eyes. Thin, thick, inverted V shape….endless personalities to choose from every day.
At the salon, I bought new foundation, eye shadow, eye liner and lip gloss. The lady next to me was paralyzed with fear about the idea of purchasing anpencil. “It’s just so dramatic.” No, it’s just enhancing what you’ve got already. Just like if we lived in a warmer climate, I’d be wearing tank tops that show off my boobs. Similar, but different.
I am a girlie girl. I like to get manicures and pedicures. I like my hair to be done. I like the color pink, fluffy things, glittery things and sparkly things (which could also qualify me to be a magpie…) I enjoy dressing up and was probably living back in the day when corsets were a regular fashion necessity and Marie Antoinette was eating too much cake.
I’d wear giant dresses with crinolines and trains, silk stockings, button boots, powdered wigs and painted lips every day if I could. Ruffles, pleats, layers and layers….oh my. I’d need a separate carriage just for my dress when going out on the town. Which leads me to the Wearable Art Show. It’s the biggest fundraiser for our local arts council, raising tens of thousands of dollars. For the last 5 years I have designed and modeled an outfit on stage.
Each year, my outfit gets bigger and bigger.
And let’s not forget my love of huge fake eyelashes, wigs and the 6 inch acrylic hooker heels. Yes, I did purchase my last pair in a porn shop in Vegas. They’re perfect!
Needless to say, it is that time of year where I have to start creating my next fashion statement. So many people want to know the who, what, how, why….about this process, I thought I’d share my process with you through my blog.
I have a few videos of my performance from the previous years on You Tube – hope you’ll check them out and see what a great treat is coming up this February! I can’t wait.
Currently, I’m pondering my design. As always, it will be a dress. As always, made from throw away items. And I’m thinking Marie Antoinette will be making a come back this year. As for the style, I’ve got my history of fashion books down and tabbed…ideas are swirling around in my head like a vodka and tonic……
Put on your seat belt….we’re ready for the countdown!