Summit Up 6-9-12: Spreading cheer and goodwill free of charge
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column dedicated to spreading cheer and goodwill free of charge to thousands of mountain folk and flatlanders to boot.
Now that summer is “officially” here, things are going to be different around these parts. The birds will chirp, the rivers will flow free and cool, peaks will be bagged, shorts and sundresses will be flaunted. And not those old ragged, paint- stained shorts and those Guatemalan patchouli skirts that should have died with Jerry. We’re talking all the latest fads and fashions, pushing Summit County up into Aspen caliber, where they wear pink Polos and designer skinny jeans to shovel snow, garden and do chores. We don’t want to look like a bunch of Alaskans, do we?
Thing is, we are already apparently wayyyy better dressed than Alaskans.
According to a recent reader poll by Travel and Leisure magazine, residents of Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, came in as the worst-dressed. By just three-tenths of a point, Anchorage landed below Salt Lake City for having the worst-dressed residents … now that’s gotta hurt.
The magazine ran an online poll asking readers to rank 35 American cities on such things as best nightlife, best burgers, best New Year’s Eve celebrations, etc.
“I think it’s a little ridiculous, to be honest,” said Hillary Walker, the assistant manager at lulu e. bebe fashion boutique in Anchorage. “I think dressing well is about feeling comfortable, experimenting, expressing yourself through your clothing. I think people in Anchorage do a great job with that.”
The low ranking for Anchorage doesn’t surprise state of Alaska labor economist Neal Fried, who went to work Thursday wearing his signature bow tie, this one featuring characters from “The Simpsons.” And while economists are not typically heralded for their progressive sense of style, he discounts the theory that Anchorage residents don’t shell out big bucks for fashion due to higher prices: he calls Anchorage a wealthy city with a median income 41 percent above the national average.
Anchorage had a record snow this past winter with more than 11 feet, calling for lots of duck boots and few stiletto heels. That surpassed a nearly 60-year-old record. And for the record, the Travel and Leisure poll put New York City at the top for fashion.
“You can go hiking and then straight to dinner, and you might be at a five-star restaurant,” Walker said. “You have to have a versatile wardrobe.”
So let’s show those roughneck Alaskans how it’s done. Let’s be more like Aspen, and less like Salt Lake City. Let’s stop playing, “my Carharts are dirtier than yours,” no more hiking boots to church, and ladies trade in those Teva sandals for some nice, trendy Roman sandals. After all, even the Frisco historic park museum reminds us, lipstick was worn throughout the hard mining days and Great Depression of Summit County, in order to keep up the general moral of the people.
And if you are headed down to Denver, and lord help you if you are doing it on a Sunday afternoon, be sure to throw some flats, some designer jeans, button-up shirt, lipstick and what-have-you into the old pick up truck. Wouldn’t want anyone in the big city to mistake you for an Alaskan.
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