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Old 07-19-2011, 11:18 PM
 
20 posts, read 47,559 times
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This is where all of you natives get to pick on the new comer, so smirk if you like. I've lived in CA all my life. I do not have a winter wardrobe. My husband and I are moving to Anchorage in August, so I will have a bit of time to prepare for my first winter. Here is my question - what kind of clothing will I need to start buying for us? We've got sweatshirts and medium coats but that's about it. My husband has some hiking boots but I'm a tennis shoe and flip flop girl. Can you also give me an idea of the names of some stores that I can get winter stuff from or is internet/catalog a better way to go?
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:24 AM
 
Location: Anchorage
837 posts, read 1,689,092 times
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depending on your budget
I went to second-hand Value Village for my first winter's supplies! (also arrived from CA in 2009)
Then by mid-February Walmart, Target and the likes will have sales on winter stuff, up to 75% off, for your next season.

For full price, any store will work - REI is one. But go well BEFORE winter - which is in October, btw , so right after you arrive, might start shopping!
Unless you do a lot of outdoor stuff right away, you might find that you don't actually need really warm clothes - medium jackets might be enough, especially if you plan on driving. I see people all the time wearing no hats or gloves, often only sweaters if on the way to and from their car... after first winter, you will be able to do it, too!
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Valdez, Alaska
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Lands' End is a good one for sales and has good shipping deals too. Check the clearance racks at REI, as well as Sports Authority and Sportsman's Warehouse. Amazon.com has good deals and free shipping on lots of stuff. I'd definitely get some waterproof boots for slushy days, and some wool socks. Fleece is a good layer but doesn't block wind, so on windy days you'll want a shell of some kind. 3-in-1 jackets can be a good deal, as they come with a fleece liner and a shell, which you can wear separately or together. White Sierra makes decent snow gear at really good prices. Some good thermal bottoms will make a big difference and allow you to wear your regular pants on top of them. You'll acclimate a bit after the first winter (I lived in the south my whole life and often wear a t-shirt at 45 or 50 degrees now), and also figure out what's important for you as far as staying warm (for me, if my hands and feet are warm the rest of me is fine). So don't spend a ton of money the first year, because a lot of it may wind up in the back of your closet not being used.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:42 PM
 
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Thanks for the great tips! I'm trying to get excited but there is so much to do. Knowing we have a little time to get prepared for winter makes me feel a little better. I'm hoping to find a lot of second hand stuff as we might be on one income for a while.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
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There are a few Army/Navy Stores in Anchorage too. You will learn to layer mostly after you come up here and it depends a lot on what type of activities you will want to do later. What will you be moving up here to do?
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
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It will also depend on the type of work that you do. This past winter was my first, and for the first time in many years, I needed business clothes, not just scrubs. I found myself wearing boots with skirts and tights. Even though it is July, the weather is cool enough that many of my co-workers are still wearing tights or even boots if the weather is cool enough (which it has been). I also wound up with a couple pairs of decent leather boots, with low heels, so that I could wear them with skirts and still manage the ice and snow around town. Layers are also important because it's cold outside but the heat in the office maybe cranked to 77 degrees.

If you plan on doing any walking in the winter, even if it's just to walk the dogs, I would recommend either flannel lined jeans (got mine cheap on ebay) or long-johns. When it was below zero and I had to walk the dogs, those flannel lined jeans were a blessing.

Warm socks too. You won't want your tootsies to get wet and cold in the winter. I like tennies and flip flops too, but you will probably want something a little more substantial even if you are just heading to the mailbox.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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Carhartt.

Welcome to Carhartt

Standard Alaskan clothing. nuff said.

Wait until you get up here to buy. The strores up here have stocked selections better suited to what is appropriate here. If coming up in August, hit the stores like Sears or Army/Navy as soon as you arrive. Don't wait. By Semptember all that will be left on the racks will be double extra small and triple extra large!
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:43 PM
 
Location: JBER, AK
115 posts, read 150,309 times
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I agree with the above posters...
I am moving from Minneapolis, and it will actually be milder in Anchorage, than what I am used to...

Carhartt is a great choice... we have Fleet & Farm stores in MN, which carry their clothes. Not sure if they are online.

The other thing is that LL Bean makes some great winter clothing, and shipping is always free.

If you are military, go to AKO Slick Deals - there is a discount code for Backcountry.com and they have an excellent selection and really good prices - with the discount, some things are a steal - and they have not only clothing, but gear as well.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Valdez, Alaska
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I'd also suggest waiting, but mostly to save you from packing them. You can find plenty of decent layers most places (okay, maybe not San Diego or Miami) that will suit you fine. Most of my winter clothes came from the South or online, and they've been fine here, in Anchorage, and in Fairbanks in the winter. You can find a lot better deals online than here too, just look at the shipping charges first.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:01 PM
 
20 posts, read 47,559 times
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I will be working at Providence in the laboratory. I will have to walk the dog in the "elements" so I think some new footwear will be on my "to-buy" list. We usually like our house a little on the cool side (we don't like it when my parents visit b/c they always complain about the temperature in the house) so the fall and spring will be ok for us. No flannel or thermals yet but it is good to know we can get a lot of stuff second-hand - it's all part of the adventure, right.
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