Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fog, Boots and Fur

Fleet St. Coat
Rachael Zoe Faux Fur Vest (thrifted)
Gap Blazer (thrifted)
Unity Studded Shirt (not pictured, sorry!)
Old Navy Scarf
J.Crew Cords (thrifted)
Vince Camuto Leopard Print Boots
Deerskin Gloves

Ice fog: A type of fog that consists of tiny ice crystals suspended in the air. It happens only in cold parts of the world where the temperatures get below -40 as water can remain liquid down to -40 degrees.  (Wiki, definition of ice fog.)

Ice fog is something that happens fairly often in Fairbanks during the winter, most of the time it's not too awful but I think it was about seven years ago we had such thick ice fog we couldn't even see our hands in front of our faces!  School very rarely is cancelled up here, but that day it was. (Since then, school has only been canceled twice.  We don't get to have snow days or cold days.)   We got a decent dose of the ice fog this morning when it got down to -46 below, it was just starting to break up by the time it warmed up enough for me to take pictures.  I really want to learn how to take pictures in the fog, it's so crazy looking!

The polar bear vest strikes again.  The old timers have a saying up here, "Cotton is bad, wool is good and fur is best." (Well, that's the polite, water downed version of it.) It goes back to what really will keep you warm in wintertime, cotton was hated because it would get wet so easily and kill someone where wool is amazing for warmth and staying dry.  Cruel and non politically correct as it sounds, fur really is the best of all.   It's a really charged thing to say that fur is wonderful but Alaska is very much a rural state with many people still living in villages off the road system so the crazy cold combined with the remoteness really means you need an awesome coat or you very possibly might die.  "Crunchy" coats as we call most modern synthetics are terrible in cold weather and do not hold up well, for anyone not living in the convince that the cities offer fur or wool coats are preferred for everyday wear.  Most people don't just go down to the local department store and buy their fur coats, most of the hides and furs are salvaged from hunts where animals are killed in order for survival. (Again, most villages don't have a grocery story like you vision grocery stores being, it's usually just a tiny little shop with a few canned items, veggies are hard to get up and milk can cost between $8-12 a gallon.  Hunting and meat is essential for survival.)  This is a terribly round about way to say that fur really is the best for super cold temperatures   Usually I layer four warm coats to stay warm in -40 below, but today I just had my shirt, blazer, the furry vest and my big black coat and I was completely toasty.   Furry vests, they're not just for show!

On a crazy note, these Vince Camuto booties are really warm as well.  I can wear these in -40 below with thin socks and my toes stay warm.  (Plus, SO comfortable fit wise.  Next time I buy a expensive pair of booties, it will be another pair of Vince Camutos, I've been so impressed with the quality and how they've help up.)  And yikes, I realized I've just blabbered on and on about fur, ice fog and booties with nary a bunny boot to be mentioned.  That's borderline blasphemy.

I promise, bunny boots are not made out of bunnies. 

These boots are beloved in Alaska, almost more so than the XtraTufs.  (Ooooh, them's fighting words, coast vs interior!)   


  1. gosh, that was one super interesting post! I love it when I stop reading a blog post and realize I have learnt something new. for example I had no idea about those bunny boots and actually I didn't know much about life in Alaska either.
    now, when it comes to your outfit I think I've already said it but I love that vest! and how cool are your leopard boots! I'm a fan of those and can't wait to wear my own pair when spring comes.

    Maikeni blogi - part of me

  2. What a nice coat but seems so extremely cold out there :)!

  3. Down to 46 bellow?!?!? And you're outside?!?! You have to be a trooper or just a little bit nutty.:D The boots and fur I like, the fog... I'm curious. Hope you really figure out how to take pictures of it.

  4. That's a FAB vest I love the fact that it's white :)

    Have a Fantastic Friday!



  5. Yeah, the fur thing makes total sense. I know here in NY, when I lived in the city and relied on public transportation, I bought a jacket that was "wind proof". It was totally ugly but kept me super warm in the NYC wintertime.

    I learned that most of the coats we buy in department stores and the like, have tiny holes that let the wind in and do not keep you warm at all.

  6. Ice fog sounds intense! Props to you for not only looking cute in the freezing weather, but also taking photos to show us :) Have a great weekend!

  7. oh my gosh! this looks like a winter wonderland - how gorgeous! love that you're wearing a fur vest!

    Lady à la Mode

  8. Ok, now I feel like a big, baby. I complain about the -17 temps we regularly get in Vermont but I dont' know what I would do if I woke up to -40. I sure as heck wouldn't look as cute or put together as you do in these pictures. Stay warm and chic for the holidays lady!

  9. That is so crazy about the ice fog! How does anyone see to drive?! Still amazed that you stand outside for photos in these weather conditions!

    The Tiny Heart
    Dec. Group Giveaway!

  10. Oh my gosh, a thrifted Rachel Zoe furry vest!? I'm so jealous. How do you always find all these fabulous things while thrifting! The idea of the ice fog totally scares me, I don't know how you do it!

    Happy Holidays!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  11. I completely agree that there is definitely a need for real fur clothing in your neck of the woods! Do you think your faux fur keeps you just as warm or would real fur be even warmer?

    Also, you always have the best blazers!

    1. So far faux fur seems to work as well as real fur, I just haven't seen how it is when it gets wet. (Not really sure if it dries off the same way or keeps out the water since fake fur doesn't have the same natural oils.) It does a wonderful job of keeping the warm, it beats the wool coats easily. And thank you! :)

  12. if those boots keep your feet warm at -40, that is some kind of testimony!! i have never been to alaska but i really want to visit now! it just looks so beautiful!

  13. Hehe, the furry vest strikes again! I love it :) It definitely looks like something you'd need to stay warm in your crazy cold weather.
    Also, seriously crushing on those leopard boots. Stylish AND functional? Yes please!

    Enter to win a $30 giftcard to Rire!
    Trendy Teal

  14. Hi Katie, firstly thanks for your wonderfully thoughtful and sweet comment, it meant the world to me, you are too kind! Secondly, I hate when comments get lost in cyberspace, it must happen to me at least twice a day. Third...I always learn new things about the weather from you, ice fog sounds pretty daunting, don't know how you do it -46! woah! I love your furry vest, and the printed scarf and stunning leopard boots add such great flavor to your look. As much as I love fuzzy warm clothes, i think I prefer the faux type because I am an animal lover, but I completely understand the need people have there to hunt and find their own ways of warmth. I didn't realise that it was quite rural in Alaska, amenities and basic facility must be so difficult to come by. Is everything like fruit and veg imported?

    1. I'm a animal lover as well so I really don't like the fur industry itself, most of the animals are raised only for their fur and that's it. (If people are going to kill an animal, at least use every part of the animal.) Hunting for food is a big part of our culture and while their are those who only do it for the sport, most people do it to suppliment their groceries. In the larger towns like Anchorage and Fairbanks and to a smaller extent in Kenai and Soldotna their a few local vendors who supply the stores with fruits and veggies, but a good 95% of our food is imported into the state. (And it is so expensive, the cost is living is crazy and it get worse the farther away from Anchorage you get.) The majority of the villages in Alaska have no roads to their and are reachable only by boat, bog sled, snow-machine or plane and everyone tries to grow their gardens, you still end up spending huge amount of money on veggies and dairy. The whole state was affected earlier this year when a main supply road in the Yukon was washed out, our stores here in Fairbanks only have a three day supply of food and there ended up being almost no produce on the shelves.
      Whew, sorry! I got on a run there! Alaska is still pretty rural, our largest city Anchorage is fairly metropolitan and the pensiula and valley there is settled but everywhere else we're right on the edge of the wildness and in the cases of the villages and towns not on the roads system, really are out in the middle of nowhere. (And so sorry about the long response!) Thank you for everything, you're such a sweetheart!)

  15. WOW thats the most snow I have seen this year! We are suppose to get some but nothing like that yet. LOVE snow.

    Great pics and you look amazing!

  16. Hahaha, Katie its -40 degrees there, you can wear whatever fur you want! I :-D Never knew such a thing as an ice fog existed....I bow to your survival skills. BTW those bunny boots look mega cute :-D

  17. Bunny boots should pay you a commission...because now I really want a pair of bunny boots and next paycheck I will get them! I'm not sure how I have missed the last few of your posts, but somehow I did. Love all of your outfits, as always you have your own special, lovely style.

  18. Oh, how gorgeous it is there, all draped in a blanket of fluffy white snow! I would love to bundle up and have a snow fight! Luckily, I'm headed to Ohio in a few days to visit in-laws! And I love the pretty scarf and fur vest! I just got a faux fur one, even though I admittedly have two others already! They really transform an outfit and are so chic! -Jessica L


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