There’s a line in a popular song from my childhood about “goin’ where the weather suits my clothes.” That idea remains stuck in my mind all these years later because most of my clothes suit autumn in Southeast Alaska.
This is hardly surprising. I did most of my growing up in this region. Whatever fashion sense I might have was largely formed here (see How To Dress Like a Southeast Alaskan).
I feel most comfortable in warm, cozy layers and—despite efforts to branch out (see I Confess, I Sabotaged the Weather!)—long pants. I like sweaters and hoodie sweatshirts, fleece and wool. I love flannel enough to break the family rule against cotton (see Cotton Kills). I feel more comfortable—more myself—dressing like this.
Before returning to live in Alaska, Michelle and I lived in some very warm places, like Texas and central California. We carried our “winter clothes” with us from home to home, and pined for brief chances to use them. Some years, I recall digging out favorite sweaters when the outside temperature dropped below 70°! Even after acclimation to hot weather thinned our blood this still felt like a stretch. We did it more because we missed wearing our favorite clothes than because we felt cold.
Now, we can wear those clothes just about any time of year. Here, every season can bring autumnal weather. I often play a game with myself, stopping in the course of a day someplace where I can’t see any clues from deciduous trees or other fauna, and try to remember what season it is by the way the air feels. Some days it’s hard to do!
But, in autumn we see more consistent cool weather, more rain and wind, sometimes snow. We return to heating the cabin with the woodstove, and rely more often on our warmer clothing. I like the return to my most comfortable clothes. It feels like coming home.