West’s Winter Wardrobe


Dmytro Maloroshvylo, Reporter


With beginning of winter period, the weather in Anchorage gets extremely cold. Despite the low temperatures, a lot of people and especially high school students don’t wear appropriate clothes for going outside. Some people don’t consider it to be strange or abnormal, others get really worried and confused of what teenagers wear.

“If I take a bus, I don’t wear a coat, but if I have to walk I do,” says Maximillion Lukinov, a senior from West High School. Though the $110 fee for parking throughout the school year, the majority of students get to school by cars – driving themselves or having a ride. The rest of students take buses. The research shows that only the minority of teenagers go on foot, primarily they either live close to school or prefer active lifestyle.

“I just wear regular shorts, sweats, sweatshirts, cutoffs and I might wear a shirt under it. I don’t wear a coat, I just make sure that my shoes are good. I ride a car,” says senior Poe Vaafuti. A lot of students do sports so they prefer comfortable athletic outfits rather than warm pants, scarfs or gloves. “I am pretty sure that Alaskans are more used to cold than people from warmer states,” adds Vaafuti.

According to  Mindy Ruben’s article at patch.com, “When studied by the New England Journal of Medicine, kids without coats did not catch colds, viruses, or any other bacteria-related illness by not wearing a coat outside in cold weather.  Viruses are contracted by contact or close contact with another person who has a virus or bacterial infection.”

Since teenagers always try to be modern and fashionable, a lot of students sometimes sacrifice comfort and warmth in order to look cool and attracting. “Some students even wear slippers. I used to see people wearing slippers at the pool, but… It just happens everywhere, I guess it’s just a trend,” says Jameson Kordik.

According to National Centers for Environmental Information, average winter temperatures in Anchorage between 14 and 28 degrees. At average the city gets 41 snowfall days from October until April. On such days students try to be outside for as short period of time as they can, if they don’t do any winter activities or outside sports. You can always meet skiers, runners or even snowboarders doing their trainings in light shirts and thermo-clothing. While doing sports, people have to find a balance: to stay warm and not to be overheated at the same time. Although being risky, staying outside and getting used to it makes you healthier and lets toughen up your body.

“As long as you are comfortable and not really cold, you are fine; doesn’t matter if you wear a coat or a sweater. Everybody is different,” says Lukinov. West High keeps the building warm all the time, but students’ comfort on the way to and from school is totally up to them and their parents. Everybody just has to find his own comfort zone – a perfect balance between convenience, warmth, fashion and lifestyle.