Thursday, November 16, 2006

Study up

When I was in fifth grade, I played "school" with my poodle. I dressed up like a teacher (in glasses, of course. Duh, all teachers wear glasses) - and taught him what little math I knew.

Master Rude Dude, the poodle, didn't learn anything. But I did: that teaching is not my thang.

That's the disclaimer.

Against better judgment, I've decided to steal this moment to teach some new fashion-related terminology. Some is original Heckel vernacular, likely conjured after a few (eight) glasses of Riesling. Other expressions have seeped out of fellow fashionistas.

Let the lesson begin:

Prippie -
 My friend, who looks identical to Reese Witherspoon, calls herself a "Prippie." That is, a preppy hippie. As she describes it, "I'm an Anne Taylor Loft-wearing, yoga-doing, toe-ring-wearing, hair-dying Boulderite."

Her celly ring tone: "Love Train," by the O'Jays. What is more hippie than urging people around the world to join hands and start a love train, a love train? Yet the simple act of having a personalized ring tone thrusts said person into the preppy circle.

The Prippie character is epitomized by my friend's necklace: a heart chakra charm necklace. Sterling silver and trendy, while evoking the center of one's being from which feelings of love emanate.

Yippie -
 This species, the confounding cross between a yuppie and hippie, is prevalent in Boulder. Rich, upwardly mobile - and socially and environmentally conscious? It can't be. But, alas, it is. You will recognize the Yippie by the mode of transportation: a Saab with Grateful Dead stickers.

Yippies tend to be older than Prippies. They live in zillion-dollar houses, but wear clothes from consignment stores. Flowy, rayon pant suits and carved wooden jewelry bought during their recent African safari - to support the native handiwork, of course. Even though that sparkling Pellegrino they chug after spinning class costs more than those natives make in four months.

Gippie -
 I refute this term, but mostly because it pegs me: the gangster hippie. Generally a younger breed, college-age or quarter-life-crisis types who listen to hip-hop, recycle everything and confusingly pair massive J-Lo-style hoop earrings with coconut-wood bracelets from the consignment store.
These creatures feast at independent coffee shops, cry about the injustice in the world and deal with their plaguing woes by downing a few glasses of Hennessey and shaking their money makers on the bar counter in LoDo. They spend their free time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and posting rumors about their so-called friends on, where their profile song is by Diddy.

Beturning -
 Buy + return = beturn. Not that I have ever done this, and I certainly don't condone it, but hypothetically speaking, if one were to, say, buy an object with the sole intention of using it one time and returning it, one would be practicing the act of beturning.

Hanger appeal -
 When an object looks fantastic on the hanger, although not necessarily on the body. A nicely designed window - reeking of hanger appeal - at the mall might cause someone to look twice. Unlike the windows at American Apparel on Pearl Street, where headless mannequins have been seen dressed like aliens wearing metallic gold underwear, T-shirts and leg warmers. This is an example of hanger repellent.

The following are courtesy of, where I do most of my studying:

Mullet ratio -
 In the words of Urban Dictionary: "A mathematical term used to describe how extreme a mullet hairstyle is. It is found by comparing how long the hair on top of the head is compared with how long the hair hangs at the back of the neck." The larger the metric discrepancy, the more awesome the mullet ratio.

Thrifting -
 Comparable to bar-hopping, but with shopping. One hits up various thrift shops in search of the cheapest and most interesting clothing.

Tag hag -
 I had a roommate who intentionally hung her clothes in the closet with the tags sticking out so I could see how much she paid for her camis and cardigans. A tag hag is a person who asserts her (or his) self-worth by donning - and flaunting - overpriced clothes.

A Tag Hag would never partake in thrifting, but is a frequent offender in the beturning realm.

Originally published 11/16/06 at