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August 21-27, 2008
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Peace is in
How to dress like a Boulder native
by Julia Sallo
Boulder’s biggest stereotypes often lead to the scorn of outsiders. We get made fun of for our extreme sports-addicted, health-food-eating, tie-dye-wearing yuppies, who make a lot of money but pretend they’re still touring with the Grateful Dead. And there’s no point in denying that many Boulderites have a trait or two from that list. But really, aren’t these some of the greatest things about Boulder?
It’s no surprise that Boulder regularly wins awards: No. 1 “Smartest city in America” in 2008 (Forbes), and No. 1 “Dream Town” in 2006 (Outside Magazine). People who scorn the health-conscious, fun-loving Boulder culture just wish they lived at the base of the foothills, with an unusually high number of sunny days and more attractive and educated people than your average city.
Boulder’s unusually attractive and intellectual culture is a strange mix of yuppie materialism and hippie mentality. The hippies of the 1960s have given up touring with bands and now listen to Jethro Tull on their iPods on the way to work. Second-generation hippies — children of the aforementioned hippies of the ’60s — now control the peace-and-love scene in Boulder, exploring the outdoors, attending concerts and drinking their (organic) keg beer out of biodegradable corn cups.
These second generation hippies, often found at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Pearl Street Illegal Pete’s or Whole Foods, have created their own, unique niche in Boulder culture. And, as is necessary for any cultural subset, they have clothed themselves accordingly. The traditional look for these next generation hipster hippies is a blurred mix of designer fashion and hippie trends.
Peace signs are a common part of any outfit, seen in Boulder splashed across dresses and T-shirts, and coated in rhinestones on hoodies and hats. Tie-dye is no longer just for festivals, and bands such as the Grateful Dead once again appear on hip T-shirts.
Downtown Boulder offers a variety of shops for just this semi-ironic blend of styles. Urban Outfitters and American Apparel, both conveniently located on Pearl Street, offer the national norm in trendy pieces and layering basics, at relatively low prices.
Boulder-specific Savvy, 1114 Pearl St., offers a more uniquely Boulder look. Here you can find your graphic tees and hippie-inspired jersey dresses, at a steeper price than any ’60s hippie would shell out. Savvy carries many pieces by neo-hippie favorite designer, Free People, as well as Ed Hardy and Ella Moss. The T-Bar, Pearl Street’s trendy lingerie store, offers your hippie underwear — bras, panties and pajamas in rainbow designs and peace-sign motifs by brands such as Scanty and Betsey Johnson. Other hip stops on Pearl Street include Starr’s Clothing Company and Violette. Also, don’t forget your pre-distressed designer jeans at Weekend’s denim shop. And every hippie-inspired outfit in Boulder still relies on the yuppie basics: UGG boots and North Face jackets. Boulder’s constantly sunny days require the still-trendy Ray Ban Wayfairers sunglasses. Pick up a pair at Aspen Eyewear or the Boulder Army Store. Then accessorize your whole look with a color-coordinated stainless steel SIGG water bottle for every outfit.
And while they may not be available in Boulder, only at converse.com, Grateful Dead-themed Converse All-Stars are now available. Printed with dancing bears, the traditional skull and roses, and other designs, they are a must for Boulder’s newest hippie look.
Ultimately, hippie fashion represents Boulder in its core values, beyond just its cutesy style. Spread peace and love, and take care of the world. Donate old clothes to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Or, to pick up some cash, try selling gently worn clothing to Common Threads or Rags Consignments. Even at steep Boulder prices, second-generation hippie fashion still promotes those good old hippie values and adds to our uniquely attractive environment.
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