Hempennant (hem’ pen ent) – n. Any coattail, cuff, or dress hem dangling outside the door of a moving vehicle.
With winter weather comes longer hemlines on most anything, from skirts and dresses to coats and dusters, and we run the risk of creating hempennants when we get in our cars. Although, this season might be different with the new fashions, well, recycled fashion of short, full skirts and tights coming back in. (The Valley Girl look is back, yay!) Still, all those coats and party gowns still run the risk of dashing through the snow and then the oily slush as we drive to the many holiday gatherings for work, school, or other social settings. If this does happen, the local dry cleaner will most likely have a way to get the wintery stains out. Mind you, though, hempennants are not only a winter thing. They can happen in spring on prom dresses or in summer on wedding gowns, or in fall on those elaborate Halloween costumes where one might dress as a classic vampire or Godzilla. Getting a reptilian tail stuck in a car door might not be easy, but it could happen. So, enjoy your seasonal parties, and remember to scoop up your tail or train as you enter your vehicle.