A Hipster, according to Dictionary.com, is “a person who is stylish, trendy or progressive in an unconventional way; also, a person from the 1950s and 1960s who had a strong sense of alienation from most established social activities and relationships; a beatnik or hippie. “
Hipsters love to break the social norms dictated by the everyday folks; if it is ironic, sarcastic and progressive, it’s hipster. Made of mainly middle aged adults and the younger generation, hipsters are often associated with alternative, cutting-edge, counterculture choices, like independent movies, organic foods and vintage clothing.
Celebrity poster children for the hipster lifestyle are Johnny Depp, an older hipster; Zooey Deschanel, the quirky girl hipster; Jared Leto, Miley Cyrus, Lena Dunham—picture celebrities who just don’t give a damn what you think, and probably smell like European cigarettes and most likely, you have a hipster.
If you answered “yes” to the majority of these questions, you probably have hipster tendencies. While these lists are not all encompassing, there are certain looks and defining characteristics that the majority of hipsters share, including lumberjack facial hair, (but only for the guys, although it would be a very hipster chick maneuver of a girl to grow a beard); Goodwill mixed matched outfits, the shunning of designer labels, and taking up odd hobbies, like playing the banjo, or making soap, and the discovery of new music. Additionally, many hipsters like to layer their clothing, and oftentimes, you will see the men with scarves, even in the warmer climates. This group also favors local shops, instead of the big named box stores, and this includes food, beverages; essentially anything that can be purchased from a Walmart but costs five times as much at a corner shop, just because it’s from the corner shop. Hipsters want to help the underdog, the environment and the local artisan with their purchases, not corporate America.
Hipsters are the kind of people who will not buy pet rocks because everyone has a pet rock; they discover the next pet rock fad and then quickly abandon it when it becomes popular. This is true of everything—fad foods, musical selections, electronics, clothing items, books, movies, and TV, to name just a few. Own a Chia Pet? Chances are, a hipster owned one first.
Once again, clothing makes the hipster, so having cool, unusual apparel that is unexpected is very special. Vintage dresses, cardigans, scarves, boho hats or fedoras, fitted hoodies with skinny jeans, t-shirts with vintage bands, anti Monsanto t shirts, or sayings, all these styles say are “I don’t care what I wear because it’s not what you’re wearing”—the ultimate in dissing without saying a word.
With your hipster clothes, you can’t wear just any footwear; it must be footwear that says you just threw this together without even trying. Granny boots, Keds tennies, combat boots, cowboy boots, vintage flats, platform heels and anything unusual will work.
The same rule applies with accessories—anything that might seem mainstream is bourgeois. Don’t forget your piercings or gauges, as your parents wouldn’t be caught dead with them. Break out the metal lunchboxes or worn leather satchels, just to add to your look.
Hipsters were green before green was cool, and they often grown their own food, space permit-able. Hipsters like to make socially conscious choices, so Whole Foods is an acceptable choice if you can’t grow food. If you grow the food, you should know how to cook it, too, as many hipsters consider themselves foodies. Of course, learning to grow food and cook means you should learn how to reuse and recycle, including composting. Ecology is big in the hipster culture, and anything you can do to save the planet is helpful.
Discovering new bands is a hipster hobby, and the more obscure, the better. Don’t give any one band too much credit; you want to make sure you appear to not really care because you’re too cool. Once the band becomes famous, you can throw out the old adage “I was a fan before they were famous.” If you hang out in shanty bars, you’re likely to run into your kind. Hipsters hang out at the places off the beaten path, like small art galleries, independent movie houses and unknown coffee shops. Many hipsters hit the library for fun since reusing books is so much better than purchasing them new. You can also learn about new subjects so you are well versed on a variety of topics. Brush up on your politics; everyone will want to hear your (liberal) views on global warming.
The main rule of being a hipster is to not try too hard. Hipster is more a laid-back attitude than one that tries; it should come organically. Embracing the culture should be a lifestyle you are willing and able to adopt; no one likes a poser, most of all a hipster!