Sunday, June 16, 2013

How To Spot A Hipster


You either love them, hate them, or are one.

As many of you are aware, I started to learn French last year and right now I am at the Advanced Beginner level. I can read, write, comprehend French well but when it comes to responding/speaking it still is hard for me. But that is not the point of this blog.

In my most recent class which ended last week, Advanced Beginner 202, there were a total of three "hipsters" in my class who either would not shut up, would make things harder than what needed to be, and thought to be so cool and so smart. At one point the professor in French even made fun of one of them. I would constantly call them "hipsters" and my brother would ask me "what is a hipster?" as well as other friends of mine who might not have heard the term. Well here it goes. Here are the signs that you have spotted or know a hipster.

HOW TO SPOT A HIPSTER as according to JoiseyDani

1. If the person is going on and on about vintage clothing stores, wears vintage clothing, shops at any of these stores: e American Apparel, H&M, ASOS, CobraSnake, and Urban Outfitters (uh oh, I buy accessories from Urban Outfitters....), or shops at independent label retailers, you might have a hipster on your hands.

2. If the person wears skinny jeans or skinny pants. (Uh oh...I do that too...) This just does not mean women, men have to wear skinny jeans too. Also hipster men tend to be just as skinny as hipster women. As an alternative, some hipster women might wear high waisted jeans also known as "mom jeans."

3. Wear glasses, even if you do not need them. The more ironic they are, the better. Shuttershades, oversized plastic frames, nerd type glasses, and if the hipster can afford them authentic wayfarers from Ray Ban.

4. Wear ironic shirts. For example: ironic tees, plaid shirts, cowboy shirts, and anything in gingham, plaid, checkers, paisley, vintage florals. Many hipsters sport tops with appliques, images of animals or forests, other images, characters from children's TV, and ironic sayings or even book covers.

5. Find and wear suitable, comfortable footwear. Most hipster shoes include cowboy boots, Converse (looks at my purple and black Converse hi-tops, great *rolls eyes), and a range of flats. If the hipster likes trainers, Classic Reeboks are the way to go. Put it this way, the less effort you put into your footwear, the more of a hipster you might be.

6. Work those accessories! I am talking large flower headbands, neon nail polish, pins, bright belts, bird necklaces, patterned and colorful leggings, etc. Don't forget your plugs, piercings, and random scars supposedly acquired through woodwork and other carpenter-like endeavors.
An hipster essential include a courier bag (not a backpack), preferably something from Freitag, that can fit your MacBook, iPhone, and vinyl LPs (never CDs) of your current favorite band.

7. Always mismatch and layer your clothes. The more mismatched the better. Again the "I can not be bothered" look is key.

8. Make sure you know the difference between essential grooming/personal hygiene and hitting a salon just to be turned into a carbon-copy, Hipsters are wellaware of how to pull off the greasy or just-out-of-bed look without any effort.

9. Keep your hair casual. Long unkempt hair, "bed head" is perfectly fine. Greasy hair is okay to some but not others.

10. Whatever is old, make it new again. This, of course, takes a mixture of frugality, respect for some of the past, and a desire to demonstrate that new things don't define you. Basically try to be as ironic and inconsistent as possible as that is the core of the hipster -- carry the latest Apple product in a 1940s doctor bag or an military issued satchel. Commonly known old things associated with hipsters include Parliament cigarettes (and a devil-may-care attitude about smoking laws), Pabst beer, grandparent's clothing (or thrift store finds), bicycles with fixed gears (often ridden to the night clubs), analog cameras, and recycling and reusing almost anything (ingenuity, common sense, and fun fall into this category.)

11.Reject consumerism/materialism. Hipsters are into "niche consumerism". If your purchase helps local retailers, the environment, the mom and pop retailer, and the craft sellers down the road, then it's hipster.

12.Go to where the hipsters roam. Hipsters tend to congregate in very urban settings and they're connected globally thanks to the Internet. In the USA, you'll tend to find hipsters in major metropolitan centers where "anything goes". Be where there are independent art galleries, movie houses, bands, and people. Think New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, and especially the Brooklyn, N.Y. suburb of Williamsburg (known as the unofficial hipster capital of the world.

13.Be educated. Aim to go to college, as hipsters tend to be well educated in such areas as liberal arts, graphic art, or math (great....another aspect that I fall into....) and science.

14.Most importantly, don't define yourself to others' (denial). One of the key elements of being hipster has been to avoid the label. Don't go around proclaiming your allegiance; to do so would be to start allying with those who like neatly tied-up boxes denoting who is what, when, and where.

15.As far as hipster entertainment, you read great books and poetry by people like Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsburg, and Norman Mailer. Any other books you think are great. Any books, period; reading books sets hipsters apart from a lot of people. Visit the political science (ack my Bachelors is in Political Science and English), anthropology, and sociology sections of the bookstores and local library frequently. Watch independent and foreign films, as well as attending independent theater productions, such as shows by Ann Liv Young. Watch Wes Anderson, Hal Hartley and Jim Jarmusch movies.Listen to newly emerging, independent music -- hipster artists include Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, Belle & Sebastian, Electric President, Stray Kites, Jens Lekman, Neutral Milk Hotel, M83, Neon Indian, Neon Neon, Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos, and King Khan and the Shrines.

16.Hone your humor. Be ironic and sarcastic. When asked a question, refuse to answer directly; instead, obfuscate, ask a question in return, or just be plain sarcastic.

17.Some more hipster essentials: Scarves (to wear year-round),Vintage boots, Turntable, An old camera (polariod is suggested.), Fixed-gear bike, Your own garden, Fountain Pen, Any Apple product always updated, Instagram (remember to add a quote that is unrelated to the picture).

So I might have some hipster tendencies but I do not fall into the category. Do you?

Thanks to WikiHow for source material for this blog.

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