Part 1 Hipster Fashion
1Dress like a hipster. Fashion is just as important as your taste in music. While shopping at vintage stores remains a staple for many hipsters, this is not a given, nor does it need to be a part of the hipster wardrobe.
- Avoid buying labeled gear from stores run by the label itself (so very not nice consumerism). Instead, look for independent retailers because supporting obscure retailers is "totally deck". For example, buy from local mixed fashion stores near you.
- Be sure to assess what you're wearing. Are you layering? Are you buying local? What's the color or specific style this season? Are you advertising something on your shirt that hipsters identify with?
2Wear skinny jeans, especially of bright colors or patterns. These can be for anyone of any gender identity. Hipster men tend to be as skinny as the women.
- Note that guy hipsters actually probably wear skinny jeans more than the girls (girls prefer leggings).
- Alternatively, for women, high-waisted pants (a.k.a. "mom jeans") may also be worn.
3Wear glasses. Hipsters love ironic eye-wear such as shutter shades, over-sized plastic framed glasses, Buddy Holly glasses, and most commonly authentic Ray Ban Wayfarers in all the colors of the rainbow.
- Some hipsters wear eyeglasses even though they have 20/20 vision! In this case, pop out the lenses or make sure they're just regular glass.
4Wear ironic tops. For tops, the following are good picks: band shirts such as Pink Floyd, Metallica, Van Halen, etc, plaid shirts, cowboy shirts, flannels, 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.
- Fitted hoodies are perfect, too.
Dress vintage. Consider a vintage floral or lace dress. Granny's closet is definitely a good source; however, you should know how to sew and restyle vintage clothing to fit you.
6Find suitable footwear. Hipster shoes include cowboy boots, combat boots, vintage shoes, unusual shoes, and a range of flats.
- Converse are no longer hipster. They look great and you can wear them pretty much anywhere, but since everyone wears them, they aren't hipster.
- If it's trainers you're after, see Classic Reebok.
- High heels should be at least 5 inches (12.7 cm) in height, and ankle booties are popular too. Cute sandals, Keds (tennis/sand shoes), boots, and granny boots are not only more practical but also show how little effort you've put forth (even if it took you ages to find the perfect pair).
7Accessorize. There is a wide range of accessories, including large flower headbands, neon nail polish, pins, bright belts, black nail polish, bird necklaces, patterned and colorful leggings, etc.
- Don't forget your plugs, piercings, and random scars supposedly acquired through woodwork and other carpentry-like endeavors.
- Appropriately ironic accessories are mandatory, such as things kids would take to school, like an animal image on a lunchbox.
- Essentials 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.
8Mismatch and layer. Layering or wearing things that don't match together is very hipster. It's that "I can't be bothered" look that actually takes some planning until you get into the habit.
- Remember that a hipster's outfit never needs adjustment should you decide to go to the beach—keep all of your urban accompaniments for the sand and surf to ironically stick out of your element.
Part 2 Hipster Health
1Ignore the comments about improper hygiene. Some people associate hipsters with hippies and assume that they don’t shower regularly or otherwise don’t practice proper hygiene. This is a misconception. Though some hipsters participate in the no shampoo movement (which is still very clean), most practice normal hygiene (with bonus artisanal and environmentally-friendly soaps!).
- While hipsters do shower regularly and clean their teeth, they're just less interested in forking out money for hairstyling, spa sessions, pedicures/manicures, and large make-up kits because these are signs of conforming to cultural ideals of beauty.
- Arguably, hipsters aren't so interested in "making the most of their assets" because they see their entire self as an asset; from a self-esteem point of view, this is actually a rather healthy outlook.
2Keep your hair casual. Messy hairdos are just fine. The "bed look", long unkempt hair, and hair that resists any attempts to stay flat without chemicals are acceptable looks.
- Blurring gender lines with haircuts and styles is part of the hipster culture.
- Greasy hair is considered okay by some in the hipster culture. That doesn't mean you need to concur and a squeaky clean but uncombed do might be more your thing.
- For men, large beards and/or waxed mustaches are not a must but are preferred if one can grow them.
- Some hipsters like to dye their hair in an obvious way.
3Take a green approach to food. Consider growing your own food or turning vegetarian. Use compost if possible. Eating meat isn't always popular with the hipster culture, and many hipsters tend to be vegetarian or vegan. If you do eat meat, you must assert that choice as a cynical transcendence of vegetarians' futile attempts to save the world.
- Fruit, coffee, Asian food, etc., are all hip foods.
- If you have absolutely no space to grow your own produce (not even a balcony or a windowsill), go to a natural foods market instead.
- Often, hipsters are foodies and love making gourmet meals. If you can't cook, consider getting some good cookbooks today.
Part 3 Hipster Lifestyle
1Become a master of reuse. This takes a mixture of frugality, respect for some of the past, and a desire to demonstrate that new things don't define you. Naturally, you'll need to wrestle with the inconsistency of this step with the fact that loving shiny new Apple products and brand new clothes from certain labels is also a side of a true hipster, but since we're all contradictory deep down, the sooner we grasp these contradictions and accept them, the more whole a person we'll be.
- 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 comes into this).
- Learn to play a musical instrument, the more obscure, the better. Example: ukulele > guitar and mandolin > piano. Act like it's no big deal that you can play when others are amazed.
Reject blind consumerism. 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.
3Be aware that most hipsters exist in a certain age group. Hipsters tend to be in their teens through to their 30s. This is part of today's "extended adolescent" era, consisting of existential angst, searching for purpose and inner worth, and asking the meaning of everything.
- Of course, this doesn't mean you can't be a hipster at an older age, but the fact that as you age you get less bothered and upset about the way the world works, or doesn't work, probably means you're a) not so keen to be labeled anything, b) not in need of belonging to any sub-culture, and/or c) less angry than you used to be. It's quite possible you're also very discreetly steering the rudder of your own teens going through "issues" and you're less than keen to adopt more of the same for yourself.
4Be 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). Places like Glasslands and Pianos will be right up your alley. Los Angeles is also acceptable but be careful not to get sucked into the California culture.
- For less urban USA, try to find any moderately large college town; and in some states, a college town might be the only liberal part of the state such as Austin, TX, or Lawrence, KS.
- In the UK, London is your spot, in Canada, try Montreal, in Australia, try Melbourne and in New Zealand, try Wellington.
- Do not force yourself to live or go to these places or countries for the sake of being a hipster. Besides from being too uneconomical (especially if you live on the other side of the world), you can actually begin being a hipster in your place. One of the advantages is if your place knows less about hipsters, the fewer the people who will be discriminating or criticizing you. Take note that the Internet will always be your best friend.
5Be educated. Aim to go to college, as hipsters tend to be well educated in such areas as liberal arts, graphic art, or math and science.
- Do a lot of reading, even if it means sitting in the local bookstore using their space and not actually purchasing the books you're siphoning up knowledge from. Seek to go to higher level education if you're in your element at college.
- Going to the library (especially small, local libraries) is a good option because you don't have to pay and you can bring books back when you are finished. Also, they don't mind you just sitting reading without even taking a book out- this is normal in libraries.
- Hipsters are a subculture that uses more of their right brain than the rest of the society, thus, many hipsters base their career choices around music, art, or fashion. While these areas of work aren't essential choices, they are probably a natural outlet for a hipster's creativity.
- Education is what helps a hipster to be dismissive about the hue and cry of others; they know it's just history repeating itself, or it's all much ado about nothing.
6Be an early adopter. Hipsters tend to sense what's worthwhile before the trend or item becomes more popular. Many bands become famous only after hipsters first flock to their unknown performances. Many clothing trends were started by hipsters, only to be hijacked later by mainstream fashion houses. Many technical gadgets are taken up by hipsters first, only to become mainstream goodies later.
- Of course, the irony of being an early adopter hipster is that once the trend or item becomes mainstream, it's time to move on to something else obscure and unrecognized. That's the trouble with being such an independent spirit; you trail blaze but you also have to keep moving on.
- If you're really good at something like math, physics, medicine, psychology, political analysis, eco-awareness, etc., you might find yourself making amazing discoveries that are light years ahead of everyone else's thinking. You know deep down that you've cottoned onto something that really matters and that it makes sense but others are not convinced because it's the "great unknown". Rest easy and be determined in your knowledge that some day, others will come round to your discovery.
7Don't define yourself to others. 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.
- The moment you define yourself too clearly is the moment you begin to stagnate and risk being captured by the status quo. Many a hipster will therefore deny their "hipster-ness" whenever possible.
- To preemptively ward off the mockers, some hipsters have taken to extending their sense of irony to include even themselves by acknowledging and mocking their own hipsterdom (for example, wearing a tee that says "I hate hipsters"); that way, by mocking themselves first, no one else can effectively do it (reclaiming the negative).
8Keep a pulse on the hipster community. There is a strong community aspect to hipster culture. If you want to find out about the best new bands or a great local coffee shop, make sure to stay active in the community to get good recommendations and stay ahead of the trends.
- When some new, obscure band is on Pitchfork (preferably before), you should know about it.
- Check out Brooklyn Vegan (even if you don't live there), Stereogum, Gorilla vs. Bear, and the Hype Machine as often as possible, but don't make it obvious that you check them every five seconds.
Part 4 Indie Entertainment
1Read hipster classics. Your reading sources are important because what you read connects you with other hipsters, informs you about cultural issues, and keeps you knowledgeable. There's a lot to be read out there, so sort the wheat from the chaff and get into the things that matter most. Things to read include:
- Hipster magazines, such as Vice, Another Magazine, and Wallpaper. Foreign magazines are good too.
- Great books and poetry by people like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, 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, anthropology, and sociology sections of the bookstores and local library frequently.
- Blogs by other hipsters. You might also be inspired enough to write your own blog frequently.
Watch hipster cinema. 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.
3Listen to newly emerging, independent music. Indie music is a big part of what being a hipster is all about. Turn to the endless and ever-renewing list of independent artists in the music scene, especially in the areas of nu-rave, minimalist techno, independent rap, nerdcore, Elephant 6, garage rock, classic rock (Beatles usually), and punk rock. Also, remember, they don't have to be famous to be good. Browse amateur videos on YouTube, and you may find your style.
- Hipster artists of note include Lana Del Rey, Grizzly Bear, Marina & The Diamonds, Pink Floyd, Stray Kites,The Xx , Nirvana, La Roux, M83, Neon Indian, Neon Neon, King Khan, and the Shrines. Imagine Dragons, and Bastille are great examples of non-hipster bands, because the main part of being hipster is listening to bands that no one has ever heard of. Try Days n Daze, King Krule, Mitski, ikea graveyard, Waxahatchee, Dollar Signs, spoonboy, Not Half Bad, or Pope instead.
- Music blogs like Gorilla vs. Bear, Indiehere, /mu/, and Stereogum may help you with choosing suitable bands to listen to. Meeting people who are already into these bands will help you as well.
- Perhaps the most popular hipster music website is Pitchfork Media. If they give an album a good rating, it must be quite hip.
- One good way to decipher whether or not an artist is hipster is if your non-hipster friends to have never heard of them.
- Feel free to listen to the music of other countries as well, since most mainstream songs of this decade came out of America, Britain and South Korea.
Part 5 Socializing
Use social media. Hipsters love to use Blogspot, Tumblr, Instagram and WordPress, Ello, as well as taking photos with their Holga cameras and making cross-processed and "dream-like" pictures. Social media can also be a great way to find new things to enjoy, before they become mainstream.
2Date other hipsters. The reason to "hook up" with other hipsters is that you're much more likely to connect and see eye-to-eye on a range of issues. The all-American muscle guy or sorority-style tanned blond are not likely to be your type, so a fellow hipster is the answer.
- Note that if you are already in a relationship with someone, there is no need to end it on account of them not being hipster, obviously. But if you're looking for a relationship, always consider that you're probably going to have a lot of intimate discussions with them, so having the same hipster ideology could be a point of shared interest.
3Start dancing. If you want to spot a hipster, just turn around the next time you're at a show and see them standing in the back discussing Stella or Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) in a can. Sometimes, if the music and setting is right, you will witness hipsters engaging in dance movements.
- Hipster dancing, if done correctly, does not use so much of the hips as it does the upper body and arms. Lots of swinging your head back and forth but only do this if you're not humiliated easily (and as a hipster, you really shouldn't care).
- Although you'll rarely see hipsters dancing at shows, they tend to enjoy separate dance parties where they can dance to an array of more upbeat hipster dance music.
4Get the lingo and the attitude. While there will be many variations—part of the reality of hipster culture is that things change constantly—there are some things that are useful to know:
- Remember to use perhaps the most important hipster line: "I liked them before they were cool." Another good line given the recent spate of disasters is to say something like: "I donated to Haiti... before the disaster."
- Namedrop often. Talk about all the obscure bands you like that nobody you know has heard of. When your friends talk about a band you're unfamiliar with, just say you've heard of them but not actually heard them. Look them up the next time you have a chance to. It'll give you more cred.
- Insult a lot of bands. If you love everything you'll seem like a fanatic. Make sure to give off a vibe that you're too cool and elite for a lot of bands.
- If you would like to seem more educated and elite there is the key phrase " I liked their first EP, but pretty much after that I never got into them."
- Use made-up words as often as possible. Or use real words that no one really knows the meaning of unless they look them up (for example, pulchritudinous, cordiform, and petrichor).
5Hone your humor. A hipster is known for their strong sense of irony and sarcasm. When asked a question, refuse to answer directly; instead, obfuscate, ask a question in return, or just be plain sarcastic.
- Be sure to layer on the smirk to indicate your lack of seriousness, because it's possible for the other person to mistake your sarcasm for sincerity.
- For example: When in a theater watching a movie, and the person next to you turns to say, "Oh, my God, that was so cool! Did you see that?", in a dry tone, reply something along the lines of, "No, I paid .50 to stare at the ceiling."
- Watch British comedies for examples of good uses of sarcasm you can borrow. Unless you're already British, in which case you should be just fine.
- Have a sense of humorous perspective and don't take yourself too seriously. Hipsters are often parodied, so knowing how to laugh at derision will help a lot.
6Be prepared for critics. Be aware that hipsterism is frequently parodied or derided because hipsters bother some people. You're going to need to get used to disdainful attitudes and to work out the ways in which you're most comfortable responding.
- There will often be an insistence that your sub-culture is "less than" whatever it is the hater "believes" in.
- Given the tendency for hipsters to follow progressive politics, it's likely you'll encounter occasional conservative disdain, so it's probably a good idea to brush up on your responses to any standard ridicule.
- As for people who poke fun at your fashion sense, remind the so-called trendy mass that their worn and torn jeans fashion was created by children who are little more than slaves in some sweatshop and if they want to contribute to that, they’re welcome to. If they point out the fact that your Apple products were also produced in sweatshops, change the subject to an obscure band they've never heard of.
- Recognize the root of the problem. Realize that a lot of people who attack you may have deep insecurities about their own place in society and have very mixed ideas of what culture is, or how they reconcile the variant elements of culture with their own lifestyle and preferences. Practice a little compassion.
- Know that geeks have an odd relationship with hipsters. While some are disdainful, other geeks recognize the overlap of the cultures.
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- Keeping a nonchalant attitude about everything will help portray a more mysterious character.
- Always have the latest iPhone handy.
- Coffee (preferably fair trade sold from an indie coffee shop) is basically one of the food groups.
- Lush, while somewhat mainstream, is a great place to shop for all natural, handmade soaps and shampoo bars. Just don't buy those mainstream bath melts and such.
- Realize that hipster has become really mainstream at the moment so a lot of this is not being hipster at all. It's just being a poser.
- Don't take this article too seriously, instead see it as a set of guidelines to work with as befits you. Hipsters pride themselves on their independence from the mainstream.
- Sometimes, just sometimes, you may be really frustrated that other people don't get what's so great about your music, fashion, and other choices. Give it up; you won't ever see, hear, or feel the things they love the way they do, and that's because everyone is different.
- The goal of being a hipster is to look like you're not trying, however, if you are one, you are probably trying really hard, or at least enough. Just accept it.
- Try not to take yourself, or the hipster culture, too seriously.
- Don't expect yourself to be hipster right away. It is actually a process of becoming a hipster and you shouldn't rush it.
- Negativity can pervade the hipster culture, perhaps as a counteraction to the ridiculously-positive, can-do motivational speaker style attitudes pervading much of the business and consumer culture these days. However, negativity is not an answer, it's simply a reaction. Always try to find balance and peace in your life rather than seeing doom and gloom in everything. Yes, society is full of problems but being negative about them won't solve or change such problems whereas a realistic and pragmatic approach to doing things that make a difference will go part the way to bringing about a better world. Remember too, that every generation is cursed with thinking things used to be or could be better. We are time-bound and body-bound creatures who need to accept our limitations while making the most of what we do know and can do. Constant deconstructing and criticizing of society can all too easily turn into a paralysis-by-analysis lifestyle, in which complaining becomes your modus operandi but actually changing the status quo is not something you're tooled up to do.
Things You'll Need
Scarves (to wear year-round)
Tattoo (just if you want, but is preferable)
An old camera (Polaroid is suggested.)
Your own garden
Any Apple product always updated
Instagram (remember to only post HD photos, though, you're too elite for iPhone quality)
Sources and Citations
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