Hot, Homeless, or Hipster? One and the Same

By Lauren Kucera

You can find them at your local coffee house, thrift store, and just about any other location that screams artsy and independent. Hipsters. A 2009 Time magazine article described hipsters as this: “take your grandmother’s sweater and Bob Dylan’s Wayfarers, add jean shorts, Converse All-Stars and a can of Pabst and bam — hipster.” In reality though, hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.

So, we can spot them from a mile away but where did this young style tribe emerge from and is there a method behind the madness to their look?


Much to my surprise, after doing intensive research on this style tribe, there does not appear to be a recurring, underlying method to their madness. While the skinny jeans with a white belt wearing, bicycle riding, music no one else likes listening to trend may be easy to spot, detecting their origin is not as simple. While the hippie subculture of the 1960s originated out of a disdain for war and violence, most are unsure how or why the style tribe of the hipsters emerged. Even though we’re slightly unsure of their origin, we can easily deconstruct the hipster movement.

First and foremost, hipsterism is about stuff: an iPhone packed with apps, thick-framed glasses with no lenses, and the accumulation of old shopping bags or coca-cola bottles under the mindset that these things are, in fact, art. Irony is another critical characteristic of hipsterism. When it comes to being a hipster, irony is a knee-jerk way for hipsters to emotionally distance themselves from sincerely appreciating things. Hipsters have an ironic appreciation for products that are not traditionally considered cool (ie: shopping at thrift stores and drinking Pabst beer).

So where can you find these one of a kind independent individuals, who in fact actually all look identical to each other? The greatest concentrations of hipsters can be found living in Williamsburg, New York, Wicker Park in Chicago, and Mission District in San Francisco. Down here in the South, Austin, Texas is also home to several members of this style tribe.

Haters may hate on this subculture with their somewhat elitist attitude and quirky fashion sense, but we can’t deny the massive influence they have had on fashion. The “effortless cool” urban bohemian look of a hipster is exemplified in Urban Outfitters and American Apparel ads which cater towards the hipster demographic. Whether someone identifies himself as a hipster or not, you can’t deny the overwhelming presence of Keds sneakers, native American prints, feathers, and wide-rimmed glasses we see in fashion magazines and street styles today. Whether society wants to admit it or not, we’ve adapted a “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mindset towards this current and I think, here to stay style tribe. So, rock on hipsters. But I mean whatever; I liked hipsters before it was cool.


If you want to, you know, read more about hipsters, here you go.  Or not, we don’t care…

Parasuco, T. (2007, November 22). hipster. In Retrieved February 20, 2012, from

Lanham, R. (2009, June 29). Look at this F****** Hipster Basher. In The Morning News. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from

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