11 ways to tell if you’re a hipster

by 5 years ago
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Hipster Traits

juplife, Flickr

The hipster (hipsterous americanus), previously a subspecies of the douchebag (douchebag americanus), has exploded into a species all its own, with its own quirks and rules for living. Like zombies, this species has spread from the cities through the heartland, creating a world in which no matter where you look you will see one staggering at you from a street corner with a Parliament dangling from a desiccated lip. What’s worse is that you may already be a hipster and not even know it (upon researching this article I discovered, much to my shame, that I am 3/8 hipster.) That’s where we come in. Here are eleven ways to tell if you’re a hipster.

Photo credit: juplife, Flickr


pacmikey, Flickr

Skinny jeans, ironic tee-shirts, fitted hoodies, anything plaid, anything “vintage” or anything that makes you look like either a hobo or a gay cowboy.

Really, there are a million little things that the hipster has appropriated over the years, to the point that at least something you own probably falls into the category of hipster fashion. That’s okay. The key to discovering whether or not you are a full-fledged hipster is this: look down. Are you currently wearing multiple things described above? For instance, are you currently rocking an ironic tee, skinny jeans and, hell, let’s say a pair of cowboy boots? Then you, friend, are 100% hipster. Uh, congrats?

Photo credit: pacmikey, Flickr


CarbonNYC, Flickr

You don’t necessarily need glasses, and even if you did, you could probably just wear contacts, but the hipster says to hell with all that and wears glasses anyway. In fact, the hipster doesn’t just wear any ol’ glasses. No. The hipster picks out the biggest, bulkiest, blackest set of frames he can find and then wears them proudly everywhere he goes. If this describes you, just know this: Vinny from Jersey Shore has started doing this. Is this the sort of company you want to keep? Your parents are worried about you.

Photo credit: CarbonNYC, Flickr



cameronparkins, Flickr

And if they become popular you immediately stop liking them.

If you are excessively proud because no one has heard of your favorite band then, to paraphrase that hick Jeff Foxworthy, you just might be a hipster. If you immediately stop liking that band because you just heard them on the radio and too many people know about them now then you are definitely a hipster. This goes for movies, TV shows, books… anything really. The hipster loves to feel unique, so much so that it becomes his or her identity. The substance of what they like isn’t nearly as important as the label that goes with it. In an attempt to avoid appearing shallow and sheep-like, the hipster falls into the trap of being as superficial and inane as everything they claim to despise. If this describes you, hang your head in shame. Shame!

Photo credit: cameronparkins, Flickr

Used Books

Patrick Feller, Flickr

Coffee shops (preferably independent), vintage clothing stores, used book stores, record stores, etc.

The more independent the better as far as the hipster is concerned. If you can somehow wrangle a job selling vinyl albums out of a converted loft space designed to look like the trunk of a car then you will be worshipped as a god by your fellow hipster – or would be if they didn’t think such outward displays of admiration weren’t totally uncool. Basically, if you live the life of an aspiring artist even though you have no talent whatsoever beyond standing around, looking aloof and like you’re suffering from heroin withdrawal, then I’m afraid to tell you that the hipster has you and there is no going back.

Photo credit: Patrick Feller, Flickr


Orin Zebest, Flickr

You might own a few CDs, but only because they’re kitschy and you’re being ironic, and most of your music hides safely on the Apple device of your choice (illegally downloaded, of course, or at the very least downloaded off of your favorite indy music blog) but you also venerate vinyl like a god, and whenever you talk music, you spend half the time sneering at anyone who doesn’t understand that vinyl is the best and the rest of the time talking about how you can hear the purity of the music on vinyl or some such gibberish even though you never actually listen to any of your albums. If this is you, then guess what? People hate it whenever you talk about music and you should feel bad about yourself. Also, you’re a full-blown hipster but I’m guessing you probably already knew that and have embraced it.

Photo credit: Orin Zebest, Flickr

Handlebar Mustache

deovolenti, Flickr

This one is a grey area because a lot of non-hipsters have multiple piercings and tattoos and trust me, you do not want to make the mistake of dismissing them as hipsters because you will not have a pleasant night. But, if you have multiple piercings and tattoos AND you rock a handlebar mustache like you’re Rollie fucking Fingers or something then you are most definitely a hipster. Of course, most women – most – are incapable of growing a quality mustache and so in order to identify a heavily tattooed, pierced to the gills woman as a hipster, you just refer to the wardrobe discussed earlier. If that woman also claims to “admire” the Suicide Girls then you are deep in the hipster jungle and no one will ever see you alive again.

Photo credit: deovolenti, Flickr


bagaball, Flickr

If your conversational skills are built upon your ability to drop names with every other word then you are not only a hipster, you are an incredibly annoying human being and no one likes you. A typical hipster name-dropping experience sounds a lot like the following: “So, I was talking to Mark – you know Mark, right? He works the door at Persephone and actually you probably wouldn’t have heard of him because it’s pretty underground – and anyway, Mark says that Vampire Elephant – you wouldn’t have heard of them, they’re pretty new – are playing a gig on Wednesday night and they’re only letting, like, 100 people know about it and blah, blah, blah...” If this sounds like something you would say then you are most definitely a hipster.

Photo credit: bagaball, Flickr


SweetOnVeg, Flickr

Look, it’s one thing to want to make a difference and/or want to eat healthier, but if you spend every meal looking down your nose at everyone else and lecturing them on why being a vegan is morally better then you are both a hipster and an asshole. In fact, I predict that this one will get me yelled at by somebody in the comments or on Twitter or wherever because the vegan hipster likes nothing more than taking the chance to show people that they’re a vegan and what better way to do that than to publicly call out some meathead idiot like me? The only problem with that is that, guess what? I’m a vegan too. I just don’t feel the need to yell at everyone about it all the time. (Although I did just take the opportunity to tout my veganism so… guilty, I guess. My apologies. I told you I was 3/8 hipster.) So, if you are a vegan, just do your thing in silence and while you’ll still be a hipster, at least people won’t want to shove a piece of raw hamburger in your mouth.

Photo credit: SweetOnVeg, Flickr

Richie Tenenbaum

hyphenmatt, Flickr

Look, I like Wes Anderson. I think he’s smart and funny and interesting and all that. But he’s also an ENORMOUS hipster. He makes good movies but those movies are like a goddamn hipster guidebook. Just ask yourself if you like his movies because they’re good movies or because you get off on whatever detached kitschy aesthetic he’s constantly trying to shove down your throat. I’m just saying, if you get an erection because you see a character in his film using an old typewriter or walking around with a Herman’s Hermits lunchbox from 1965 or something then not only do you have a problem, you’re also a filthy, filthy hipster.

Photo credit: hyphenmatt, Flickr


atomic playboy, Flickr

You’re almost definitely a hipster if you make a point to make your presence known at virtually every show in the area. It doesn’t matter if it’s a concert or an art exhibit or what, so long as it’s cheap and you can be seen. Special bonus hipster points if those shows are all indy concerts or underground performances. Hipsters live for shit like this, especially if they can get in for free. Hell, if it’s a show attended by only 12 people in a basement somewhere the hipster will sneer and tell everyone that it’s totally dead, but inside they will be thrilled because they can tell everyone that they were there and that it was totally exclusive. The show is the social mechanism around which the hipster world revolves. It’s where everything else in this list – every fashion decision, every ethos, every carefully constructed pose, everything – is put on display for the rest of the hipster world to see. So, if you find your life revolving around these shows, then perhaps it’s time to pack up and move to Portland.

Photo credit: atomic playboy, Flickr


DGriebeling, Flickr

If you’re a true hipster then you probably don’t even know when you’re being ironic anymore. Look back at virtually everything on this list. Irony is at the heart of all of it. It informs everything in the hipster world. Irony is the hipster religion and like all good zealots, the hipster spends all of his or her time proselytizing and trying to spread the good word of their faith. If you don’t believe me, just read the article again. Read just about anything I write. Irony is everywhere and half the time I don’t even realize it. None of us do. It’s the language we speak and that’s why I, like probably all of you, am at least partially a hipster, and that’s why nothing else could be number one on this list.

Photo credit: DGriebeling, Flickr

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