The Hipster Epidemic


Today I saw a woman in her early twenties with heavily permed hair and a banana clip. I saw another woman wearing a bright yellow parachute material jacket. Aunt-Jackie-on-Rosanne over sized sweaters with bears on them and mom jeans pulled up under armpits. Ironic tattoos of hot dogs. MAN BUNS on dudes wearing slim cut high water slacks and pointy shoes.

Here’s the deal. I remember what it was like to be in my early twenties. I remember trying so hard to be an individual. I remember wanting to look NOTHING like the mid-thirties to mid-forties parents of the world. I remember slip dresses and choker necklaces and John Lennon sunglasses and dark lipstick and flannel… and… oh wait. All that crap is back again.

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s authentic fashion parade. I really don’t. One of the things I love most about New York is how everyone is just doing their own thing. Neon red hair. Weird baseball hats with rabbit-tail-cotton-things stuck on top. Retro dresses and lipstick that make women look like they stepped off a period movie set. Renaissance fair flowing garbs. People and pets wearing matching tutus. Women with more bling on the seat of their jeans than I have in my entire jewelry box. And I adore it all. I have never felt more relaxed or less pressured about how I look or what I wear because here anything and everything goes. There’s no lock-step. There’s no formula.

But Hipster-dom is beyond me. It’s just trying too hard to be ironic, bless its pointed little head. It can’t make up its mind. It can’t commit. It’s like taking disparate aspects of several different eras and shoving them into one. Like the handle bar mustache of an 1800’s train conductor combined with the slim cut slacks a’la Audrey Hepburn (and her ballet-bun) and putting all those things on a man.

I know. I’ve crossed over. But the thing is, at a certain point you just want jeans that neither chafe your armpits nor show the crack of your butt. You want to not look fat. You do not want your feet to hurt. And you want to not be laughed at.

And at the end of the day, you want a man that doesn’t have to style, tease, and curl his own facial hair.

So I’m going to accept that it is what it is. I don’t understand it. The next big movement will probably be something I don’t understand either (unless it’s fashion from the 1920’s, I do so love women in hats and men in suits).

I’m going to do my best to breath deep and not shake my fist and yell “kids these days” the next time I see a girl with uncombed hair wearing a belly shirt, mom jeans, and massive, gleaming white tennis shoes befitting only people who endure on-the-job standing for ten hours at a time.

But, I suppose giant white tennis shoes fall under the “feet don’t hurt” category.

Maybe there’s a tiny part I can understand after all.

7 thoughts on “The Hipster Epidemic

  1. I totally get what you are saying Liz. I walked three miles in my mother’s two inch wooden clogs, home from middle school in 1973. I was thirteen, but I still have the blisters to prove I did this, and now I see those same ugly clogs walking on Project Runway as “So in. So stylish, So cool.” Everything come back around again, and claims to be so “fashionable.” Let’s just hope it is truly stylish like Audrey Hepburn’s trench. Kathi


  2. “I remember slip dresses and choker necklaces and John Lennon sunglasses and dark lipstick and flannel …” You just described my uniform from 1991 – 1995 perfectly.


  3. Oh, this reminds me of my father! He had just learned his cancer was terminal and we were leaving the doctor’s office in silence, when a girl with bright pink spiked hair and an outfit only the young would dare to sport walked past us. Dad watched her, then looked at me and said, “Maybe now is not such a bad time to go.” I’ll always remember that laugh we shared.


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