Published on March 3, 2013 | by Rosie Conroy


How hipster are you?

A man with a moustache.

Are hipsters becoming a thing of the past? [Flickr: hypenmatt]

The meaning of ‘cool’ is going through something of a transformation. Sarah Cameron apparently likes Azealia Banks’ lewd lyrics and creative students are increasingly choosing to bake – with free-range eggs no less – rather than sustaining themselves purely on the beauty of their own art.

The group in most danger of extinction is the thoroughbred hipster – the real trendsetter, pioneer, art-loving, vintage-wearing, and traditionally ‘cool’ hipster. Their roots in being alternative have been ultimately shaken with a tsunami-sized wave of confusion over what is actually cool and what everyone seems to think is cool.

You may not realise you are suffering from being a hipster because that would conflict with your own moral compass and your superior view of your unique self. You may even make fun of other hipsters while simultaneously trying to recreate their look frantically – as if you were minutes away from winning a multi-coloured, hand knitted vintage jumper on ebay.

Below is a list of classic hipster traits, if you can tick more than five then you are quite clearly of the hipster variety. If this was unexpected, harness your shock and use it to help you mutate into some other sub-culture.

Moustaches: You will either have one, or be attracted to those who have one. Moustaches should be well groomed, twisted at the ends and involve quite a lot of upkeep.

South London Living: Crowded and expensive, Shoreditch is so passé. You no doubt rent a period property south of the river among the pop-up restaurants. Deep down east London will forever be your spiritual home.

Poorly paid job: You have a job where you work with other skinny-jeaned, vintage clad hipsters. Probably behind a bar in Dalston or another similar area.

Ironically like R ‘n’ B: Singing along to ‘90s Destiny’s Child gives you cool points. But only if everyone in your social group recognises that you are doing it as part of a larger social expectation – and that you absolutely do not listen to them alone in your bedroom.

Awkward dancing: Whatever you do, do not get down to the music in a social setting. Instead, hold a bag, drink and your favourite coat at all times so dancing is limited to bobbing along to some obscure ‘interesting’ band.

Short trousers: Despite it being winter, ankles are aired as frequently as Katie Price’s laundry. Tight and slightly too short are the key factors to remember when buying your trousers. Comfort is not a consideration.

Old man pubs: Or so they appear on the outside. On the inside they transform themselves, like a phoenix from the dust, into a subtle blend of tatty and tasteful. Taxidermy is probable so vegetarians are advised to avoid at all costs.

Bikes: You should risk it all on either an extremely old and mangled bike or a new, single speed flying machine. Bikes that fit between the aforementioned criteria will not cut the cool here. Do not even consider about using a Boris Bike.

Dress the same as your friends: Firmly believe in your own individuality while simultaneously trying to recreate your friends’ best looks. Instagram can prove particularly useful here in picking up new outfit ideas.

Boy or Girl? Your style should be fairly androgynous; ‘boyfriend’ styled anything for the girls and spray on jeans for the boys. Keep them guessing. No matter what your sex, a small skullcap style beanie is pretty much compulsorily.

Themed evenings: Cat evenings, R ‘n’ B evenings, and diva nights are all part of the deal if you insist on socialising in hipster circles. As with dancing hip-hop though, you should realise that these nights are largely appreciated for their irony.

Know people in high places: A friend in PR, advertising, modelling or a band will come in handy. This way you can wangle your way into events where everyone looks slightly disgruntled to be there, but are also so well dressed that it will not matter. The venue should be Shoreditch House or somewhere similar.

Market shopping: Sundays will be spent perusing various markets – think Broadway, Columbia Road, Brick Lane or Battersea. Whatever area you choose – it does not matter – as long as you find a vintage bargain to tell your friends about on your return to south London.

Eclectic CV: Your CV should be an eclectic mix of creative hobbies which may include; sound artist, mixologist, underground DJ, craft stall holder – or all of the above.

Protest about something: Protesting in any form is very ‘of the moment’. You do not even necessarily have to understand what you are protesting about. Just ensure you have a large and attractive banner.


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