These days, there's apparently few worse things you could be than a hipster. People aren't outright saying they are worse than Hitler but you can kind of read between the lines. And wearing/doing things because they are ironic is pretty stupid.
But I feel like there's a lot of innocent people that can get caught in the searchlights during a hipster hunt, who have perfectly reasonable explanations for why they exhibit some of the classic hipster signs. Like...
Hipsters are known for wearing thick-framed glasses, as if they lived in a time before strong, lightweight materials were invented.
But even though there's contacts and titanium frames now, there's still totally legit reasons some people might wear thick-rimmed glasses. Like if you have tiny eyes.
Nobody likes having tiny eyes. They make you look like Vigo-possessed Ray from Ghostbusters 2.
How can you rule the earth and call other people pitiful half-men when you yourself look like a little piggy? You can say you are the Scourge of Carpathia and the Sorrow of Moldavia but all other people are going to hear is, "Oink, oink, oink!"
But see how a bold pair of frames can really enhance Vigo's eyes.
Now that he's a less freaky looking demon with normal-sized eyes, maybe the Ghostbusters will take what he has to say more seriously instead of shooting him.
Honestly, though, thick, dark frames carry out the same function as eyeliner (the point of eyeliner is to make your eyes stand out and look bigger if you are not versed in the lore of makeup) and are a lot easier to put on. And if you can't wear contacts, like me, eyeliner doesn't do much for you behind the glasses.
So yeah, some of us thick-rimmed glasses wearers aren't hipsters, we are just trying to look less like pig demons.
When people these days see someone wearing an 80s pop culture themed T-shirt, their first thought is usually "hipster".
Because what the hell would a grown-up be doing buying a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt, specifically one with the original series logo? To be ironic, that's what.
Or maybe honestly nostalgic, which isn't much better since that kind of blind nostalgia has been bringing back a wave of old properties like Transformers, G.I. Joe, the A-Team, the Smurfs, and others, in mostly awful modern incarnations.
See what ten thousand ironic t-shirts have wrought.
However, here's another explanation - they are very frugal people who are very good at taking care of their clothes. For example, the oldest T-shirt I can put a date on is my 1992 junior class T-shirt, which I still wear regularly and is in pretty good condition. I haven't gone to any trouble to preserve it and it's nearly 20 years old.
I wear it because it's comfortable, and because it's black, not because I want to let people know that the junior homecoming theme was Stayin' Alive.
This Stayin' Alive, not the general concept of survival.
Friends I knew in even more insanely frugal households ended up saving clothes way beyond their fashion expiration date, going to college and later the working world with Engrish-festooned shirts from Taiwan that their parents had dumped on them in junior high, because they had a complex about "wasting" things.
random404 on Flickr.com
Maybe not the best thing to wear to your first day on the job as a copy editor.
When you grow up, you realize some of the things your parents taught you to do are a little crazy, but old habits die hard.
If the shirt in question is a newly-bought replica, none of that applies, of course. But unless you can see the tag, what are you going to do, carbon date everybody's shirt?
Mental note: Can't-fail small business idea #406 - T-shirt carbon dating kits.
As someone with weight on my mind a lot, I didn't really get "skinny jeans" at first, as a product. If you want tighter jeans, buy a smaller size, right?
Now I get that you do have to make some changes to the cut to get it to hug your legs all the way down - if you have skinny legs. But for a pretty big percentage of Americans, you don't really need that special cut. You can probably find a standard cut of jeans out there that will do all the hugging you need.
Because to a great extent, how "skinny" a pair of jeans appears is relative to how fat the legs in question are.
For example, any jeans on this person are going to look like skinny jeans:
You don't usually find a person that big walking around in skinny jeans, but there are a lot of smallish people out there who may have put on a little weight recently but are in denial or maybe just can't afford new jeans. And with the remarkable things they're doing these days with stretch denim, they might just still be able to make their old jeans work - only now they look like skinny jeans.
Conversely, women who suddenly lose a lot of weight can be mistaken for gangsters.
This is why I wear flares. Flares or boot cut jeans, being big at the ankle, never going to be mistaken for attempted skinny jeans no matter how fat you get, unless you get giant ankle tumors maybe. People will just look at you and go, "Oh, that person got too fat for their jeans."
Better than being called a hipster.
Sometimes you come across a young man with a bushy beard and mustache and you automatically think "hipster." And quite often you'd be right. People don't usually combine a contemporary hairstyle with the beard of a Civil War gentleman unless they're trying to get attention.
But it could also be sensitive skin. Some people experience horrible razor burn every time they try to shave, and just decide, "fuck it."
And maybe they just want to make the best of what they've got, so they style it into something ridiculous, because, face it, everything you style a beard or mustache into looks ridiculous. That's your only alternative to plain.
However, if they're clearly shaving big swaths of beard in order to get some kind of pattern:
That leaves the sensitive skin excuse right out. Hipster away.