Last week I wrote a column in which I disparaged the fashion sense of a subspecies of young Austinites commonly referred to as hipsters (Hipsterii ridiculus, for you Linnaean geeks). In it, I proposed a game in which points could be scored by spotting young people sporting specific fashion items.
Apparently I struck a chord, as a surprising number of people commented on my idea. What was not surprising was that no one who commented was under the age of 30. That’s probably because no one under the age of 30 reads my column, & thats bcz I ddnt txt it 2 thm LOL!
I rag on hipsters for two main reasons: One, they’re young and I’m not, and two, they look stupid. Everyone’s young at least once, but that’s no excuse for dressing like a clown. When I was in my early 20s, I was rockin’ the bell-bottoms, the tie-dye t-shirts, and the love beads. (Come to think of it, all I was missing was a red rubber nose and a pair of big shoes.)
But back to the hipster thing. Most of the comments I got were about hipster headgear. My attorney suggested that the venerable fedora be added to the list, and I have to concur. Unless you are Bear Bryant, Frank Sinatra or Lightnin’ Hopkins, you should probably avoid this style.
My Oklahoma cousin, Catfish, suggested I include those Peruvian-style caps with the dangly earflaps, and I could not agree more. He also gave the thumbs-down to tams; again, I concur, and would expand this to include dreadlocks. By my lights, unless you are a Rasta, an orthodox Jew or possibly Boy George, locks are a very bad idea indeed.
Another fashion I would add is knit caps that look like animals. Here’s a hint: If you’re not being breastfed, you’re too old to be wearing a cap that makes your head look like it’s being eaten by a panda.
A trend I did not touch on was fucked-up footwear. Last summer I ran over a pair of old sneakers with my lawn mower and they got pretty chewed up. I threw them away, but I bet I could have sold them to a shop catering to hipsters. No kidding – there’s a very popular shoe brand called Tom’s that, brand new and straight from the store, look like the sneakers I tossed. And another tip for the guys: if you’re not Pablo Picasso, leave the espadrilles in your girlfriend’s closet.
Hipsters are also fond of giant headphones. That’s cool with me, since it keeps me from having to listen to Vampire Weekend (again). But get around a group of hipsters and it’s like you’ve stumbled into an air-traffic controller convention, or maybe a tank-gunners’ reunion. My suggestion? Unless you’re a DJ, stick with the earbuds.
When it comes to deep-V t-shirts, all I can say is, thanks, guys; that’s just what I wanted – a better look at your bony chest and/or Sailor Jerry tatts. And ladies, speaking of ill-considered ink, that Day of the Dead chest piece that looks so bad-ass today is going to look sad in a few years when it joins your breasts in their inexorable migration southward. I predict that by the time you’re 30 it’s going to look less like a calavera and more like a “Friday the 13th” mask.