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Hipster Culture Exposed: 15 Distinctive Values, Examples, and Trademark Styles

HeyYou might be wondering, “What exactly is a hipster?” Well, dear readers, there’s no easy answer to that question.

Hipsters are a unique breed of individuals who march to the beat of their own drum, defying societal norms and embracing a lifestyle that is as diverse as it is captivating. They are the dreamers, the artists, the trendsetters, and the rebels—all rolled into one.

Is hipster a noun or an adjective? Actually, it can be both! But for our purposes, we’re focusing on the individuals who proudly check off every box on the hipster checklist.

From craft beer enthusiasts and vinyl record collectors to vintage fashion aficionados and fixed-gear cyclists, these are the folks who embody the spirit of hipster culture.

hipster in paris

There are several unmistakable trademark of hipster culture, but I think the most common perception is the love for craft beer and microbreweries. These aficionados of the malted elixir relish the complexities of flavors that come with each small-batch brew.

No run-of-the-mill lagers here; hipsters crave artisanal creations that speak to their discerning taste buds. So, if you find yourself in a charming small town, keep your eyes peeled for the nearest microbrewery—you might just stumble upon a hidden gem!

Let’s not forget about what hipsters look like. A little bit of facial fuzz that has become synonymous with hipster culture. Ah, the beards and mustaches—they come in all shapes, sizes, and styles!

For hipsters, facial hair is more than just a grooming choice; it’s a form of self-expression and an art form in itself. Whether it’s a majestic full beard, a well-manicured mustache, or an edgy stubble, each whisker tells a story of the individual’s creativity and rebellion against conformity.

But wait, there’s more to the hipster wardrobe than just impressive facial hair. If you ever come across someone rocking vintage and retro clothing with effortless flair, chances are you’ve spotted a hipster in their natural habitat.

Thrift stores and second-hand shops are treasure troves for these fashion trailblazers, where they can discover unique pieces that harken back to bygone eras.

Their style reflects a fusion of the past and the present, with a splash of irony and a whole lot of personality.

“Is the word hipster slang?” you might wonder. While the term may have started as slang, it has now firmly entrenched itself in modern culture and has taken on a more complex meaning. Hipsters don’t just follow trends; they create them, challenging traditional norms and forging their own paths.

While hipsters may appear to be a counterculture at first glance, they’ve more recently evolved into something more mainstream.

Their influence on fashion, music, and lifestyle choices has permeated society, blurring the lines between what’s considered “hipster” and what’s not. That’s why hipsters aren’t always seen as a counterculture—their tastes and preferences have become part of the cultural landscape, especially for millennials.

But not everyone is enamored by the hipster movement. Some critics are quick to point out the perceived worst things about hipsters. They may mock their penchant for certain fashion choices or the stereotypical “hipster” attitude.

However, it’s essential to remember that every subculture has its quirks and critiques, and hipsters are no exception.

Now, let’s take a moment to talk about the way hipsters approach food and beverages. They’re not just interested in grabbing a quick bite; they’re passionate about supporting local producers and sustainable practices.

Organic and artisanal foods are their go-to choices, and they take immense joy in exploring farm-to-table restaurants. You’ll often find them savoring specialty coffee at quaint little cafes, where baristas are like magicians, conjuring up the perfect brew to suit their individual tastes.

The world of hipsters is a realm where quirkiness reigns supreme, and ordinary is just not an option. Below are the trademark signs of a hipster, identified by myself as a self-described hipster from when Williamsburg wasn’t even cool yet.

15 Trademark Styles of Hipster Culture

craft beer in netherlands

1. Craft beer and microbreweries

Craft beer and microbreweries are more than just a passing trend; they represent a whole movement of passionate brewers dedicated to their craft. With a focus on quality ingredients and innovative brewing techniques, these beer artisans have redefined the way we experience and appreciate beer.

Exploring the world of craft beer is like embarking on a delightful journey of flavors, where each sip reveals a new taste sensation. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and refreshing sours, craft breweries offer a diverse range of brews to cater to every palate.

Beyond the drink itself, microbreweries often serve as communal spaces where like-minded beer enthusiasts gather to share stories, laughter, and a mutual love for all things beer.

Hipsters often embrace craft beer and microbreweries due to their focus on unique and small-batch production methods. They appreciate the diversity of flavors and styles, as well as the emphasis on supporting local and independent businesses.

new look new style feeling good

2. Beards and mustaches

Beards and mustaches have transcended mere facial hair; they have become symbols of identity and self-expression.

For hipsters, growing and grooming facial hair is an art form that requires patience, dedication, and a keen eye for style. The diversity of beard and mustache styles allows individuals to showcase their personality and creativity.

From the classic handlebar mustache to the rugged lumberjack beard, each facial hair choice tells a unique story. Moreover, facial hair care products and grooming rituals have surged in popularity, creating a whole industry dedicated to helping hipsters maintain their prized facial fuzz.

Facial hair has become a trademark of hipster culture, symbolizing a rejection of mainstream grooming norms. Beards and mustaches are often styled in creative and individualistic ways, reflecting the hipster’s desire to stand out and express their unique identity.

I’ve personally experimented with different mustache and beard shapes, usually depending upon the season.

Stockholm Fashion

3. Vintage and retro clothing

The love for vintage and retro clothing in hipster culture extends beyond just fashion; it’s a way of curating a personal style that stands out from the crowd.

Thrift stores and vintage boutiques have become treasure troves for these fashion adventurers, offering an array of one-of-a-kind pieces from various eras. Embracing vintage fashion also aligns with the sustainable and eco-conscious ethos that many hipsters embody.

By opting for pre-loved clothing, they contribute to reducing waste and promoting a more environmentally friendly approach to style.

Hipsters favor vintage and retro clothing to distinguish themselves from mainstream fashion trends. Wearing old-fashioned, thrifted, or vintage-inspired apparel allows them to showcase their appreciation for nostalgia, individuality, and sustainable fashion choices.

4. Vinyl records and record players

In a world increasingly dominated by digital music streaming, the resurgence of vinyl records and record players in hipster culture is a nostalgic rebellion against the digital age.

Collecting vinyl records isn’t merely about listening to music; it’s an immersive experience that engages all the senses. The act of flipping through record bins, admiring album artwork, and delicately placing the needle on the vinyl creates a connection to the music that is lost in the digital realm.

I love playing records in my hipster Brooklyn apartment when I have boys over on dates and hookups. They love the atmosphere it creates and it’s just fun to show off the collection when I’ve got visitors.

Vinyl records have become more than just a format for listening to music; they are coveted collector’s items that hold sentimental value and artistic appreciation.

The revival of vinyl records and record players in hipster culture represents a preference for analog experiences and a rejection of digital convenience. Collecting and playing vinyl records are seen as authentic ways to engage with music and appreciate album artwork and liner notes.

hipster bike in tel aviv

5. Fixed-gear bicycles

Fixed-gear bicycles, commonly known as fixies, have become a symbol of urban mobility and artistic expression for hipsters. Beyond their sleek and minimalist design, these bikes offer a unique riding experience.

Unlike traditional bicycles with gears, fixies have a single fixed gear, meaning the pedals and wheels are directly connected. This design allows for greater control and a more connected feeling with the road.

Fixie enthusiasts often customize their bikes with vibrant colors, unique handlebars, and artistic embellishments, turning their rides into distinctive reflections of their personalities.

“Fixies” are iconic in hipster culture as they emphasize simplicity and a DIY aesthetic. Hipsters are drawn to these bikes for their minimal design and connection to urban biking subcultures.

berlin foodie

6. Organic and artisanal foods

For hipsters, eating isn’t just about sustenance; it’s a conscious choice to support local farmers, reduce their carbon footprint, and nourish their bodies with the best quality ingredients. Organic and artisanal foods offer a more intimate connection with the source of what they consume.

Whether it’s handcrafted cheese from a local dairy farm or fresh produce from the farmer’s market, each bite is savored with appreciation for the hard work and care that went into its creation.

Hipsters see food as a way to make a positive impact on the environment and their communities, and they take pleasure in exploring the diverse flavors of the culinary world.

Hipsters value organic and artisanal foods because they prioritize quality, sustainability, and ethical sourcing. This preference aligns with their desire to support local producers and adopt healthier and more mindful eating habits.

fancy restaurant food

7. Farm-to-table restaurants

Farm-to-table restaurants embody the essence of hipster culture – a deep appreciation for locally sourced, sustainable, and seasonally inspired cuisine. These culinary establishments prioritize building direct relationships with local farmers and producers to ensure that their dishes feature the freshest ingredients.

By championing the farm-to-table movement, hipsters not only indulge in delicious meals but also support a more ethical and environmentally responsible approach to dining and specialty restaurants. Dining at these restaurants becomes more than just a meal; it becomes an experience that connects patrons to the land, the community, and the chef’s culinary expertise.

Farm-to-table dining resonates with hipsters as it promotes locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients, fostering a closer connection between food producers and consumers. These restaurants often focus on environmentally-friendly practices and offer a more personalized dining experience.

coffee in a hipster cafe

8. Specialty coffee shops

Specialty coffee shops are not just places to grab a quick caffeine fix; they are hallowed grounds for hipsters to worship the art of coffee-making. These coffee havens are staffed by skilled baristas who are passionate about their craft, turning a simple cup of joe into a sensory journey.

From single-origin beans (coffee from Colombia is especially popular with these trendsetters) to precision brewing methods, every detail is carefully attended to, ensuring that each cup is a masterpiece of flavor.

Specialty coffee shops also offer a welcoming atmosphere, making them popular spots for social gatherings, creative conversations, and cozy escapes from the daily grind.

Hipsters appreciate specialty coffee shops for their dedication to high-quality coffee beans, skilled baristas, and unique brewing methods. These establishments often serve as communal spaces for creative expression and social gatherings.

Polaroid Vintage

9. Polaroid cameras and film photography

There’s no denying that smartphone cameras and instant digital uploads are ubiquitous these days, but hipsters have revived the charm of analog photography with Polaroid cameras and film rolls. The tactile process of taking a picture and eagerly waiting for the image to develop offers a sense of anticipation and surprise that digital photography lacks.

Each shot is a precious moment frozen in time, with no filters or edits to alter its authenticity. Hipsters cherish film photography as a form of art that allows them to capture the world through a nostalgic and unfiltered lens.

The charm of Polaroid cameras and film photography captivates hipsters who appreciate the tangible and nostalgic nature of printed photographs. It allows them to document their experiences in a more authentic and artful manner.

I actually have three different Polaroid cameras, including two vintage ones (one from the 1980s and the other from the 1990s). They’re perfect when I host rooftop barbecues, picnics, or small house parties.

MNMUR perfect wallet

10. Handcrafted leather goods

Handcrafted leather goods exude a timeless charm that aligns perfectly with hipster aesthetics. From vintage-inspired satchels to meticulously crafted wallets, each piece carries a sense of authenticity and craftsmanship.

Hipsters appreciate the artistry that goes into making these goods, choosing quality over mass-produced items. Handcrafted leather products not only serve practical purposes but also become unique statements of personal style and an appreciation for artisanal talent.

Hipsters gravitate towards handcrafted leather goods as they value artisanal craftsmanship, durability, and natural materials. These goods often have a rustic or vintage appearance, reflecting the hipster’s love for retro aesthetics.

11. Typewriters

Typewriters, the mechanical ancestors of modern computers, have a special place in the hearts of hipsters. They evoke a sense of nostalgia for an era when writing was a deliberate and tangible act.

Typewriters offer a tactile and rhythmic experience, with each keystroke producing a satisfying clack. For hipsters, using a typewriter isn’t just about productivity; it’s about reconnecting with the past and celebrating the beauty of vintage technology.

Typewriters are cherished by hipsters for their vintage appeal and tactile writing experience. They provide a sense of nostalgia and uniqueness, appealing to those who enjoy unconventional forms of expression.

Berlin CSD 2014

12. Trucker hats and snapback caps

Trucker hats, snapback caps, and other unusual hats are hipster headwear staples that exude a casual and laid-back vibe. These hats are adorned with quirky logos, retro designs, or ironic phrases, adding a playful touch to any outfit.

Often seen as symbols of individuality and nonconformity, these hats have become a canvas for personal expression, allowing hipsters to showcase their unique personalities with a simple fashion accessory.

These headwear choices have become symbols of hipster culture, representing a blend of streetwear, retro fashion, and irony. Trucker hats and snapback caps offer a playful and casual way to complete a hipster outfit.

giovanni's room thrift vintage

13. Independent bookstores and zines

In the digital age of e-books and online retailers, independent bookstores hold a special allure for hipsters. These quaint and cozy spaces offer a curated selection of niche literature and hard-to-find titles that cater to eclectic tastes.

Here, book lovers can discover hidden literary gems and engage in thought-provoking conversations with knowledgeable staff. Additionally, zines, or self-published magazines, are a favorite medium for hipsters to share their creative works and alternative perspectives on various topics.

Hipsters support independent bookstores and zines to celebrate alternative literature and niche interests. These outlets offer a diverse selection of non-mainstream publications, reinforcing the hipster’s passion for uniqueness and independent thinking.

cocktail glass

14. Mason jars and other vintage kitchenware

Mason jars and vintage kitchenware have become versatile symbols of hipster culture, serving as both functional and decorative items. These glass jars evoke a sense of rustic charm and sustainability, often used for food storage, glassware, and DIY projects.

Beyond mason jars, hipsters are drawn to other vintage kitchenware, such as enamelware, old-fashioned cooking utensils, and retro dinnerware, which add a touch of nostalgia to their culinary experiences.

Hipsters embrace mason jars and vintage kitchenware for their rustic charm and eco-friendliness. They use these items for various purposes, such as food storage, drinking vessels, and DIY crafts.

Wm. Mulherin's Sons - Philadelphia Hotel

15. Urban gardening and succulents

Urban gardening and succulents are manifestations of the hipster’s desire to connect with nature and create green oases in urban environments. From rooftop gardens to tiny terrariums, these green spaces bring a touch of serenity to bustling cityscapes.

I have a rooftop garden with multiple flower pots, including a hand-built planter box, where I grow local varieties of flowers and vegetable plants. I’ve grown radishes, heirloom tomatoes, peppers (especially jalapeños), squash, and even a corn stalk that produced actual vegetables!

Succulents, with their low maintenance and unique shapes, have become popular indoor plants, adorning windowsills and desks with a splash of greenery. Urban gardening and succulents are more than just trendy decor; they symbolize a yearning for simplicity and a harmonious relationship with the natural world.

Gardening is popular among hipsters as they allow them to connect with nature and practice sustainable living in urban environments. These green initiatives align with the hipster’s values of environmental consciousness and self-sufficiency.

In conclusion, exploring the fascinating world of hipster culture has been nothing short of an enchanting journey. From craft beer and microbreweries to vintage fashion and vinyl records, each aspect we’ve uncovered is an essential item on the hipster checklist.

These unique interests, which were once considered offbeat, have now become defining hipster trademarks, influencing mainstream culture with their nostalgic appeal and commitment to authenticity.

While some may mock certain aspects of hipster culture and point out the worst things about hipsters, it’s essential to recognize that every subculture comes with its quirks and critiques.

Underneath the playful stereotypes, hipsters embody a spirit of individuality and a pursuit of alternative lifestyles.

Through their passion for creativity, sustainability, and community, hipsters continue to challenge conventional norms and inspire us all to embrace our unique identities.