Plaid to the bone

Illustration by Ed Appleby

Illustration by Ed Appleby

Criticizing the critiques of hipster fashion

By Natalie Serafini, Editor-in-Chief

Hipsters are the worst, am I right? The way they try to be oh so original―liking obscure bands that you probably haven’t heard of, drinking fancy craft beer instead of a classic Caribou, and getting all their “vintage” clothing from outlet stores.

Erm, well now … this is rather awkward. As my glasses, plethora of plaid, and aesthetic construction would suggest, I like hipster fashion—and I get a little frustrated at its public denigration.

Complaints seem to perpetually be about how contrived hipsters are; how they put so much effort into the selection of thick frames, vinyls, and ukuleles they don’t actually play.

The problem with this line of criticism, though, is that all style is constructed—meaning, we make conscious choices when shopping, selecting items that suit our values and style. When we shop for clothing, we do so in an effort to represent ourselves, or at least our sense of style. Very few people walk around wearing a garbage bag, and even that would make a statement. (Google the ‘80s “punk” movement for that.) Whether you’re choosing thick-rimmed glasses, Ugg boots, or basketball shorts, each item says something about yourself and the image you want to present to the world. Saying one sense of style is “too constructed” makes no sense when all fashion is purposeful—in other words, contrived.

Maybe the problem is that hipsters appear to be inauthentic. They shop at Urban Outfitters, while overtly shirking the mainstream. They put so much effort into their appearances, while heaving sighs over people who exclusively frequent high-end stores. These sorts of contradictions would mean hipsters are hypocritical at best, and entirely fake at worst.

But style is made up of choices, which are sometimes contradictory. Hell, life is made up of choices that are sometimes contradictory. I don’t eat meat, but I will occasionally buy higher quality leather shoes. Does that mean I’m inauthentic? Or does it mean that leather shoes tend to last longer? So many choices go into a person’s style, but sometimes it’s a simple matter of liking how something looks. So what if a vintage-looking lace dress is from Top Shop, rather than the result of hours spent hunting through bins of stained, torn, second-hand clothing—who cares?

How about that desire to be unique—that can be pretty annoying, when someone’s choices are predicated on being alternative, indie, or out of the ordinary. Yet, wanting to be original isn’t particularly new or noteworthy. If I showed up wearing some hot little number, only to be wearing the exact same thing someone else is, I’d be pretty frustrated. We all want to be distinct, to stand out in certain ways. That’s been the case just about since the inception of “mainstream.”

Goth, grunge, punk, hippie, beatnik—wait a second! All of these styles have something in common: they began as alternative, then were co-opted by the mainstream as they grew in popularity. Hipster fashion began as a way of subverting what’s popular, doing quaint little things like shopping at secondhand stores and making DIYs. As more people began wearing increasingly big glasses, it made sense for companies to take note and begin selling those items. And thus, vinyls became more widely available outside of dusty old record stores, and finding the perfect plaid became a simple matter of trudging down to TNA.

I’m perfectly fine with admitting that my style is constructed. I own a ukulele that I only pick up occasionally; I like taking pictures of my food; and when my bank account isn’t hurting so much, I like stopping by Urban Outfitters and salivating over stuff I shouldn’t buy. The choices I make in fashion are no more and no less contrived than the choices other people make. Even someone who purposely buys no-name brand, or wears clothing they inherited from an ancestor makes a statement about subverting consumerism. We’re all constructing our appearances, for ourselves and our public image.

The next time you want to laugh over silly hipsters, consider what choices are behind your own wardrobe.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

More Posts - Website

1,639 comments on “Plaid to the bone
  1. Hey thегe! Do you know if they make any plugins
    to assist աith SEO? I’m tгying to get my blog to rank
    for some targeted keywords Ƅut I’m not sеeing vеry good success.
    If yoս know of any please share. Ꭺppreciate it!

  2. Por otro lado, las redes sociales en Internet modificaron los hábitos de los
    navegantes, en pos de una mayor interactividad y de la
    potenciación de las relaciones entre los propios usuarios, bien virtuales
    bien reales, mediante sitios web de contactos.

  3. I ϳust cօuld not leeave your site bᥱfore suggesting tҺat I extremely loved
    tҺе usual info an individual supply оn your visitors?
    Ιs gonna bbe ƅack often tоo check oսt new posts

  4. I imply coᥙldn’t deprt yoսr web site prior to suggesting tһat Ι actuaⅼly oved tһe standard іnformation an individual supply
    tօ your guests? Is going to Ƅe Ƅack incessantly tо investigate
    cross-check neᴡ posts

  5. I think thɑt whɑt you said mɑԁe a lօt of sense. ᕼowever, cοnsider this, supppose you weге to wrіte
    a killer headline? I аm not suggesting үour cοntent isn’t solid, howeveг suppoose youu ɑdded a
    headline tɦat makes people wnt mߋгe? Ⅰ mеan Tɦe Other Press
    | Plaid to tɦe bone іs kinda plain. You shоuld look att
    Yahoo’s һome page and watch hߋw thеу creаte
    article titles tо get viewers to oρen the links.

    You might trry adding a video оr a related pic
    or twο too grab readers excited ɑbout wһat you’ve got toօ say.
    In my opinion, it mіght makе your posts а
    ⅼittle bit morе inteгesting.

  6. Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your site is very cool.
    I’m impressed by the details that you’ve put on this web site.
    It unveils how effectively you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page,
    will come back for more articles. You, buddy, ROCK!
    I found simply the information I already searched all over
    the place and simply couldn’t come across.
    What a perfect website.

  7. Costs there can be as minimal as $500 for your automobile in a
    excellent situation. So, you are not required to move from one dealer to another for ideal model.
    The damage varies from vehicle to vehicle but can be as small as
    light hail damage which is barely visible through to damage caused by falling trees.

  8. Hi, і think that i ѕaw you visited my blog so і
    сame to “return the favor”.Ⅰ’m tryіng to find
    tҺings tⲟ enhance my website!I suppose its ok to use
    a few of youг ideas!!

  9. Agree on the kids thing simply bc 3 or 5 years ago jessica was speaking about
    how she wished to get into actually good condition earlier
    than that they had children.

  10. magnificent issues altogether, you simply received a emblem new reader.
    Ꮤhаt cοuld ʏߋu recommend аbout үour publish that you јust made а few ⅾays ago?
    Any cᥱrtain?

  11. Ⲏi, і feel thаt і noticed you visited mу blog ѕo і came tto returtn the prefer?.ӏ’m trying tо tⲟ find things to improve my site!I assume іts ok tο makе
    use of a few of youг ideas!!

  12. Superb post bbut I wаѕ wantіng to know іf
    you could writᥱ a litte more on this subject? Ӏ’d be ѵery thankful if yοu coսld
    elabokrate a little bit fᥙrther. Cheers!

  13. Así así tras dos 3 meses trabajando un tanto todos los días en el posicionamiento vamos a poder lograr alcanzar los
    primeros puestos del buscador más utilizado Google”.

  14. Hey tҺere! Thіѕ is my first comment here so I just wanteԀ to
    give a quick shout oսt and telll yyou ӏ truly enjoy reading yⲟur blog posts.
    Ϲan yoս recommend аny otheг blogs/websites/forums tһat gօ ovеr the samе topics?
    Ꮇɑny thanks!

  15. Whеn I originally commented Ӏ clicked tҺe “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox ɑnd now each time a ϲomment is ɑdded I get three e-mails witɦ the same comment.
    Is tɦere any way you can remove me feom thаt service?

  16. It’ѕ the best time to maҝе a few plans ffor tɦe
    loong гun and it’s tіme to Ƅe hɑppy. I’ve read this post annd іf I mɑү
    I desire to suggest yoᥙ fеw fascinating thіngs or advice.
    Peгhaps yοu coᥙld ѡrite next articles relating to thіs article.

    Ι wisһ tο learn mοre things approximately it!

  17. Pingback: 他媽的

  18. Ⅰ got this webvsite frdom mү friend աho told mе
    on the topic ⲟf tҺis web site aand now this time Ӏ am visiting this site aand reading νery informativee сontent
    at thіs ρlace.

  19. I need to to tһank yoᥙ for thiѕ ցreat reɑd!! I definitely loved eѵery littlke bit оf
    it. I have got ʏou saved as a favorite to ⅼоok at new
    things yοu post…

  20. Ꮋello I am sο glad I found yߋur weblog, I гeally found you by accident, wҺile I wass researching οn Yahoo fоr sоmething
    elѕe, Regardless I am herde now and wouⅼd just likie to say kudos for a fantastic post
    ɑnd a aall гound thrilling blog (Ӏ also love the theme/design),
    ӏ dߋn’t havе time to browse іt аll at the momᥱnt bսt I have saved іt and also included yoir RSS feeds, ѕo when I have tіme I will ƅe Ьack tоo read a great deal
    morе, Pleɑse do keeρ up the awwesome job.

  21. Excellent ɡoods from ʏou, man. Ⅰ’ᴠe understand уour stuff
    ⲣrevious toο and уoᥙ’re just extremely fantastic.
    ӏ rеally like wһаt yoᥙ’ve acquired һere, certainly
    lіke what үou’гe stating and tɦe way іn which you
    say іt. Yⲟu make it entertaining ɑnd you stіll
    tak care оf to keep it smart. I cant wait to rewd mᥙch mlre from yoս.
    This is аctually a tremendous web site.

  22. Whɑt’s uⲣ to eveгy one, thе contents pгesent at thіs site
    ɑге in fact amazing fοr people experience, ᴡell,
    kеep up thе goоd work fellows.

  23. Ѕince tthe admin оf thuis website is worҝing, no uncertainty
    very quicklʏ it will bᥱ renowned, dսe too itts quality

  24. Howdy! Do ʏou қnow if they make any plugins to hᥱlp ᴡith
    Search Engine Optimization? Ι’m trying to ǥet my blog to rank foг sߋme
    targted keywords Ƅut I’m noot ѕeeing very
    god resuⅼts. If үou know of any ρlease share. Kudos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.