The Evolution of Hipster
It seems the new fashion trends among young people emerging in the 1990s and 2000s were neverending, moving through mosher, chav, emo and indie. One of the most enduring styles though is that of hipster, which, while many of the other trends faded, has seemed only to grow and spread in recent years. So, let’s take the retrospective and sift back through ‘hipstery’…
The word itself originates in the 1940s, when ‘hip’ started to be used with regards to the Jazz Age. By the age-old process of linguistic blending, this was combined with the ‘ster’ ending already extant in words like ‘gangster’, and voila! Hipster was born. The hipster of the 40s is generally defined as a middle-class white person imitating the predominantly black culture surrounding the jazz movement.
For years after it became a relatively unacknowledged idea, until the 1990s when hipster finally re-emerged as both an ideology and a fashion trend. The hipsters of the 1990s were again middle-class and white, and initially elected for a cross between grunge and punk fashion to reflect their countercultural views, and taste for alternative art, music and style.
However, it was not until the early 2000s that the hipster movement started to become widely acknowledged, drawing satire from various fronts while progressing through a series of similar fashion ideas. The basic tenets of the hipster style emerged soon enough – the jeans, the converse, the sweaters, the retrospective glasses.
This basis still exists today, with many hipsters looking back to the 60s for fashion inspiration as well as the ideologies, of freedom and free love and originality. In the 2000s various additional clothing became associated with the hipster movement, moving through chequered shirts, Dylan-esque scarves and shades, to the short-jeans, straw hats and perpetual SLR-camera bag attached at the hip.
Today’s hipster takes inspiration from all that came before; skinny jeans are an absolute must, and vintage clothing in general preferable. Converse are still a staple of the hipster look, as well as the occasional ironic or politically satirical t-shirt. Finally, the modern hipster is rarely seen without a large belt, so this is definitely something to think about.
However, the conundrum at the heart of the hipster style is inherent in the very phrase; ‘style’ is associated with fashion trends, which bind people together in a common grouping, and run contrary to the apparent hipster ideology. We have reached the most up-to-date stereotype of the hipster image, but perhaps the hipsters truest to the movement’s ideals still retain individuality and cannot so easily be earmarked.
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Categorised as: Women's Fashion