August 17, 2011

My dad..the hipster?

On any given street corner or in front of any [non]-Starbucks coffeehouse, kids my age are clad in wayfarers, high-rise shorts, and vintage looking hiking boots or sneakers. Men wear cut off tank-tops and deep v-necks. Women are in ultra-feminine old school dresses or high-rise shorts. Many have an architectural and androgynous haircut. 

These are the people who ooze urban cool, if only through appearance. They are to today as the grunge scene was to the 1990s and the hippie scene was in the 1960s. Today's counterculture-ites are known as "hipsters." Perhaps you've heard of them?

I'm not going to get into what a hipster's platform is, because quite frankly I don't really know. I'm pretty sure they tend to be liberal, they're into bands that few have ever heard of, and they love vintage stores as much as they do American Apparel or Urban Outfitters.

Seattle is the first place I've been where I've seen such a high concentration of hipsters. Or at least what I think are hipsters, some probably aren't, but it's hard to tell based solely on looks.

There are a few hipster trends I've picked up on though, and I find them kind of funny. 

First off: taxidermy. It's hip here. You know, like stuffed pheasants or deer heads? Nearly every country bar in the midwest is loaded with them, which doesn't make a bar cool, it just makes it normal at home. Not to mention that nearly every single house has some sort of preserved critter hanging on the wall throughout the Plains. 

But here, it's a cool thing to have. Maybe its because a pheasant or a moose head evokes a nostalgic sense of America when its strategically placed in a supper club or speakeasy-esque bar. Or perhaps hipsters find preserved animals ironic in some strange way... who knows.

Then there's beer, hipsters love the old, cheap throwback beers like PBR, Schlitz, and Hamm's, the latter two of which I've only heard of courtesy of my dad who said he used to drink it in college. But PBR has been a mainstay my entire life, I'm pretty sure that was my Grandpa Arnie's favorite beer, and it's always available at the local bars at home. I would bet that our light-up Schlitz beer sign that's hanging in our garage could be sold for a solid price to any honest-to-goodness hipster establishment in the Seattle area.

Now on to clothes, I alluded to the hipster wardrobe at the beginning, but I've come to the conclusion that [stereotypically speaking], my dad (who is the least hipster of anyone on Earth) could fit well into the look of a hipster. He only wears button up, plaid, western-style shirts -- which is the shirt of choice for both male and female hipsters alike. His jeans are typically classic fit, worn-out Wranglers -- a style that some hipsters flock to (though Levi's are the preferred choice of the rich kid hipster). My dad's boots are always dirty and sometimes worn looking, which I think qualifies him for the hipster category. 

Oh- and I can't forget about the taxidermy and antlers. My dad doesn't get into taxidermy, but like every other farmer at home, he runs into quite a few sets of antlers throughout the spring planting season, which has given our dogs endless enjoyment for chew toys. Between the Schlitz sign and our collection of antlers, my dad could become a millionaire from all the hipster kids.

I mean, of course my dad looks a hundred times more like a farmer than he does hipster. But I think it's kind of entertaining to imagine him standing on the street corner wearing a restyled version of what everyone else has on but looking as though an entire world stands between him and the hipsters.


  1. I wish I had the article on hand, but the upper midwest (primarily Minnesota) is dubbed the hipster capitol because everywhere else hipsters are essentially just trying to be Minnesotans, or upper mid-westerners. Lumberjack chic has taken hold elsewhere, when as you observed is more just out of practicality here. funny.

  2. Haha, that makes perfect sense! Who knew that Carhart and Wranglers would be ultra-fashionable off the farm.