But I wanted to talk about something else that neglected to mention in the post: Pittsburgh has a neat little pocket of hipster fashion. (I don't know if this is quite the right term, but I think you get what I mean when I mention this. I also don't think that hipster fashion is specific to Pittsburgh, but there's quite a bubble of hipster culture here.) You know, I admit that I actually appreciate hipsters.
|I appreciate you even if you spew fire, bare sharp fangs, froth at the mouth, and have weird hands.|
(Also, Verbal Vomit cracks me up.)
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Certainly, I loathe the grumpster (definition: the stereotyped hipster who disparages everything because of his/her illusions of grandeur. Not to be confused with people who have high standards, the grumpster is determined to belittle everyone else's existence with scoffs and thinly-veiled attacks on people's tastes or knowledge on various subjects).
The grumpster is the one who says, "Your music sucks. You need to listen to [the bands on my iPod]." Or s/he might say, "I liked Foucault because he was starting to get at something important, but he's too mainstream now." And I've also heard this:
|I only said that I liked the detailing on her pea coat, and this is what|
I got. I almost snapped her glasses in half. (Yes, she wore glasses.)
I am confused and really irked by people who put on an I'm so above that all attitude. I can understand (what I think is) their reasoning: to be mainstream is to be boring. And I would admit that I share the same fear since I am purely terrified of growing up and becoming a boring person. (Which is not to say that I want drama in my life. It's more that I don't want to settle for/into a life that I don't want. I want to explore and to have fun, to try new things and meet interesting people. And mostly, I want to be surrounded by pretty clothes -- on me, on others, on mannequins...) I would further admit that I have my own aesthetics and my very unique tastes and approaches (as with style). But unlike grumpsters, I don't think that having other tastes or breaking off from the crowd makes me better than other people. And so this obliquely brings up the topic of trends.
Now, I personally don't try to be trendy. My approach is simply If I like it, I wear it. And if I like some of a current trend's looks, then I'll use it as inspiration. It doesn't mean that I'm following a fad or being a clone. (In fact, I don't copy looks. I take elements that I like and blend my tastes with them to create my own take.) I am merely wearing what I like -- nothing more, nothing less.
I think that some people might follow trends because they want to be the hottest thing at the moment. And I don't judge them for following a trend; I am, however, interested in how the people have thrown together the trend, what kind of accessories they have, any kinds of twists they've taken, etc. But if they just follow a fad to a tee (it's a pun! Ahahahahaha), then I get frustrated and sad. (Where's your flair? I don't see you; I just see a trend.)
So please understand that I have no beef with trends -- my beef is with the people who follow trends blindly and don't add their own personality to their clothes.
Tying it back to hipster fashion, I admit that I like the style... But that's a loaded comment (full of stereotypes and generalizations), so I should explain.
First of all, I don't like the I have clearly not bathed in a week look, nor do I appreciate the My shirt is meant to be ironic, in case you couldn't tell by the look of condescension etched on my face style. These, in fact, are what I don't like.
On the other hand, I appreciate that hipsters are courageous with their looks. I respect them for taking pride in their uniqueness.
I also respect people who have a certain look that they've polished. I always appreciate when someone has put in the effort to foster his/her own style -- it shows an awareness of his/her own aesthetics and an attempt to follow those guidelines. And I give kudos because it's not easy to find one's own style and refine it. I know that it took me a while to figure out what I liked, what worked together, and how to have the right attitude for a look (and I'm still developing my style and skill) -- that's why I appreciate people's efforts in their outfits and dislike those who brush fashion off as shallow.
So, long story short...
When it comes to hipster fashion, I have a lot to appreciate. I like your suspenders. I like your sundresses. I like your bow ties. I like your layered cardigans. I like your funky hair accessories. I like a lot things.
There's a lot to like, and like it I shall.
And because I get so excited by hipster fashion, I will be equally upset if you roll your eyes (and shake off the ashes of your hand-rolled cigarette while also balancing a soy latte, bike lock, and MacBook) when I try to compliment you.
So don't be a jerk -- if you really want to spread the love as you say you do, why don't you start with the people around you? All I want to do is to enjoy your artistic expression and sartorial craftsmanship. Just take the compliment (and don't act like you're better than that -- you know you like the attention), and be happy. Even a smile will suffice.
Be unique and awesome! But don't be a grumpster while doing it.
Sources: Verbal Vomit, Buzzfeed