The term hipster is one that has been thrown around a lot recently. Everyone’s definition is different. But here’s mine: the right one.

  1. Facial Hair: Most male hipsters, if they have the ability to do so, grow some form of facial hair. Usually a beard; sometimes a mustache, (to be “ironic”). This facial hair isn’t 5 o'clock shadow, or even “I-forgot-to-shave-on-vacation” hair, this is thick, bushy, “there’s-a-piece-of-macaroni-from-two-days-ago-in-here” hair.
  2. Frequenting Coffee Shops: All hipsters share a love of coffee, but even more so, they share an undying connection with the places that serve it to them. They wouldn’t be caught dead in a Starbucks and risk being grouped into a category of the average person; instead, they prefer the locally-owned coffee shop. Hipsters order the most obscure thing on the menu while silently mocking the commoners who don’t belong.
  3. Flannel: Hipsters wore flannel before it was cool; in fact, lumberjacks actually stole flannel fashion from them. If you head to the flannel rack at any given thrift store, you’ll spot a hipster with their face buried in the musky scent of second-hand flannel picking out their next outfit.
  4. Obscure Music: You know you’ve encountered a hipster if you mention someone like Taylor Swift and their response is “I’m not familiar with her.” I’m not a huge fan myself, but come on, I’m pretty sure my dog even recognizes that ballad-belting blonde’s name, (and my dog can’t tell the difference between my mother and me). Hipsters relish in the fact that they’re listening to something that most people haven’t heard. They seem to be under the false impression that their recognition of an otherwise unknown artist somehow means their taste is more refined than the average barbarian listening to Top 40. What they don’t seem to consider is that maybe no one listens to a particular artist because…they’re, well… justnot …good. The average hipster would rather listen to a loop of typewriter sounds than subject their ears to the horror of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling”; because if the majority of people like it, it must not be music.
  5. Denim: Denim is the co-pilot to captain flannel that usually flies their wardrobe. And when I say “denim” I mean only “denim”—no rhinestones, colored stitching, brand insignia or any other adornments. it must be the type of denim that makes Levi’s look fancy.
  6. Instruments: The world is filled with many talented people who can play instruments beautifully, and sometimes hipsters are some of those people. But sometimes, they’re not… and they play anyway. Something about the sound of an acoustic guitar or banjo makes a hipster’s body melt into the chair they bought at a garage sale. Because of this phenomenon, they think it will give them more authenticity to be able to create this sound. They know they lack talent, so that’s why you see the carrying their guitar case around town like they just came from the recording studio; or you see them posing for pictures you’ll later see on Instagram. They want to portray their Mumford and Sons-esque look, without actually doing anything to prove it’s real. Although, the hipsters who do possess musical ability are just as bad. These are the ones who perform at coffee shops and say they don’t want to get famous and “sell-out”; they’d rather annoy street pedestrians with brooding melodies and an open guitar case for tips.
  7. Polaroids: Not sure how this one came about but, apparently, low quality pictures with a thick white border are preferable to a high resolution camera. They do know these are the cameras our parents used when they were kids, right? Hipsters think that their Instagrams are best if it’s a picture of a polaroid picture like some kind of “hip-ception.” Those mainstreamers’ photos captured on an iPhone are never given a double tap by the hipster.
  8. Wood: For whatever reason, wood is a staple for hipster decor. Wooden phone cases, or lap top covers, and distressed wooden furniture or wall art are all coveted items. (Extra points if they were found at a consignment store or garage sale).
  9. Nature: Hiking, eno-ing, you name it. Hipsters love the outdoors as much as Bambi and they don’t let anyone forget it. I don’t mean LuLu Lemon-wearing hikers who are trying to add variety to how they get their cardio. Hipsters take their flannel into the woods and don’t look back—unless, of course, to snap a Polaroid picture.
  10. Social Media: The hipster’s social media is easy to spot to the naked eye. Their pictures, if not Polaroid, are edited with a grainy filter to give it a vintage essence—(Really, when was the executive decision made that older is better?). The photos also lack faces. I assume this is to show their “path less taken” lifestyle of not caring about looks. So, you’ll see a lot of scenery photos, or even props such as coffee mugs or books. Occasionally, the hipster’s legs or feet are shown in a cool environment.
  11. Backpacks: Hipsters are some of the only people I’ve encountered in my lifetime who regularly wear book bags that aren’t for school. They’re usually made of distressed leather— and carry—what I like to think—the secrets of the mysterious hipster world.
  12. Denial: The ultimate, tell-tale sign of a hipster is this phrase: “I’m not a hipster.”