Hipster chic is a truly enduring style that combines a whole bunch of different historical fashion trends to create looks that appear completely effortless but always have a strong, stylish core.
From laid-back to boho, through grunge into preppy, hipster fashion is a broad church but you know the look when you see it.
So, how do you get that awesome hipster girl look for yourself? Like anything that comes off looking thrown together, there’s actually a fair bit of thought involved.
However, hipster fashion is accessible at its heart, and you can tailor it to what you like and can get your hands on!
We’re going to run through seven of the top tips for nailing that hipster style so you can rock it with laid-back confidence! By the time you’re through reading this, you’ll be full of ideas for putting together your own look.
Let’s get started with a classic element of hipsterism; we’re going vintage!
Thrift shops, Depop, hand-me-downs, and upcycling; these things are all heavily associated with hipster culture.
Classically, it’s not been about getting the hottest new items, but the elusive finds you can dig out of unlikely sources that add awesome quirks to your outfits.
Vintage can mean anything from repurposing classic high fashion pieces, like branded scarves or belts, to digging through racks of grandma cardigans at the local thrift store to find something unusual but totally perfect.
You don’t have to go high-ticket to get great results with vintage. You can mix up baggy cardigans with cool, old-school tees, slacks with fitted jackets, throw a classic belt around a smock; basically, if you can make it work then go with it!
Vintage is perfect for accessories too. Boho beads and earrings, classy satchels, funky hats, all great things that can really make your outfit pop, and all available if you scour your vintage sources.
You can make a real difference to the vibe of your outfit with a smartly chosen accessory or two, so get searching!
Things you’re looking for in the world of vintage are textures and accents, plus that indefinable old-school charm. It’s hard to express what makes something vintage versus just being, well, old! You’ve got to be guided by your sense of style, as well as the look you’re aiming for.
After all, there’s not just one school of hipsterism, but vintage finds play into boho, preppy, or slacker styling equally as well. You’re just looking for different things, so follow your heart.
You’re unlikely to be able to fill your whole wardrobe with vintage finds. While you’ll get some great statement pieces or unlikely gems, you’re going to need to pick up basics too!
Thankfully, hipster style is well catered for on the high street, with a few big names being more than happy to provide you with the backbone to your look.
The absolute hipster mainstay is Urban Outfitters. This haven for the hip stocks a great range of clothes and accessories, plus homeware and other knick-knacks that are always right on trend for anyone looking to expand their hipster wardrobe.
One of the great things about Urban Outfitters is their Urban Renewal line, where they take a bit of the sting out of vintage shopping for you.
Urban Renewal takes old clothes, deadstock, and other random finds made by their buying team and reworks them to create unique new clothes that really stand out.
If you don’t want to spend a day going through the racks at your local thrift store, take a quick spin through the Urban Renewal section and see if you can grab that rare piece!
American Apparel is another classic for hipster staples. In contrast to Urban Outfitters, American Apparel tends to traffic in clean, classic basics that sit well as the base to your more personal touches.
American Apparel, as the name suggests, shoots for classic American cuts that draw from fashions of the 20th Century.
High-waisted jeans, classic cut tops, rompers, and bodysuits are the order of the day, though it’s not your go-to for dresses as they simply don’t stock very many at all. For skirts, though, American Apparel is an icon.
Their tennis skirts are total best-sellers and for good reason, made from classic gabardine and ready to add a peppy twist to any outfit with either bare legs, knee socks, or woolen hose.
For the ethical consumer, high street fashion is always a bit of a minefield. American Apparel is clearly a fast-fashion brand, but it does at least have a no sweatshop policy and a commitment to diversity and ethical production practices.
Their cotton is mostly grown in the US and they’ve got a raft of employee initiatives designed to improve welfare.
Choose Your Tribe
Now we’ve talked about where to go for hipster fashion, it’s time to dive into what sort of fashions comprise a hipster wardrobe.
There are a bunch of subsets within modern hipster culture that you can draw from, meaning that you’ve got a whole bunch of personalization options available. Are you more preppy, more laid back, more bohemian?
Do you like skate style, bookish vibes, or free-flowing modern hippiedom? There’s a hipster style for you out there!
Let’s take a quick step through some of the key pieces of a hipster wardrobe as a sort of starter pack, just to give you a bit of a springboard for assembling your own hip style.
You can mix and match any of these pieces to craft your own vibe, so if something is a real turn-off don’t worry. Being a hipster is about being free-spirited and expressing yourself, rather than hewing closely to some tight specification.
Take inspiration rather than trying to catch ‘em all!
Jeans – those hard-wearing and ubiquitous wardrobe mainstays play a big part in hipster dressing. Skinny jeans haven’t completely left the scene, and if you’re a fan of the look then wear them with pride.
The biggest fashion in hipster couture right now is mom jeans, so go for wide legs and high waists. You can go full-length or slightly cropped, whatever makes you feel confident and cool. Paired with a cool tee and a cardigan, you’ve got an instant vibe!
Skirts – we mentioned American Apparel’s iconic tennis skirts in the previous section, and these are the epitome of hipster skirt fashion.
Somewhat retro but with a modern twist, when you’re looking for skirts you’re going to want to be thinking tennis or skater cuts. Block colors or plaid are classic choices, and shoot for natural fibers for that vintage look.
Classic T-Shirts – band t-shirts are almost a hipster cliche nowadays, but it’s because they look cool with pretty much anything. You can go for classic acts or show off your modern cultural nous.
Tees that reference literature or cinema are also always hip, as well as classic sports shirts. Soccer is huge in hipsterdom, for example, so tops that reference the vibe of ‘70s and ‘80s world cups are a great twist on the look.
Cardigans – comfort is a big part of hipster fashion. The aim is laid-back cool, less structured, and more chill than other modes of dress. Cardigans are perfect for this.
Get yourself some vintage knits in muted colorways and you’ve got the best companion for a t-shirt and jeans or a skirt that you could ask for.
Because they come in so many different weights they’re also super-versatile, giving you options from fall to spring in one fell swoop.
Flannel – another one for your mood board, flannel is a hipster fashion centerpiece. A great way to add color and patterns to your look, and endlessly versatile, the flannel shirt is a total classic.
Either as a full-length top layer or tied up to make a crop top, you can get your flannel fix in a bunch of ways and add an effortless touch of slacker class.
Jackets – don’t miss on the jacket front either. Classic denim and leather jackets are right there in the hipster wheelhouse, giving you a stylish top layer when the weather is cooler but you don’t want to wheel out that winter coat.
Easily available on eBay or from other vintage sellers, you can get some serious hipster cred with a good jacket.
What’s In Your Sole?
Shoes are a key part of any look, and for a stylish hipster vibe you’ve got a few options.
Comfy and practical, but with that little bit of sporting heritage in there too, sneakers are a solid choice for any hipster outfit.
If you’re going down a more boho or dressed-up route, ankle boots are a classy footwear move.
Suede is a great material for hitting those vintage vibes. Doc Martens are also a hipster staple, taking your look into a slightly more utilitarian zone that can balance out a look that could otherwise be too cutesy.
Cutesy isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, and Mary-Janes and brogues are both cool ways of keeping your outfit chilled but adding a cute, dressed-up touch. Killer heels aren’t the vibe here; they’re always trying too hard, and who wants to go from the bar to the gig to the club in Jimmy Choos?
Buttoned Down Cool
A standout hipster classic is a button-down shirt.
Deserving of its own place in the hipster pantheon, the status of the button-down in hipster dressing speaks to the way that hipster fashion reappropriates workwear, both white-collar and blue-collar, to create its own fashion language.
In the same way as jeans and flannel take the themes of callused labor and turn them into chilled-out fashion, an oversized button-down shirt takes you out of the office and into hipsterdom in one ironic hop.
Button-down shirts are also great because they are easy to pick up in vintage shops. Second-hand, they’re a brilliant way of adding natural fibers and subtle patterns to your look, as so many are cotton and have gentle checks or stripes.
Tuck oversize button-downs into mom jeans and pair with Converse for an easy look that’s hip as hell!
Bohemian Like You
Boho style isn’t hipster style, but there’s a real crossover. To incorporate boho elements into your hipster wardrobe, think about how you can get those pieces to play against more everyday hipster accouterments.
For example, boho accessories like sun hats and jewelry can add flair to a more straightforward look.
Florals and cool prints on shirts and dresses play well when teamed with utilitarian shoes or boots, working that tension between feminine and masculine. Basically, think Coachella and you’re pretty much there.
Face The Music
Effortless chill is at the heart of the hipster aesthetic, so it will come as no surprise that hipster makeup is all about keeping things natural. Bright colors, big statements, and heavy contour isn’t the vibe here.
You want to stay subtle and autumnal, highlighting your natural features.
You can inject a little glam with cat-eye eyeliner and a dark lip to give your look a little more drama, but don’t take it too much beyond that.
Parisian makeup style is quite in line with the hipster ethos, so consider the old trick of using the same lipstick as a blush as on your lips, and keep everything else minimal and cool.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve gone through the most important touchstones for getting that hipster style, but you’ve probably still got some questions! We’ve got some of the most commonly asked questions on dressing like a hipster answered for you right here.
How Can I Look More Hipster?
Well, that’s what this whole article is about! Stick to the classics that we’ve already talked about and you’ll be on the right track. Also, don’t be afraid to mix and match to create your own carefree vibe!
Are Hipsters Still A Thing In 2021?
Oh, most definitely yes. Hipsters are still as much a thing as they ever were, it’s just that the whole style movement has opened up a bit. It’s not so much the heavy bangs and skinny jeans of the millennium, nor is it the Bon Iver chic of the 2010s.
Instead, today’s hipster combines all of these things and more into a free-flowing patchwork of styles.
What Makes You A Hipster?
This is a question that’s often asked with a fair heap of snark, but it’s worth answering.
If you like to stand out from the crowd but still run with your chosen flock; if you prize discovery of cool things both new and old; if you like to get deep in your culture but stay laid-back; well, you might just be a hipster!
It’s less of a loaded term nowadays than during the turn of the millennium, so embrace it and enjoy yourself.
Hipster style is as individual as you are. That’s sort of the point of the whole thing! Keep your looks laid-back, prioritize comfort, and gas things up with cool vintage and boho additions. You’ll be rocking the look in no time!