COLUMN: Hipsters add to fashion

Patricia Rocha, Features Editor

Depending on who you ask, past decades and eras can be defined by many things. Some people will say it’s all about the politics, wars and diplomatic relations. Others will go straight to saying that just the names Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix and Cyndi Lauper help define multiple generations. But to me, when someone names a famous historical event or genre of music from a certain decade, the first thing I think of is the fashion.

Bring up the second World War and I think of the way women had to give up wearing their nylon stockings and went through fabric rationing.

Bring up the mid ’70s, and my mind races thinking of the birth of punk fashion. Just saying the word “grunge” makes me cringe for the fashion victims of the ’90s. Oversized flannel is a friend to no one.

Because I see history this way, it kind of makes me sad to think what my generation will be remembered for in the future. Muffin-top inducing low-rise jeans? Uggs with mini skirts? Anything with the name Ed Hardy written on it?

However, I still have hope that at least one group of individuals is saving us from complete style loss, and those people are called hipsters.

I think hipsters get a bad rap. Yes, they steal all the good vinyl from Goodwill and annoyingly love putting mustaches and owls on everything, but they’ve done a lot for our generation in terms of fashion. They’ve taken some of the worst trends from the past and modified them to make them actually look good.

Women are wearing awesomely patterned tights with ’50s and ’60s style dresses. Men are wearing ties and vests. Everyone is wearing nerdy, thick-framed glasses. And seriously, who thought Bill Cosby sweaters were going to be at the forefront of style again?

Not to mention the shoes. Classic oxfords and saddle shoes in every color combination and pattern possible and ’90s style combat boots with dresses! It’s almost enough to make me forgive them for wearing Toms. (I said almost.)

Hipster fashion is all about being creative and resourceful. Wearing rings made out of antique spoons, making straw hats a statement piece, and scouring the Salvation Army for the perfect Molly-Ringwald-in-Pretty-In-Pink-esque floral vest.

It kind of amazes me anyone would ever be insulted to be called a hipster.

They’re known for liking classic literature, lesser-known bands, and multiple mediums of art. Because of this, people think they’re snobby and stuck up, but I honestly don’t care about all of that.

If you go back in history, you’ll see the most notable fashions didn’t come from the mainstream, they came from the counterculture. Flappers of the ’20s, greasers of the ’50s, mods of the late ’60s, Madonna’s leather and lace ensembles, no one really took their style seriously at the time, but their style is really what’s best remembered.

For our generation, I think hipsters’ fashion statement is what’s going to leave a lasting impression, and someday when everyone else jumps on the bandwagon and starts to realize how awesome they really are, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m kind of excited I get the chance to say I thought they were cool before everyone else.