The yin and yang of the American, European and Australian subcultures, Hipsters and Geeks, tend to clash in their styles more often than we like to admit. Could it be that the Hipster evolved from the Geek? Do we dare make such a daring comparison or should we just keep rocking our Clark Kent’s, tilted hats and tattoos, sipping on strawberry lemonade (strawberrade) served in jars? It’s time we talked a little bit about the geek chic trend and the hipster, and ways the twain often clash and complement each other.
Words: Brigitte Evans
In defining the two lifestyle categories – that of a Geek and a Hipster – we must observe things through the prism of their overall lifestyle choices: predominantly, both categories have found ways of defining themselves through the fashion they wear, cultural tastes they admire, social dynamics they support and attitudes they worship.
By most commonly used stereotypes, the Geek is that uncool kid who’s been an outsider since they can remember. Their seclusion from the society they had once desperately wanted to be a part of has pointed them towards a pursuit that’s, in time, become obsessive and pretty obscure. They differ from the rest in the way they dress, think, act and express their emotions. They are genuinely weird. On the other side, the Hipster is usually that cool kid who, even though having everything, embarked on a quest for the obscure hoping to achieve a status of an outcast and outsider. It is said that Geeks are obsessive and firm in their beliefs while Hipsters are dismissive and very changeable in their attitudes towards, well, pretty much anything. They know they like the quirky, and they cultivate an aesthetic that’s everything but “accepted” by the majority. Geeks love, Hipsters hate. At least that’s what we’re led to believe.
The Subculture Fashion
Geeks have been around since, it appears, the dawn of time; we’ve been seeing them since the ‘60s and all throughout 2017. The difference between the “Early Geek” and the one that’s strutting both runways and regular sidewalks these days is that the former stood as representative of every individual’s exclusion from the society that came “naturally” while the latter now makes for a rather forced idea of a Geek routine supported by just-right fashion elements. A Geek won’t ever be seen out without their nerdy, thick-framed glasses, button-down shirt, ankle-length trousers, cardigans, Oxfords/Loafers, a bow tie and a statement T-shirt. Additional accessories like rucksacks, caps and printed (often checkered) pants are a bonus.
Hipsters, on the other hand, are a lot more extravagant. They are natural attention-seekers and spotlight grabbers. With their excessive beards, tattoos that must be visible and exposed at all cost, piercings and clothes that are exaggerated in any and every way possible – whether they’re too tight, too loose, too colorful, too printed or too… anything - Hipsters own every room they step into. You don’t have to like them, but you’ll notice them and probably talk about them. However, with the recent changes in the fashion climate, it’s been somewhat noted that Hipster mania has started to decrease a little. With that, most Hipsters have found themselves in a jam; as a predominantly staged group of individuals, they’re suddenly looking to remove most of the body art that’s in the way for other, new-emerging trends to adopt. In Australia alone, laser tattoo removal in Sydney clinics has become one of the most sought-after procedures, predominantly in the Hipster community. Oh, well – we can’t say we didn’t see it coming.
Interestingly, neither Geeks nor Hipsters have continent-conditioned variations; from the U.S. to Australia, the subcultures pride on dressing and acting the same way, even now, in the midst of both trends decreasing in popularity. From the fashion point of view, there’s no mystery there: every fashion movement, no matter how weird or popular it may be, ends up creating armies of dedicated followers who swear by particular fashion pieces and their assigned meanings. So, dear geek and hipster subculture followers, enjoy your fashion while it lasts… oh, and, please don’t forget to snap it with a Polaroid and Instagram it, okay?