Ever wondered why the sorority girls at your college all looked the same? Hey, maybe it’s because there was a secret, draconian dress code governing their style choices. Here at Flavorpill, we weren’t terribly surprised to find that Cornell’s Pi Phis aren’t allowed to wear “Super ‘Flared leg’ pants” or “Tacky/cheapo/pleather shoes.” But the guide did make us wonder which other puzzlingly uniform subcultures were concealing equally stringent attire rules. So we put out a call to our top-secret sources, and guess what? Someone came through.
You may not have heard of the Hipster Style Council, but we have it on good authority that this governing body exists, with branches in such young, urban enclaves as Williamsburg, Portland, OR, Silver Lake and Austin, TX. In fact, we hear the guidelines reprinted after the jump come standard with leases to certain loft buildings and job offers at such media companies as Vice.
Round I & II: “Casual chic” Bottoms: Yes: Skinny jeans (both sexes) Leggings as pants — preferably gold or silver metallic Bleached, TORN, acid-wash, paint-splattered or otherwise ’90s-referencing jeans “Denim-legging” is always appropriate, as long as it’s done right, a.k.a. from American Apparel — bonus points if the shirt you’re wearing allows for ample CAMEL TOE exposure High-waisted “Mom” jeans — preferably pleated, for that extra dose of irony Homemade cutoffs: A summer staple, especially for the discerning gentleman who likes to walk around shirtless No: Dark-wash, straight-leg jeans that fit you properly. Where are you from, Jersey? Khakis (except when appropriately distressed; see above) Sweatpants — and don’t even get us started on the ones with words printed on the ass Nude nylons: Your legs shouldn’t ever be boring, even when they’re partially covered by a skirt. Instead, wear the brightest tights available. Bonus points if they clash with your outfit. Tops: Yes: Children’s T-shirts, especially those with religious overtones or sexual double meanings. Buy them in bulk at the Salvo and pretend they’re left over from your youth Shirts stolen from your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend: the simplest way to nurture your inner androgyne Trompe l’oeil T-shirts — so square they’re hip again Flannel — the more the better. Two layers if possible Sweaters/cardigans: only acceptable if two sizes too small for you or could conceivably be worn by your grandfather No: Sweaters or cardigans other than those mentioned above. Throw that J. Crew catalog away Halter tops or tube tops. Again — Jersey! Adult slogan T-shirts — unless worn ironically, a feat only to be attempted by the consummate hipster style pro College or university sweatshirts. Listen, we know you went to college. But for the good of fauxhemians everywhere, have the tact to pretend you didn’t Shoes: Yes: Huge, loud sneakers that clash with the rest of your outfit Plain, white Keds (but only if caked in dirt) Twee flats, preferably adorned with buttons or T-straps Doc Martens. How many times do we have to tell you? The ’90s are back! If you must wear expensive shoes, make sure they look cheapo/claim you bought them “vintage” No: Athletic shoes. I mean, what would you use them for? Hipsters aren’t allowed to break a sweat Pointy-toed heels. Sex and the City is so Manhattan, five years ago Stilettos. Can you ride a fixed-gear bike in them? Didn’t think so Wingtips. You wouldn’t want to risk someone mistaking you for the kind of person who might be interested in a corporate job interview, would you? Tory Burch flats. Self-explanatory
Round III: “Business Casual” This category was a trick. Hipsters don’t do “business,” so we sure don’t do “business casual.” If you must hold down a 9 to 5, do yourself a favor and adopt a kitschy work persona: Mad Men-style ’60s secretary or sexy librarian both work well.
Round IV: “Cocktail” (a.k.a. “Dive bar”) Dresses: Yes: Vintage or vintage-inspired only. Must have sleeves. Bonus points for dresses that reference a specific time period: ’20s, ’60s or ’90s Dresses worn over pants or leggings in contrasting color. A classic Frumpy/maternal/knit Tribal. We don’t care if it cost you $500 on sale — it had better look like some lady in Africa wove it by hand No: Tweed, solid colors or anything that looks like you could have worn it to the office Tube (unless metallic) Shoes: Same guidelines as above, but remember, if you’re going out, you’ll be getting so trashed/coked up that you can barely stand. Make sure to plan all heel height/width choices accordingly.
Round V: “Brunch” Another trick round. Wear exactly the same clothing you wore last night; make sure it’s rumpled and smells of cheap beer. Otherwise, everyone will know you didn’t get laid.
Additional notes on Clothing: Just about any article of clothing can be justified as “ironic.” The most important hipster style rule is to walk around with a big, rueful smile on your face, as if to say, “Yeah. I know this get-up is ridiculous — and that’s how I like it.” If you do not know if something is appropriate, email us a photo of yourself wearing it. Once we stop laughing at you/posting said photo to our fashion blog, we’ll give our honest opinion.
Accessories: We expect EVERYONE to be wearing accessories. How else will you express your whimsical, eclectic uniqueness? Jewelry: Yes: Wear as much as possible. Bonus points for: plastic; kids’ jewelry; buttons and other old, tarnished crap from the junk store Native American-themed. Please, don’t stop to wonder whether it’s offensive for a middle-class 25-year-old to be wearing Pocahontas’ headdress. Who cares? It’s hip Feathers (I know I’m just saying) No: Tiffany, gold, diamond or other jewelry that may be construed as “expensive” or “nice” Stud earrings. Hipsters have one earring rule, and it’s this: Go big or go home Glasses: A must whether you need them or not, and the bigger the better. Bonus points for thick frames, bright colors or aviators Mustache: Required on men; preferable on women Tattoos: Yes: Ironic: Hearts that say “Mom” in them, anchors, pinup girls, etc. Nerdy: An homage to your favorite cartoon character? Yes, please. We like our tattoos like we like our produce: local. Brooklynites should consider water towers or the Domino Sugar sign No: Tramp stamps Stars, hearts (other than those mentioned above), butterflies. What is this, your sorority initiation? Chinese characters. You may well be getting “I’m a jackass” tattooed on your bicep, for all you know Watches: Are you crazy? Wearing a watch is like admitting you need to be somewhere at a certain time. A definite “don’t.” Hair: Wash as rarely as possible. Who wants bouncy, shiny hair when you could have the kind of greasy coif that says, “I just went on a week-long bender, and I don’t regret a minute of it!”?
Additional notes on grooming: Never, never wear deodorant. B.O. is one of the main ways hipsters attract mates. Haven’t you heard of pheromones?