I define "hipsters" as poseurs who are immitating people who are actually hip, or at least who they perceive to be hip. A hip person typically has some degree of fashion sense, and a good example of the difference between this and a "hipster" is how a hip person might buy articles of clothing from the Salvation Army because they're cheap and/or unique, whereas a "hipster" would shop at some sort of boutique that sells exclusively fashionable vintage clothing and pay 10 times as much for more or less the same items.
A hip person is cognitive of what styles are fashionable, and finds a style that suits his or her self, but doesn't necessarily have to be wearing exclusively non-mainstream vintage or designer articles. A hipster either copies a hip person, the other hipsters he knows, or whatever he sees in "Vice" magazine. A few fashion items are always acceptible regardless of how much of a poseur you are or aren't: Chuck Taylors, black hoodies, tight pants, etc.
A hip person might look hung over or like they just got out of bed, but if they do, it's because they really are hung over and just got out of bed. A "hipster" might spend considerable effort faking that look by messing up their hair and intentionally wearing wrinkled clothes. A telltale sign of a hipster douchebag is that he or she is clearly "trying" to be fashionable. They often overaccessorize with some sort of scarf, hat, or outlandish shoes, and put a great deal of effort into making sure everything matches.
A hip person most likely is an avid listener of music, but doesn't particularly care how others judge his or her taste. He or she might listen to anything, sometimes including things that were once, or even are currently, mainstream. A "hipster" contrives his or her music collection to be seen by others as cool and "indie". They love vinyl records. Crappy music seems cool to them as long as they listen to it on vinyl, and especially if it's some sort of rare recording that they can be sure no one else they know owns. If you asked a hipster whether he cared if people thought his music collection was cool, he would say "no", but he would be lying. They care.
In fact, the defining trait that seperates legitimate cool people from hipster douchebags is that truly hip people genuinely don't care what other people think of them, or maybe acknowledge it a little bit but don't base their whole persona around it. Hipsters are obsessed with this fact, and build their entire personalities in an effort to make it look like they also don't care. They want, just as much as normal people, to fit in. A really hip person just naturally fits in because he or she has a likable personality and is fun to be around. All hipsters hate other hipsters and consider them to be phonies, and no hipster will ever admit to being one even if they fit all of the stereotypes.
True story: I was recently at a thanksgiving party where a lot of food was being served. The skinny, pale, threadbare sweater and tight pants-clad hipster-looking guy who had been putting on music all evening walked into the room. People weren't talking much at the time because their mouths were full, and hipster douchemaster sweater guy decided the room wasn't sociable enough for him, said "This room sucks", turned, and walked away. He could have just walked away, but he felt he had to verbally pass judgment on the room's occupants to make sure he seemed superior to them. What a dick.
Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. The greatest concentrations of hipsters can be found living in the Williamsburg, Wicker Park, and Mission District neighborhoods of major cosmopolitan centers such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco respectively. Although "hipsterism" is really a state of mind,it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities. Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. Both hipster men and women sport similar androgynous hair styles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs. Such styles are often associated with the work of creative stylists at urban salons, and are usually too "edgy" for the culturally-sheltered mainstream consumer. The "effortless cool" urban bohemian look of a hipster is exemplified in Urban Outfitters and American Apparel ads which cater towards the hipster demographic. Despite misconceptions based on their aesthetic tastes, hipsters tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees, or degrees in maths and sciences, which also require certain creative analytical thinking abilities. Cons...more...
Definitions are too mainstream.
Hipster's can't be defined because then they'd fit in a category, and thus be too mainstream.
The term "hipster" is cross-applied from the 1930s Beatniks. The modern hipster is a composite of individuals with a certain bohemian life situation and lifestyle. He or she rejects "mainstream" culture and embraces and contributes to independent culture, and prides him/herself on this. The modern hipster image has been proliferated through the internet, publications such as Vice Magazine, and sightings in the music, fashion, and art world. The image of the hipster is constantly changing, but several aspects have stayed constant over time. Lives in a young, artsy neighborhood of a major city such as Wicker Park in Chicago, Greenwich Village in Manhattan, or Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Usually has some degree of monetary conformability, although sometimes only because of their parents, due to cost of living in these areas. Works (or wants to work) in music, art, or fashion. Has "elitist" music taste and listens to nu-rave (i.e. The Klaxons, Cut Copy, Hercules and Love Affair), minimalist techno, independent rap (i.e. Spank Rock, Talib Kweli, Aesop Rock), nerdcore (i.e. YT Cracker, MC Lars, MC Chris), Elephant 6 (i.e. of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, Apples in Stereo), garage rock, and punk rock in addition to all manners of independent rock. Favorite band is very likely Bright Eyes, The Arcade Fire, The Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, The Strokes, or something of that nature. Also watches independent and foreign films and reads independent books, magazines, and periodicals. I...more...
Someone who listens to bands you've never heard of, wears ironic tee-shirts, and believes they are better than you.
"Julian is such a hipster!"
A hipster is someone who is smart enough to talk about philosophy, music, politics, art, etc. with you all day long, but not smart enough to see how big of a tool s/he is. The only sure fire way to tell if someone you're talking to is, in fact, a hipster is to ask them "are you a hipster?". If they respond no, and turn their casette player back on, you can be sure you're dealing with a hipster.
Person 1: I met this really smart girl with a goofy haircut, but I think she has asperger's.
Person 2: She's probably just a hipster.
Referring to young people of around 18-30 years of age, who drink cheap beer (most often Pabst Blue Ribbon, on occasion Budwiser), smoke Parliaments, Lucky Strikes or hard to obtain foreign cigarettes (such as Gauloises) and take recreational drugs, coke being the most popular. Use a great deal of sarcasm, claim to be ironic. Are usually less than 5% body fat, drink copious amounts of coffee and eat children's cereal. Listen to Indie Rock, rely heavily on Pitchfork Media to tell them what's cool. Don't dance at concerts. Wear a mixture of thrifted clothing and items bought at American Apparel (commonly Tri-blend v-necks) and Urban Outfitters. Extremely tight jeans worn by both sexes, pairing these with either a band or b-movie t shirt and a plaid shirt/v-neck and a cardigan along with Nike hi-tops/Vans/Keds. Females often wear retro style dresses and racerback tank tops without bras. Eschew public transport and instead choose to ride fixed-break bikes. Often claim to know about literature and film - will have googled a good deal of Vonnegut and French New Wave cinema.
Look At This Fucking Hipster gives various good examples of Hipster kids.
\hip-stur\n. One who possesses tastes, social attitudes, and opinions deemed cool by the cool. (Note: it is no longer recommended that one use the term "cool"; a Hipster would instead say "deck.") The Hipster walks among the masses in daily life but is not a part of them and shuns or reduces to kitsch anything held dear by the mainstream. A Hipster ideally possesses no more than 2% body fat.
-The Hipster Handbook, Robert Lanham
Typically a Hipster can be identified by vintage or thrift-store bougt clothing, a taste for obscure or underground music, a penchant for irony and an elitist attitude.