Hipsters can be easily identified by their excessively portrayed personalities and attitudes of being "too cool for life," as well as their belief that they are "cooler" than others, all of whom in their eyes who follow trends/the mainstream (which is somehow not the same as hipsters following the hipster trend). 97% of all hipsters are hypocrites.
Hipsterism is highly contagious and can quickly spread to others if there is a high volume of hipsters present. Thus, if you live in an area with a high density of hipsters, the stores, restaurants, etc. will tend to reflect their tastes/lifestyle. Interestingly, despite being the trendiest of trends, neighborhoods that have suffered from hipsterism have generally increased in property value.
Hipsters frequently dress in the same general manner, despite describing that manner has being unique/individual. This usually includes vintage clothing, clothing from thrift stores, ironic clothing, plaid, tight pants, metro-sexual clothing, clothing meant to appear ragged/poor (despite it's wearer being middle to upper-middle class and receiving all their money from wealthy parents in the form of an allowance, rather than working/living in reality), etc. They may also wear unnecessary accessories such as scarves during the summer, sunglasses indoors, etc.
Hipsters are also associated with indie music, contemporary art, etc. Unfortunately, their attempts to turn away from the mainstream and "kitsch" to a more bohemian-like lifestyle has ruined much of what they now claim as theirs (ie: indie music is now dominated by a scene and has little to do with the actual music, contemporary art is plagued with over dramatic plays and poor work/weak conceptual ideas, coffee shop atmospheres are ruined by their judgmental attitude towards all non-hipsters, etc.) In essence, the things they helped to build have lost all value and meaning, but that is appropriate to the apathetic, lack of originality that is possessed by all hipsters.
Knowing the truth about what they are, most hipsters will deny that they are a hipster. However, it should be noted, there are some people who fit the hipster description and are legitimate in their interests, activities, and lifestyle, but this is extremely rare.
Despite their likely denials of being a hipster, and a belief in rugged individuality (which has turned into a conformity apart from "mainstream conformity"), to be a hipster, one must win the approval of other hipsters. Thus, it is impossible for a naturally "non-coo" person to ever achieve hipster status. This of course, is yet another contradiction. Over all, hipsters lead a judgmental, elitist lifestyle, as aforementioned, with a strong conviction in the belief that they are "cooler than life."
For some reason, hipsters like Pabst Blue Ribbon, possibly one of the worst, most watered-down beers available... Apparently it's cool to have bad taste, an important detail to remember for any aspiring hipster.
If one is at all unsure of whether a person is in fact a hipster, the yuppie/douche test never fails. If the person comes across in any way as a pretentious, hypocritical, yuppie douche, they are probably a hipster.
An example of where to find hipsters:
Wicker Park/Bucktown, Chicago
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.