Keepin’ it Gnarly

Today I realized that I need Gnarlitude to live.

Nothing worked to shake off my lethargy and depression until I clicked on her blog.

“Uh, seriously, with my black motorcycle boots this would just be beyond fucking hot. Lanvin S/S”

“JLP is such a great photographer and really nails these motoshoots. An older friend of mine has been wearing the Harley hat below since he was a teen and that shit is vintage now, it made me smile to spot it in this shoot.”

YES! OF COURSE your friend has been wearing that “Harley hat” long before anyone else! Duh! I love you, never stop!

I don’t know what works for you, but when I’m depressed, my escape route is usually indignant rage or in this case, perverse humor. Hipsters parading their hipness isn’t always funny, but Gnarlitude raises the bar to beyond parody.

Let’s create the ultimate Hipster and get it over with. I’ll begin, and when I run out of ingredients, you can throw in the rest:

Bukowski, Iggy, The Misfits, vintage motorcycles, opiates, Max’s Kansas City, CBGB’s, Velvet Underground, leather, denim, taxidermy, skulls, spikes, swastikas, Patti Smith, Chuck Palahniak, old band t-shirts, skateboards, cigarettes, dope paraphernalia, bad poetry, Nick Cave, Converse, cowboy boots, stupid hats, Godard, Hells Angels, serial killers, Death Metal, tattoos, vintage guitars…

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66 Responses to “Keepin’ it Gnarly”

  1. Joy D. Says:


  2. gnarls Says:

    Ann D., Alex W., Odin or whatever… Barney’s, writing about NYC like you live there when you actually don’t, writing in a way that makes no sense… and I quote:

    ‘Besides, all the good lookin old guys I’ve known for years who all still ride the best bikes in town all came around despite the crowd and were all losing their shit after spotting me back in the bar after a very long New-York-disappearance, so, that more than made up for the lack of real attraction elsewhere all week.’

    Interestingly enough, the other half of her sex savages blog seems to have disappeared. But the old guys lost their shit seeing Gnars back at the bar. So there’s that.

  3. emilesque Says:

    impractical bicycles, left-leaning political affiliation without participation, Bill Hicks, roll-your-owns? Baking twee sweeties seems popular with the hipster kids nowadays, but what would i know, i live in australia.

  4. gnarls Says:

    Ahem. The Doors. Every retro-kool teenager’s favorite darkness.

  5. Dru Says:

    Am I the only one who notices that they’re also usually white?

    Never mind, here’s another few ingredients: American Apparel (proto-ingredient, in fact), Courtney Love, Daria, Ray-Ban sunglasses, checked/plaid shirts, The Virgin Suicides movie, thick-framed glasses, feather headdresses, Sassy magazine (this applies mainly to girls) and My So-Called Life.

  6. Sister Wolf Says:

    gnarls – That quote is staggering. I am speechless.

    Dru – Ah, you’re doing Gen Y hipsters. I’m not as well-versed in them, but I think you’ve just described Tavi.

  7. kt Says:

    Vans, ironic mustaches, buffalo plaid, vinyl record, street art

  8. Taylor Says:

    This is the ultimate hipster accessory. I wish I could say I want it to disappear, but I love laughing at people wearing this kind of shit.

  9. Dru Says:

    Sister- I don’t know if it’s Gen Y, I thought they just separated out into types based on….whatever. I was just thinking of the things that Jezebel writers love to have fanwanks over, but then, about Tavi….oh wait. (not that I claim to be an exception of any kind- some of the above are things I love, too).

    I’m guessing the ultimate proto-ingredient of any kind of hipster (even above AA!) is the belief that personal taste outweighs all else, and elevates the liker to the level of the things he/she likes (or downgrades them, depending on perception). It’s just a theory, though.

  10. E Says:

    Uk hipsters – fabulous (and lots of further reading links).

    They seem to be on the way to being considerated a sociological tribe too!
    Bravo Hipsters!

  11. Dexter VanDango Says:

    Mr. Rogers, Garrison Keillor, Barny Fife, and that intern on 30 Rock?

    ..or do cigarettes and black leather absolutely have to be involved?

    If so, how un-hip..

  12. Sister Wolf Says:

    E – Oooh, I love articles that analyze hipsters, and I recently read that if you spend any time disliking hipsters, you ARE a hipster. I’ll go read your link, thanks!

    Dexter – Do hipsters still bother to be ironic about TV? I always hated that! Actually, I thought that was “post-modern” rather than hip. Like people who think it’s neat to love Gilligan’s Island.

    It’s all so complicated!

  13. BethUK Says:

    I think we are past post-modern now, if I can remember it it must be over. I can also remember being pretentious and what-not when I was a teenager (I definitey remember being called out for it by some equally pretentious bloke in a pub once, oh the irony).

    I don’t think I hate hipsters but I do hate arrogant, cliquey people. I’m sure it’s just coincidence that I keep meeting people who have all three attributes.

  14. Make Do Style Says:

    Whatever ‘group’ or ‘tribe’ it is, is ultimately cliquey and perceives value in their group above and beyond others. Your definition is brilliant for the edgy/rad hipster. Blimey this lifestyle pornography thing is bonkers.

  15. Dexter VanDango Says:

    I think you’re right, Sis. First there was TV nostalgic hip, then nerds and scientists are hip.

    But true hipsters seems to exude smoldering invulnerability, whether it’s faked or not. “I’ll hurt you back first,” they or their clothing warn.

  16. RedHeadFashionista Says:

    Sonic Youth, tatty fur jackets, cigarettes (own-rolled perhaps, though I think only dickheads do that), second-hand Doc Martens, bitten nails and fingerless gloves, ‘ironic’ sleeve tattoos, fluent sarcasm and total apathy…running out of ideas.
    Oh, and gnarls, my dad used to listen to The Doors. He is the least hipster person I’ve ever known. He used to wear flared trousers in his youth. I wish I’d met him when he was my age, he must have been HILARIOUS.

  17. Isabella Says:

    Kiki de Montparnasse lingerie, Hedi Slimane, Ellen Von Unwerth, Ash Stymest, 70’s horror movies, underweight chicks with dirty hair and too much eye makeup, purple hair.

  18. sam Says:

    wants the world to stop so she can get off

  19. Miasma Says:

    Feather Headdresses, a Trust Fund, Protesting shit they unknowingly participate in on a daily basis, Glitter, Slightly dyed hair in a unnatural color so they don’t have to commit to actually being the other…

    Actually, I think Tavi would technically be considering Generation Z. Generation Y ended sometime in the early 90s.

  20. annemarie Says:

    two weekends ago, i was exiting a Port-a-loo in a gas station on a Wisconsin reservation, and some guy roared out the window of his car, “HIPSTER ON THE RES!”

  21. Dru Says:


    Still more ingredients in the stew: Polaroid cameras, or photographs that look like they were taken by an instant camera anyway, headbands, oversized/’statement’ jewellery (see the repertoires of Pamela Love, Eddie Borgo, Alexis Bittar and Tom Binns for examples), Slavoj Žižek and possibly Roland Barthes, never ever admitting to being an actual fan of a sport even as a passive watcher.

  22. Artful Lawyer Says:

    I think that once the list hit Nick Cave it was done. The blinding radiance of his Caveness obscures all else.

  23. Lark Says:

    If I may delurk with several ingredients – the belief that you are absolutely unique in what you like, even though troops of other people like exactly the same thing; the sincere belief that you have always liked headbands or motorcycle jackets or some other fashionable object even if you only started wearing them last year or possibly once wished you had one when you were twelve; the belief that only you have real reasons for what you do and everyone else is misguided.

    Also, calling motorcycle things “moto”….which I personally believe dates from those razor phones’ default ring setting of [vaguely pan-european voice] ” ‘allo moto”.

    Believing that somehow, somehow spending a lot of time and mental energy on getting things isn’t really materialistic as long as they are the right things….

    I don’t know–the perpetual presence of left-wing stuff in hipsterdom (Zizek, protest culture) is maybe a product of the tension between people enjoying their privilege and being uncomfortable with it? I’d say that I used to be a hipster in youth (I mean, a nineties hipster) and in the end serious political activism won out over fashion, although I still do have a thing for scarves. Er, I have always been into scarves, back before everyone was wearing them.

  24. daisy Says:

    My husband and I are 68 and he loves cowboy boots and I love him in them and we both read Mr. Bukowski, I even think we have a pair of converse sneakers in the closet. I’m so excited.

  25. Lara Says:

    Vans… can’t forget the Vans.

  26. james Says:

    don’t forget the triangle tattoos and undercuts!!

  27. HelOnWheels Says:

    @Dru – “I’m guessing the ultimate proto-ingredient of any kind of hipster (even above AA!) is the belief that personal taste outweighs all else, and elevates the liker to the level of the things he/she likes”.
    You always distill ideas beautifully.

    Russ Meyer and images influenced by his work, defending exploitation and misogyny as “art”, real bones of dead things as accessories, vintage knock-offs from ModCloth, and most important hipster ingredient is an extremely misplaced/mistaken sense of superiority and self-importance.

  28. Emily Bleak Says:

    Hipsters like this are why I quit smoking. At least in this town, if I’m standing outside the bar, it’s usually with the trucker-cap-and-fake-glasses crew. Someone needs to clue in Gnar to the fact that motorcycles are now the big nerd trend – I see more of my dweeby computer programmer ilk walking around in neon Teflon Power Rangers gear than brawny dudes in leathers, and I live in a biker town. They let their ratty ponytails and geekbeards hang out the helmet and everything.

    Twinky DIY seems to be big. “Look, I sewed a felt bird shape to my t-shirt!”

    I view Nick Cave as more redemptive, as in, “Ugh, a hipster, but at least they like The Birthday Party.”

  29. claudia Says:

    this was on postsecret this week:

    this needs to be made into a banner for a lot of people (including, at one time, myself)

  30. claudia Says: is the image if it can’t post

  31. Winter Bird Says:

    Jello colored mohawks.

  32. Ann Says:

    Question: How many hipsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    Answer: It’s a really obscure number. You’ve probably never heard of it.

  33. Alicia Says:

    Everything in this song:

  34. Angelica Says:

    “The biggest difference between trying to pick up a ‘hipster girl’ and J-Woww is most hipster girls will value commonality much more than your average girl. They have had a life of feeling disillusioned and outcast from others and want to feel like they have a friend in this dark, cold universe. If you feel there is a strong chance her favorite movie is Harold and Maude, just like yours, bring it up ASAP.”

  35. Katya Says:

    Ironic Fair Isle sweaters.

  36. Siobhan Says:

    Everything mentioned in this video:

    & fugly glasses, crotch-bustingly tight jeans, cultural appropriation, the complete inability to do anything in a non-ironic way, scornfully judging the earnest/enthusiastic, and looking like you’re a hairstyle with a person attached.

  37. Dru Says:

    HelOnWheels- thanks! I’m blushing a little from reading that, too.

    Siobhan- “looking like you’re a hairstyle with a person attached.”
    You just made me snort my late-night coffee out my nose from laughing.

  38. theresa Says:

    bukowski hated himself

  39. Erika Says:

    Really crappy beer. I can’t get over how bad it is.
    dudes in brown pants.
    chiks with mullets
    overly tight pants
    lack of visible hygiene
    dressing like it’s still the 80’s

  40. Erika Says:

    I also forgot – pretending to have read boooks you have never really read.

  41. Dani Says:

    i don’t even think these people realize that the sex pistols actually suck

  42. Nats Says:

    Wes Anderson films, vegan barbecue, double knuckle rings, Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots, jizz nailpolish. I’m not sure to call Tavi a hipster, but I would count her as an ingredient. So lets add her to the list.

  43. Nats Says:

    Oh, Erika, that reminds me. I am guilty of buying t-shirts of bands I had never heard before–back in an emo wannabe phase.

  44. Erika Says:

    We need to have a dress like a hipster photo shoot. That would be funny.

    the hipster thing is quite regional and also subjective. What one person may think is such, another may not.

  45. diana Says:

    honestly i feel like everyone thinks that everyone but themselves and their own group of friends are “hipsters”, and that they’re the only ones who are genuinely into things for the right reasons. that sentence sounded atrocious but you probably get what i mean.

    ooh this is my first comment even though i’ve been lurking and loling forever.

  46. K B Says:

    What Katie Wore – have you seen this website? I’m addicted to the horror of it all. Typical East Londoners with wacky haircuts.

  47. TheShoeGirl Says:

    Toms footwear
    American Spirit cigarettes (used to be parliament)
    Finger tattoos with “funny” things like a mustache or shhhh
    ‘Alex’ Wang
    Sofia Coppola films
    Drinking PBR
    Deep Vs
    Chest tattoos
    Fixed gear bikes
    Eating disorders
    Mustache wax
    The super thick super sideswept bang
    …to name a few

    -Hipsters liked the Chilean miners better when they were underground.

  48. TheShoeGirl Says:

    PS I like Erika’s suggestion.

  49. Elaine Says:

    I am greatly greatly greatly upset by the fact people at Jezebel enjoy the show Daria.
    I’d add onto the list a brand new newly-constructed loft/condo in a neighbourhood once home to a large immigrant population.

  50. Sister Wolf Says:

    annemarie – HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA, unforgettable! Thank you! xo

  51. Sister Wolf Says:

    Did any of us say “weird piercings?”

  52. Srenna Says:

    A Cramps t-shirt.

  53. Sister Wolf Says:

    Lark – We need you here. I’m glad you spoke up!

    diana – You too.

    James – YES, thanks!

    Redheadfashionista – Docs are key, how did I forget!

  54. Sister Wolf Says:

    TheSHoeGirl – Sofia Cuppola, right, and so inexplicable too.

  55. The Raisin Girl Says:

    Don’t forget an obsessive need to show off one’s knowledge and/or possession of all the things listed. I feel like that’s paramount. After all, if someone knows about serial killers AND owns Converse AND listens to Nick Cave, but keeps quiet about it, I think they should be let off the hipster hook.

  56. Dru Says:

    I quote Susie Bubble on this: “As samey as Sofia’s films are she does get the sport of young, lost girl psyche spot on..” (from a comment on my blog a long time back)

    Kids have always liked alienation/being a little lost and disconnected from the rest of the world. Sofia’s appeal isn’t really so inexplicable in light of that fact.

  57. BethUK Says:

    Katya – If you buy a fair isle jumper but for the right reasons (i.e. it has reindeers on it) does that make you a hipster or ………. oh shit

  58. Sister Wolf Says:

    The Raisin Girl – Absolutely! My friend Romeo pointed out the other day that “There’s a performative aspect to hipsterism.” If you liked all that shit but stayed home and shut up about it, you wouldn’t be a hipster.

  59. Marky Says:


  60. Jacqui Says:

    In my extensive cultural studies, I’ve identified several tribes of hipsters. Apologies for the lack of parallel structure…its 4 am here.

    The first is the literary/art school hipster: Lucky Strikes; chest-baring male v-necks; thick-rimmed glasses; obscure french music; post-post-modern meta-fiction; annotated David Foster Wallace books; self-aware moleskins; single malt; thrifting as a verb; subletted apartment in Brooklyn; bad haircuts; foreign films; trip abroad to “immerse oneself” in the culture; a habit of mixing in French with their English; pescatarians; dogfish beer; warehouse performance spaces

    The second, the “Cobrasnake” hipster- sheer, nipple-baring tops; S&M bras over ratty t-shirts; American flag bikinis; crop-tops; white hair, neon streaks; excessive use of the kissy-lip and middle finger pose; limp cigarette in mouth; On the Road- the only book that matters; faux homoeroticism; persistent trucker hats; Juergen Teller/Terry Richardson love; “inspiration board” of Kate Moss, Bianca Jagger, Anita Pallenberg; jizz nailpolish

    The psuedo/pseudo hipster- collection of Vinyls that Rolling Stone deemed ‘must haves’ (see: Exile on Main Street, Blonde on Blonde); purposefully dirtied converses; “cute” ugly dogs; chipped black nail polish; slam poetry applause (regardless of it’s dreadfulness); mentioning Taoism of Buddhism casually; worn in shirts from the Salvation Army; crotch-hugging pants; an exaggerated love of micro-breweries; possesion of Vampire Weekend concert tickets; shopping at Whole Foods as a see-and-be-seen experience; raw food; radical self love

  61. Zoe Says:

    Is Nick Cave hipster in America?! That saddens me, I’m pretty sure he’s not here. My mum loves him!

    I agree that there are plently of different subcultures of hipster. What unites them all are tattoos and feelings of superiority

  62. Brie Says:

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this but “claiming they are communist”. I have encountered many a hipster that has done just that.

  63. Mary Z Says:

    There are a bunch of ‘subcultures’ of ‘hipster.’ Some guy took time to make a website out of it. It just so happens to be HILARIOUS.

    I dig a lot of things mentioned in this post, but that video is the best thing I’ve seen in a while.

  64. Am I a Hipster? Are YOU a Hipster? Says:

    […] been watching this post over on Godammit I’m Mad for the last week. All the readers are throwing down the ingredients of the ultimate hipster. I was […]

  65. Charlesetta Cosano Says:

    thanks for sharing .:)

  66. Tera Sweis Says:

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