You may have thought the hipster fashion wave had finally come to an end, but much to the surprise of the fashion cognoscenti the hipster look lives on. From the gentrified streets of Brooklyn to the artisanal coffee shops of Los Angeles, the basic elements of contemporary men's style are largely the same wherever you go: skinny jeans, chunky glasses, beards from the 19th century. While major retail stores offer plenty of pricey hipster options, there are ways to get the essential look for less.
The easiest and most authentic way to get the hipster look is also the cheapest: Raid your grandfather's closet. Hipsters often have a whiff of the past about them, and what better place to find cool old clothes than an 80-year-old man's closet? Look carefully for the basics: oddly patterned button downs, well-worn cardigans, tweed vests and jackets, and maybe even an old fedora.
Your local buy-sell-trade store (or online equivalent) is one of the most reliable sources for a growing hipster wardrobe. Some of our favorites are the national chains Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads, where you can find t-shirts for $5 and combat boots for around $20. Better yet, exchange your perfectly nice J. Crew and Banana Republic outfits for stonewashed jeans, torn Nirvana shirts, and a moody wool cap. You may even have enough store credit left over for a leather satchel.
Oversized and oddly colored eyeglass frames are another hallmark of hipster fashion. The visually impaired may rejoice now that glasses are cool, but you don't need to be nearsighted to look good. Even if your vision is 20-20, you'll want to pick up some frames, all oversized but in different colors to ensure you have one to clash with every outfit. The website Bleudame has lots of chunky frames on sale for less than $10. Check party and costume stores, too.
If you're going for the hipster look, you'll need a statement hat. Be it a fedora, beanie or ironic trucker hat, a good lid is an everyday item. Second hand is always best for that broken-in feel, and also less costly. Etsy has vintage trucker hats for about $5.The hat will become part of your identity -- you may even start sleeping and showering with it on -- so choose wisely.
No hipster outfit is complete without a cardigan or two. You can wear cardigans every season, layering them with scarves in winter or as lightweight jackets in warmer months. Try oversized with a funky print, like a Southwest-themed one for $25 at Forever 21, or simple and tight, like this one for $15.
Hipster trends dictate that the tighter the pants, the better the look. But men's pants, however they may try, simply don't have the same stretch as women's pants. To get that painted-on look, try jean leggings in the women's department. Women's jean leggings are available at most places starting at about $20. If the fit isn't right, you can get men's joggers and skinny pants for less than $20 at rue21.
If you don't have a beard that would make an Amish man jealous, you are not reaching full hipster style potential. Fortunately, growing a beard is free. You do, however, have to maintain it, in which case you'll want some beard oil. The Blades Grim oil in "smolder" scent is a good inexpensive option at $7.99 for a one ounce bottle.
For just a few dollars you can transform a casual outfit from normal to hipster heaven. For a fashionable look that owes more than a little bit to nerd icon Urkel, wear a pair of suspenders over an old graphic t-shirt, a vintage button down, or a Southwest-inspired farm shirt. H and M sells suspenders for under $5 in a range of different colors.
Looking like you spend all day building log cabins is the latest iteration of hipster style. To complete the lumberjack look you'll need a flannel shirt, Carhartt pants, and heavy-duty boots. If you can't find any second-hand boots, AdTec makes a nice pair of logger boots, available new for $85, a break from the typical $100-and-up price tag.
Waxed facial hair -- particularly flamboyant moustaches -- and head hair is a no-fail way to advertise your hipster status. A tub of wax can help you spruce up any outfit, turning normal jeans and a plaid button down into a hipster fashion statement. Lucky Tiger Moustache Wax is $6.75 for 1.7 ounces.