How to Be Hipster: Portland Style

I live in the most hipster city in the Nation. Some of you may not even know what that term means. To be frank, I’m not really sure what it means myself.

Regardless, Hipsterville is Ptown bigtime. You walk around and nearly every guy wears stove-pipe pants, some version of slip-ons and sports an over-abundance of hair. The girls take on typical hipster style is focused on layers, cool socks, granny boots and way-too-cool eyewear. Yes. Coolness in Portland is MIGHTY particular.

Furthermore, hidden in broad daylight is our very own Hipster coffee shop; populated, of course, by the hippest of Portland hipsters. We even inspired our own TV show. (Portlandia is grossly exaggerated. Mostly. )

 Want to join this fair circle of uniformed diversity?

   10 Steps to Becoming a Hipster (For Girls)

1. Retro Hair or Short hair. Particularly the Retro bold bang. But retro rolls, twists or updos are sure to be hits. If you don’t have the locks to be retro- go cut them all off and you’ll be equally popular.

2. Boots, Converse, Toms or oxford/ballet flats. These are the classics. Wear with oddly patterned tights or bright striped socks of various hews and textures. Bagged around the ankles is a bonus.

3.Scarves – as ubiquitous as water, maybe because it rains so much. Who knows. Scarves are THE must have for the hipster phenomena. Urban Outfitters, the hipsters favorite retail locale, has a ready stock of these multi-colored friends.

4. Eyewear- Even if you don’t wear glasses- never fear-They sell fake ones just for this purpose. Vintage round glasses, cat-eyes, wooden frames, coke-bottles.

5. Blazers- Oversized blazers to layer over dresses, skinny jeans or your favorite cardigan that the cat  chewed on.

6. Vintage Anything- dresses, blouses, shoes, purses. Retro or vintage pieces are TOTALLY hip.

7. Hats. Beanies, Socks, or anything casual.  Over matted hair or dread locks preferably. Can also go hipster in the other direction by featuring a vintage pill-box or retro headscarf tied like a washerwoman.

8. Layers- You put on your band tshirt, (because Stumptown LOVES them some indie music) then you put on your cardigan or plaid button-up, then throw a belt around your waist and top that with a scarf and a vintage jacket = hello hipster.

9. Repurposed Leather  -handbags, shoulder bags, man-bags, satchels. Leather. The More Beat-up the better. Preferably thrifted or dug from the dumpster.

10. Eclectic Jewelry  - preferably by local designers. Feathers, silver work, multiple rings, interesting vintage watches, and layered necklaces. Oh and paint your nails a bright color. Like orange or teal.

Other distinguishing Hipster Habits: 

-sports an abundance of tattoos

-Always support Local designers 

-Loves her bike

-Eat organic whenever possible

-Have an exhaustive knowledge of coffee, Micro Brews and no-name bands. 

-Loves her bike

-Attend monthly First-Thursday Art Walks

-Use Compostable Garbage bags and bring your own bags to the grocery store.

-Continual student, but never in a full-time work 

-Loves her bike


- All that said, I LOVE this city. I love it’s hipsters, (even though they daren’t call themselves such) I love it’s bike lanes, I love it’s sporadic, spasmodic population, I love it’s ways and means.  I’ll show it off, anytime anywhere. Best. City. Ever.

Just don’t make me go to the Hipster coffee shop.


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12 Responses to How to Be Hipster: Portland Style

  1. SarahJayne says:

    This just made me laugh to read – it’s so true!! The flavor of Portland is truly unique. :p

  2. Lauren says:

    Yeah…I’d be very afraid to venture to that hipster coffee shop if I were you! (-; Also, is it a bad sign that I can think of a friend’s outfit (or my own!) that matches nearly every bullet point you have? Yikes–I didn’t think Portland was rubbing off on me that much! Last thing–I know two young couples who searched and researched the entire country for the city they wanted to relocate to. Portland fit all their criteria, and the day they moved in it dumped rain just to welcome them! (-:

  3. Miss RJ says:

    Is it bad that I follow almost all of those points?? I never thought of myself as a hipster, but I guess I do have alot of the habits and clothing attire. LOL :D

  4. ElsieZyel says:

    Cute! I guess it must be a coastal thing because I almost never see a guy with a scarf here in the Midwest.
    On another tangent, today’s post on ‘this is glamorous’ had the cutest dress pictured.
    Here’s the link; it is the green dress, first picture.
    Oh, and I think they stole the fourth picture from you. ;D

  5. Autumn Johnson says:

    Awww, c’mon Christa, lets go to the hipster coffee shop just to say we’ve experienced it ;)

  6. Brielle says:

    This is sooo true! I live here too.
    I am not really into the whole look, for me. But I think other gals can rock it sooo well.
    The trend can be super cute.

  7. Ashley says:

    Good ol’ Portland. I definitely don’t see people dressed like this now that I’m living in the South.

  8. Carolina says:

    Wow, that sounds like Austin, TX! Except without the rain. :)

  9. Erisha says:

    Hahaha. I’m Seattle born and raised, and it’s so similar. But I’m afraid I DONT love it when I can’t figure out where to throw something away at Starbucks (Help, too many choices!), and I complain about the inefficiency of the bike lanes (oh how rarely do I actually see bikers using them,) the no-hands cell phone laws, the sales tax rates. But I DO love the beautiful city, how incredible all these trees look in the sunshine (when we get it) the warm winters and yes, the rain.

  10. cymagen says:

    I love that you used the word spasmodic.

  11. lilmizmish says:

    I read this site so that I could dress as a hipster for halloween. Totally agree with all this stuff, just wish portland wasn’t full of sooo many hipsters!

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