STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Hipster Influences

The term "hipster" has developed some sort of negative connotation since it's inception several years ago. Urban Dictionary defines the subculture as favoring "independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence and witty banter." To me, that definition doesn't seem remotely offensive, and it's somewhat off-putting that a state of mind as intelligent and mindful as hipsters can be construed as being pretentious and insincere.
However, the reason I really wish I could pull of the hipster mindset is, of course, their fashion sense.

Hipsters, like many of Fashionistas, enjoy shopping at vintage and thrift stores, finding bargains on adorable jeans, old-school sneakers and, my favorite, flannel. My flannel shirts, especially during these winter months, have become some of my most prized items in my closet. They're as much, if not more, comfortable as your thickest, most worn-in college sweatshirt, can be easily paired with jeans and boots to create a look that is both casual and put-together.

Another great thing about flannel is that you can look at both women's and men's at your favorite, which is often less expensive. This Sunwashed flannel shirt from J.Crew is a versatile color, and a men's size, so it's equally stylish and cozy. For women's, though, check out Forever 21 for inexpensive, yet fashionable styles of flannel shirts, like this Buffalo Tunic in the ever-chic black-and-white print.

I spotted this Fashionista while meandering between classes, caught in my typical post-midterm daze, when I first noticed her glasses, another hipster must-have, then her flannel. I was not so surprised to find out that she was a Philosophy major, and that her flannel was, of course, a vintage shop find. Throughout our whole conversation, though, I couldn't stop obsessing over her glasses.

I haven't been able to comfortably wear glasses since I switched to contacts for the sake of sports in middle school, and still can't step outside of the house in them without feeling blurry. When I mentioned this to said Fashionista, she mentioned she wore contacts, too, but got these fake glasses at Urban Outfitters, one of Northwestern students' favorite stores near campus. I immediately checked out the selection on my phone, and was incredibly excited at the (inexpensive) selection.  My favorite are the Holly Readers, which I'm honestly not sure I'd be able to pull off without looking like some sort poseur.

But the hipster style, as I said earlier, is simply a state of mind; if I want to be able to rock the glasses, then, like most styles, I can.

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