Squeezed by tradition

One does not simply shed the uniform of the 21st Century hipster.

Dear Hipster:

Can I be hip if I can’t get “into” skinny jeans? They lack the drape of classic denim, and are so tight fitting, one might as well be wearing Spandex.

— James

Let’s be clear, a physical inability to wedge himself into a pair of skinny jeans never stopped the average tubby hipster from pulling a Zach Galifianakis (or Jack Black, if you will) on a set of skinny jeans. Imagine shoehorning a baked potato into a set of L’Eggs... One does not simply shed the uniform of the 21st-century hipster just because it doesn’t fit well, unless of course one arrives home from a late performance by one’s favorite indie band, shaky from the effects of too much single-batch bourbon, in which case one has earned the right to shed whatever one pleases. Oh, and, yes, in case you were wondering, uber-bro-comic Zach Galifianakis now has heaps of hipster credit following his performance in Birdman, not to mention the student film he appeared in circa 1993, in which a young Galifianakis grew a beard in order to impress the then-burgeoning Williamsburg hipster community — video evidence of which has been purged from the interwebs. He may have spent the past 20 years trying to get a laugh out of bros far and wide (finally succeeding with bro-laff-fest Hangover series), but Galifianakis may have had hipster leanings the whole time.

Anyway, you wanted to know about skinny jeans, not chubby bro actors who might be hipsters in disguise.

Hipsters inherited skinny jeans in a roundabout way, from punk rock, although the Ramones had to get the look by hiking too-small shrink-to-fits up to their waists. Still, the look of skinny jeans endures, and the counterculture association refuses to fade.

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