Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chart Thursday: Old Man/Hipster Venn

Over the years, I’ve had multiple conversations with our dear friend Herr Caswell on the sometimes-difficulty of distinguishing between Old Man-style and Hipster-style. (He suggested a game based on the conundrum, which we’ll have to play sometime soon.) But for today’s Chart Thursday (second ever, yay!), let’s do a little Venn analysis:

If we start enumerating items that fall in that central overlap, we realize it’s big:
  • fedoras
  • guayaberas
  • big clunky glasses
  • slacks, hemmed slightly too short
  • white socks
  • anchor tattoos
  • suspenders (sometimes; it depends on the hipster sub-genre)
  • wife-beater tank-tops
  • cardigans
  • cloth slip-on shoes
What else?*

* So really, the overlap is the easy part. What gets trickier is thinking of things that aren't worn by both. There are some easy hipster-only examples: Mohawks, faux-hawks, all the various nouveau-punkish trends; but what about things worn/used by old men that haven't been co-opted by hipsters (besides genuinely geriatric-specific stuff: walkers, etc.)? I was thinking orthopedic shoes, but big ugly clunky shoes have been a hipster staple for years. Really, I’m having a hard time coming up with anything.


  1. My husband borrows from the Mexican old man style by wearing shirts that verge on being blouses.

  2. I think I was thinking of James when I included guayaberas on the list. I used to wear them sometimes. So did my grandfather.

  3. Anonymous2:24 PM

    V-neck sleeveless sweaters.

  4. Teresa11:00 AM

    We thought of several non-overlapping items - skinny jeans, the strap that holds on you glasses, the bizarre trend of shoes with no laces, ironic tee-shirts. But you're right, there are very few.

  5. Marco7:27 AM

    I don't believe hipsters would wear wing tip shoes or pink button down dress shirts or seersucker.

  6. Teresa1:43 PM

    I am wearing wingtip shoes today that I bought because I had a long meeting with a hipster who was wearing a pair & I thought they looked so cool. The secret is that the hipsters take out the laces or leave them untied. She was a studio manager for an artist - another good job for What Color Is Your Fedora.

  7. Marco via Mambo Queen4:50 PM

    Old men wear their watch way the hell up on their arm. Just check out any old coot and you'll see it's never on the wrist.

  8. Anonymous1:04 AM

    my wife saw dr. john at the rouse's today.

    he was wearing a guaybera and had his crazy ass walking stick.

    he was also pushing a grocery cart full of grub.

    he was walking around and nobody gave him an ass kiss or a please sign this for me.

    just buying grub and going home.

    this morning i saw chris rose in the parking lot that i park in for my job in the 1/4

    he was talking loud on his cell phone and putting his bike in the back of his pickup truck.

    he seemed like he was proud of the fact that he did his errands in the 1/4 on his bike .

    it made sense. but come on man it dont make ya cool.

    he was wearing some goofy shirt and acting all hey look at me.

    when he saw me look at him he made a move like hey i bet you want to talk to me.

    i avoided all eye contact from that point on.

    old guys are cool if they are doing their thing and being themselves.

    i feel bad for the old guys who try hard.

    just be yourself .

    im not only an old guy. im the president of the old guys in gentilly club.


  9. Marco8:21 AM

    @Teresa I stand corrected on the wing tip shoes. I've always liked them but never wore them because they're so uncomfortable.

    black wool suits in the summer
    ultra large wrap around black sunglasses
    plaid slippers

  10. Marco7:34 AM

    When I mentioned dress shirts, I was thinking of the blue, pink or yellow button down Oxford type.
    Yikes, I'm still on last week's Venn, bu I was away for a week so...

  11. Anonymous11:22 AM

    David, when I was in college in 1980-81ish, some guys in my painting studio wanted to start a line of clothes called "Daddy Fashions." Mohair golf sweaters, nylon polo shirts of a kind you don't really see today, houndstooth sansabelt slacks, hush puppies. What we were all wearing, in other words. Some things are eternal. Kiki