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Baby Boomer Women: Were We the Original Hipsters?

read about older hipster women who rock at boomerinas.com

This article is by Jet Metier and it's based on a long, insightful comment left by Jet after she read "What is a Hipster? Hipster Fashion Explained," which I wrote a few weeks ago. I asked jet if she would like to expand her observations, so I could make her comment into a post about older hipster women... and how the world relates to them.

Here's her thoughts on hipsters and the hipster article.

read about older hipster women at boomerinas.com

Jet Metier: Creative Hipster

by Jet Metier,

I just read about hipster fashion on Boomerinas.com and I had to comment. The article was a well thought out, detailed exploration of how fashion teases itself and makes wry commentary through the allusions of clothes.

But, thinking about the clothing trends of baby boomers made me sad and nostalgic, too. I had just come back from a birthday trip away. And, like most of you, I am at an age when calculating how long I have trod this earth is easier done in decades. I looked at the pictures about vintage garments and retro styling, and for a moment, I was in that fugue where clothes could be added to my life in incalculable variation, instead of as it is now, a diminishing number of strict choices.

Can Older Women be Hip?

I live in a town that has mostly seniors, and I often wonder how women feel at that age (our age), to be invisible, to not be looked at. Because it is there, those signs of aging, that though we may be trim, the falling jawline reveals us, the butt and thighs merge, undeniably slamming shut the last argument of youth.

That assessment is made at the quickest inspection. Perhaps a warning from our DNA, the reproductive impulse to be excited at looking at us, is muted, and maybe, even repulsed. It does no use for the continuation of our race to inspect and look longingly at a woman who no longer gives off that earthy whiff of pulsing ovaries, even if her fashion sense is loudly clanging that street blogger siren.

The clothes may project coolness, but the face and body within, denounce us.

Is it Possible to be an Older Hipster?

I must admit, I am speaking personally – the responses to me. A month ago, I wore a vintage fur cape with a graphic top and straight-legged black jeans to a neighborhood get-together (see outfit on the right in the main photo). I must have seemed baffling and odd. My friends kept telling me to take off my mink stole. But I firmly kept my hands in the pockets and wrapped my stole around me.

Would anyone say that to Camille of Camille Over the Rainbow? No! They would shoot her picture with the garbage truck in the background, and all the fashion editors would declare her a marvel of sartorial wit in her cozy cloak.

But what about me? I have worn reincarnated fur since before the age of video fashion when Michael Kors put it on Claudia Schiffer. Am I ridiculous because I am consistent with my style and purposely set off to mantle myself in mink for my winter wear this year?

read about older hipsters at boomerinas.com

Mixed Print Outfits on London Model & Jet Metier

I feel that, as women who are the contemporaries of Madonna and older, we are the most authentic hipsters. And though our clothes may be the third or fourth iteration of surfer, mod, hippie, new wave or grunge, we get no credit for being there, for pioneering the look that is sought after in charity bins or mall stores, who get the historic humor, to have in our closet in regular rotation, that letterman's jacket from our first love, which the kids who shop at Abercrombie and Fitch do not have the determination to earn through track-team trials or from devoted watchfulness at the finish line.

Baby Boomer Women Were Fashion Rebels:

In the examination of the term hipster, I heard the author’s rebellion against the fashion idioms that we originally lanced and suffered for, because we were the originators of going against the trends. We were the girls who bought and wore clothes to be offbeat, to have on ourselves a message delivered by our clothes that was intriguing and hinted at our experimental nature.

read about older hipsters at boomerinas.com

Baby Boomer Experimental Fashion

We were the first generation to be clothing archeologists, wearing tossed-out rejects that were yet to be set under museum lights. And, we were the first to wear, from antediluvian worlds, the same garments as native women, who still bathed topless at the streams, twisting their batik sarongs that were to be sold next to patchouli oil and bongs at flea markets, the same places that became steamy drive-ins by night.

I think that Boomerinas do not know how cool we were when we thought we were not being cool.

The wild child in us did not fall into a breach when we lifted our bridal veils and sang our lullabies. We became even more desirable and more interesting on our way to fulfilling our feminine trajectory. Those actions of being devoted mothers and wives, of raising our families, and still being together with our husbands are rare, unfortunately rare, and so beautiful, and seem to be shrinking into smaller and smaller islands of practice.

And so now, those cupcakes for the PTA fundraisers are ripe for the hipster trade.

Do Recycled Clothes Represent a Longing for the Past?

In the article, the author explains that hipsters go after the worn clothes of people that were earnest in their endeavors and chose clothes that were practical and decent. Those discarded items became coveted because of their strange lack of darkness and danger. Perhaps for the hipster-gatherer, the duffer sweaters and the ladylike blouses are actually wistfulness for a better American time, when we were joyous, productive and optimistic.

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Ladylike Clothing Represents an Optimistic Time

People married for life, saved money and bought Toyota LandCruisers. And they did family activities, like went to Yosemite to camp and to buy those animal t-shirts, which required that dad wear his work boots until they could no longer be repaired, and mom make with love, those scarves with granny squares to save money, instead of buying from K*mart on impulse.

By reading the article, I felt the nostalgia for and the sadness of a passing era. And, like a woman who knows how to curate an outfit from different timelines in her life and from discount and precious hauls, that article made an impact. The two properties of history and eye candy were found in both.

In the article, the writer, the philosopher blogger, whose contemplation of the subject of hipster certainly would make a wannabe hipster blush from self-consciousness, and those of us, who gave impetus to the movement, chuckle from sweet tribute.

As for me, it was a reflection on my birthday that was lightened by thinking about how happy it makes me to wear things that are (in some people’s minds) silly and wrong, but in reality are fun and adventurous, like a mink stole with a T-shirt, while swigging wine with my neighbors down the street.

About the Author:

read about older hipsters

Jet

Jet Metier is a hipster poetess Boomerina with a serious love of words and an advanced degree in edgy fashion. You can find out more about her  at her blog The Fabled Market, A caravan of fashionable stories and treasures. You can get Jet's free eBook about retirement in Panama here. Go read her stuff. Then come back and read my stuff. Between the two of us, you may never be bored again.

More Articles for Hip and Relevant Baby Boomer Women:

Baby Boomer Fashion Trends

Trends for Spring & Summer: Clothes for Real Women Over 40

Embroidered Tops and Dresses Trend

Best Swimsuits for Women Over, 40, 50 & 60

 

read about hipsters

Main Photo - Hipsters

Photo Credits:

  • Main Photo: Fur vest - Asos, fur wrap - Asos, fur stole - Metier.
  • Jet Metier: Creative Hipster: Metier.
  • Mixed Print Outfits on London Model & Jet Metier: Hobbs, Metier.
  • Baby Boomer Hippie Hipsters: Asos.
  • Ladylike Clothing Represents an Optimistic Time: La  Redoute.

What do you think of this article? I think Jet is cute in her vintage fur. Any ideas about cutting edge fashion and older women? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

Jet Metier is a hipster poetess from Arizona. Come back in a bit to see her bio. I met Jet when our paths crossed on a digital level, but I don't know enough about her to fill up this box with biographical info.

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30 Comments

  1. Jet

    Tina, you have taken what I have done and with an artisan hand, deftly smoothed out my copy and inlaid pictures that reinterpret the origins of hipsterism to make a piece that makes me so proud, that if I could, I would lay it in a drawer lined in silk. Thank-you.

    But I do have to tell writers who want to be featured on this site, that the pleasure of earning my pedigree as a Boomerina was really at the preparatory level with my correspondence with Tina that was so genuine and warm, I just wanted to press my cheek against hers in mirth and friendship.

  2. Ingrid

    I've been saying for years that we were hipsters before it was cool.

  3. kay kerns

    Hi Tina, Hi Jet, very thought- provoking article, I enjoyed reading it.

  4. serene

    OMG. Jet, do I ever agree with your observations. As a young baby boomer, I get upset and then sad when I spend an afternoon looking for a special outfit and find things I wouldn't be caught dead in if I lived to be 200. Then I become sad because, correct you are, we were the originals. Of course we are body different, (some more than others) but what we have here is the same mentality that causes young girls to starve themselves, that keeps us from wearing what we love. We don't want to disgrace ourselves! We need to shake it off, put on our favorites, and parade! And girl, I love that mink stole.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Serene,

      I love your name... never heard it before. I'll forward your comment to Jet.

      Tina Boomerina

    • Jet

      Dear Serene,

      As in the plazas and narrow streets from which they branch, to parade is a fond habit every day in Iberian Peninsula, that I think is a pleasurable routine for women, because we want to be seen, to be a part of the loveliness of the soft night in clothes that tell stories of what we have been thinking or dreaming about, like a yellow skirt, bright as an umbrella, a portable sun, radiating happy feelings as we step briskly; or to be carried away by the tide of the promenade in all black, a woman silent and quiet, except for her bucket bag, rich in redwood tones, a light against the gloom of her heart.

      "To put on our favorites and parade" as you say, is to reach for the world and give it something beautiful and specific of yourself. And that may not be in the malls, but something found in the Kmart clearance section, like a pair of cotton bike shorts, that you dare to wear under a tunic with a prairie motif, because you were remembering the wind of long ago moving the cotton dress you wore when pinning your drying laundry in your backyard, showing the world everything that laid upon your skin from panties to smock tops to socks with embroidered cuffs.

      Thank-you for liking me in my mink stole. On my site, I am planning a post that chronicles its imagined pre-history, before I acquired it from the Salvation Army.

  5. Jo

    I prepared to skim, and ended up reading every word. Some phrases twice. I loved your thoughts, and you have effortlessly captured the plight of the now invisible woman who was once a groovy hipster. Great post, thank you. (Hello Tina, I've just found your message in my 'other' box on FB and yes, I'd love to write a guest post :)

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Jo,
      I totally believe we were (and are) the original hipsters. I'm glad you liked Jet's article. I hope she sees your comment. Tina

    • Jet

      Dear Jo, Your comments stilled me. Thank-you.

      I stop women on the street, so that I might look at them longer, take in how they have bracketed their message through the palette of their apparel, their talismans in gems and metal, their bags that reveal the constancy of their mind set day to day, and the subtle disuassion of age through artful folds and draping. I am not a man, I do not see women for their flesh, but for their narrative abilities through the storytelling of clothes.

      You will enjoy your writing experience with Tina. She is a leader and soft-hearted.

  6. Wendelah

    The term hipster originated in the forties. It was used to describe people who loved jazz music, and adopted the lifestyle of a jazz musician. Hipsters were seen as outsiders so you can't have an entire generation defining themselves as hipsters. The meaning of the term has evolved, as language does, but baby boomers were not the original hipsters.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Wendelah,

      Yes, that is true. I'm glad you pointed that out. That's why I made the title a question, rather than a statement saying we WERE the original hipsters. (And, the title had to contain some keywords so people could find the article.)

      However, there is a truly strong link between the attitude of the rebellious boomers and the current hipsters. And, part of that link is related to fashion. It will be interesting to watch how the fashion aspect plays out... as we develop our own versions of Advanced Style.

      But, you're right. The original hipsters are the original hipsters.

      T

  7. Vicki

    Wow. Jet is the perfect writer for your Boomerinas website, Tina. I found myself nodding at the word, "invisible" because we all know it's true, we become something less than we were and yet we're more than we ever dreamed. Being a woman is such a constant rush of transitions, from 12 to 20 to 30 and beyond, every decade holding us ransom to the changes of our bodies. I salute every woman at every age! And for those of us in our boomer years, I am in love with us all. We are yet again transitioning and finding our way through the slackened jowels and silver hair, we are incredibly diverse and our stories are inspiring and compelling. Let's sit around the laptop and discuss it all. I'm in.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Vicki,

      It's especially difficult for boomers because we were the Golden Children for so long. Now... are we invisible? Dang. What the effffff are we going to do about that?

      T

      • Tina-Boomerina

        And, it does seem to be a constant transition doesn't it? Maybe that's why I look up to Cher and Madonna in my own way.

        T

        • Vicki

          Tina~
          My only problem looking up to Cher (although I love her quirky-ness) and Madonna is the money they spend on face lifts and who knows what other lifting has gone on to keep those gorgeous legs gorgeous and those waists tiny, and those, ahem, perfect breasts high and feisty! Who else can we think of in the public eye who aged naturally or at least semi-naturally? And then I wonder, does it really matter?

          • Tina-Boomerina

            Vicki,

            You are so right. I don't think I want to emulate their extensive plastic-surgery regimes. Well, if I were a celeb, I would probably have a cosmetic surgeon on speed dial. However, I'm not. I probably need a face lift, but I'm afraid of what I might look like. There are a couple of women in my family who've had just a tad bit too much plastic surgery... they would have been better off if they just did it once. (Michael Jackson Syndrome?)

            As for stars who aged naturally, the only one I recall seeing is Brigitte Bardot - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/274790014740851443/ - and she probably had maintenance when she was younger. All of the older celebs who look fairly good and say it's all due to good genes are full of it... those women do something every year or so... that way you don't see a huge difference overnight.

            Every now and then, I notice that a TV star looks a bit different when the next season starts. (I seldom watch TV, but we do go for a few TV series on disk through Netflix... and I often watch several different years of a show in a row -- in a Netflix marathon. The women often wear a different hairstyle (wig) after having a full facelift or a chin implant or something like that, so you think they look different due to the haircut rather than the surgical maintenance. I have never read this... I can tell by looking at the celebrity.)

            I have a harder time seeing the difference when it's a celebrity of color, but when I see a white chick, I can usually tell. (And, I will admit to having had a few procedures when I was in my 40s, but I've never had a full-on face lift. And, I'm afraid to have any more work done because my good plastic surgeon died.)

            Tina

    • Jet

      Hello, Vicki, I hope you don't mind that I dropped in on your comment to Tina. Thank-you. I see what you mean by "a constant rush of transitions, " as if we were bedouins traveling through the contours of time in bodies foreign and inscrutable at every milepost. It is particularly poignant for us as women, because we were designed to attract; lips, hair, belly, breast, they are still there, but the sheen is gone; lost is the rouge of surface bloom, contours flattened, our siren call a weak beacon. We can't compete with the young, whose clothes almost seem to be falling off in slow motion appeal.

      But we can shop! We can shop with increasing determination for clothes for a long tomorrow. If we are in the winters of our lives, let it be a Nordic winter with a mellow midnight sun that lengthens the day. Let us buy clothes to suit heroic endeavours and specific interest: wide- legged culottes of midi proportions to wear seeking the baptismal churches of all our great grandparents; puffed- sleeved jackets over jaunty suspenders in the cloud forest of Boquete, when seeking ripening coffee beans to rub to a powder with a hand grinder at home.

      Let us plan our wardrobe, let us use the wisdom of our age, let us buy with delight the clothes that will carry us and tell God: we are your bright beings, we love it here, we want to live, we want to constantly re-master our colorful selves and make a mark that has never been seen before.

      • Tina-Boomerina

        Jet,

        I'm totally in love with Nordic things... but I could never write anything as poetic as that. You are making me want to sign up for a creative writing course.

        Tina

  8. Vicki

    Ha ha, Tina, you said what I was thinking! Jet writes with such verve and intensity it makes me want to take another poetry class right now!

    But as for her comments on shopping, I do need some help. Instead of joyfully shopping for clothes and shoes like I used to, I'm constantly trying to find just the right item that hides this little muffin top, that little back flab, fat knees or whatever! It's more like camouflage, not a joyful expression of dressing myself.

    And when it comes to shoes, it's not that much easier. It's all about comfort now. Even when I wear my summer wedges I still ask myself, 'wait a minute, are these too young for me?' What a freaking obstacle course. And that's why your website is a wonderful place to visit when I need to regroup and focus.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Vicki,

      Hi!

      Fat knees? That's one I've never dealt with. My stuff is more difficult, but now I have one thing I don't have to worry about. Thank God.

      Are you kidding about the shoes? How can summer wedges be too young for you? I mean, extremely high platform shoes from the days of disco, white gogo boots from high school... those things can be too young for you, but not wedges. I can't think of a single wedge out there that would be an issue.

      And, I've never had a poetry class, but I think I need one.

      Tina

      • Vicki

        Tina~

        Ok, I'll stop worrying about wedges and just wear whatever looks and feels right. Thank you for that.

        As far as my fat knees go, you don't want to know. I just wear longer dresses (just below my knees) with a high wedge (with an ankle strap) and that makes everything look sort of great. I'll even go as far as sending you a picture or two. Don't rush me though, boomers hate that shizzle.

      • Vicki

        A poetry class wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to do, Tina.

        But as far as wedges go, you're probably right. No one can say to a wedge, "Dude. We don't speak the same language."

        Wedges are perfect for EVERY age. And they were in my youth and my midth (wait, is that a word?) along with everyone else's fabulous wedge stories.

        I wish everything else related to fashion was as simple as this.

        • Tina-Boomerina

          Vicki,

          Yes. Someday, I will take a poetry class... right after I take a painting class. Seriously. I need both.

          I wore wedges in my midth. I'm still wearing them in my endth. (I tried to make the word last-th, but it didn't work. Maybe you have another word that works with th.)

          It's the sky-high stilettos, which make me fall on my butt, that I can't wear, though I love looking at them.

          T

  9. Vicki

    OMG, Tina! I love you! And I love your Boomerina site. Where else could a girlie boomer go to find support, hilarity, real style advice, and comfort? Nowhere!!! Not that I know of!

    So, my 59th bday is coming up and I bought the cutest one-piece pantsuit with wide legs that I've ever seen. I might even send you a photo of it! Depends on how the evening goes. But seriously, this pantsuit made me so happy, even with all my areas of discontent. We CAN go forward into the night with style and edge. Especially when we're dressed in black. Whopah!