Baby Boomer Women: Were We the Original Hipsters?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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:
- 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.