[T]he hipster thing is more an outcropping of the mainstream (American Apparel division) than a functional subculture. But for all its internal conformism it's still a mode of flamboyant aesthetic display and that still makes a lot of people uncomfortable and resentful in itself. At its best the hipster is the new Dandy, the semi-subversive who overloads the system by over-subscribing to it (conspicuously consuming) and yet undermines it by seeming as if the real source of their cooperation is that they can't take the system seriously enough to bother to oppose it ...
There was a time when this kind of self-expression signified something more than fashion. Today, hipsterism has become just one of several archetypal uniforms - pin-striped banker, polo-wearing preppie, khaki-clad techie, and the like.
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