In Fashion, what is a Hipster?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
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  • Last Modified Date: 03 May 2019
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In fashion, the term hipster refers to low-rise jeans and pants, earlier called hip huggers during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Hipsters can also refer to a type of underwear worn by women that sits below the natural waistline. These provide greater coverage than do bikini style underwear, but less coverage than full briefs or high leg styles that feature a high waist, although hipster panties may still be too high to wear with low waist jeans.

At the end of the 1990s, interest in lower waist pants, especially jeans, began to increase, and there was a reactionary push against high waist styles, which were dismissed as “mom jeans” (though these may be making a comeback). As such, fashion designers began marketing hipster styles, especially to teen girls and young adult women. While at first, the hipster was below the waist, the drop in waistline got even more dramatic in some of these pants, to the point where sitting down or bending over would reveal a considerable amount of the buttocks. This look might be paired with thong panties, producing a “whale tail” appearance of the panties rising above the waist of the jeans.


Men’s jeans, which were often cut lower than the waist prior to the 2000s, dropped too. Alternately, men might adopt the style of wearing such baggy pants that even belts couldn’t keep the pants adequately in place. Especially associated with “gangsta” style, showing a few inches of boxer shorts above the pants’ waist became relatively common.

Hipster pants, especially when the stomach and waist are revealed, may be worn with higher cut tops that do not cover this area. This has led to some related expressions that aren’t particularly flattering. The term "muffin top" has been adopted to refer to areas of skin that bulge out above the pants and below the shirt. When jeans are too tight or shirts don’t provide adequate coverage, and if a person is even slightly out of shape, they may risk the muffin top appearance, which is considered very undesirable.

Since hipster jeans and pants dropped so very low, there have even been some schools and small cities that have judged them indecent, and it looks like this has had an effect on emerging fashions in the later 2000s. Fewer extremely low pants are being sold and not everyone wants to wear this style. However pants that fit slightly below the waist may be more flattering on a number of women than are high waist pants, which means the hipster may never be truly out of style. Current designs tend to display less expanse of skin between pants waistline and true waistline.


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Post 5

@feasting – Lace hipster underwear is both pretty and comfortable. This is the only kind I wear anymore.

I love the comfort of the style so much that I bought a swimsuit with a hipster bottom. It is designed a lot like the underwear, but it has a short skirt ruffle covering it.

The swimsuit is great at keeping sand out, because it fits snugly around my legs. The waistline is low enough that it doesn't make my fat bulge out.

Post 4

Hipster underwear is very comfortable. It is low enough to be worn with most pants and skirts, but it isn't so low that it doesn't cover your buttocks.

I have some hipster underwear, and I really love how the bottom of the legs goes almost straight across. I don't have to tug at it constantly, because it doesn't ride up at all.

I think that hipster underwear looks great on just about anyone. It's a universal style that will probably always be around.

Post 3

@healthy4life – I dislike both hipster and high waisted jeans. I like to wear mid-rise jeans, which are below the belly button but above the line of indecency.

I bought a pair of hipster jeans when I was in college, and I hated the way I felt in them. I could not sit down without feeling like my underwear was exposed. I kept tugging at them as though they were falling down, but they were snug.

Post 2

It seems that hipster women's jeans are hard to avoid in department stores. I actually have had a difficult time finding jeans that weren't low rise.

I have a straight waist, so even though I prefer jeans with a high waist, they don't always fit me. Jeans tend to taper at the waist, and this means that I have to buy a bigger size. Still, I hated wearing hipster jeans so much that I would buy these unflattering jeans that didn't fit well.

I was so glad when some brands started making high waist jeans with comfort waist bands. They expand with me as I move around, and I don't even have to unbutton them after eating.

Post 1

I was a teenager in the late 90's, and I remember when hipster jeans first came out. I thought they were really cute, but my mom was scandalized by girls who would wear those jeans so their underwear was showing. So I always made sure to buy hipsters that weren't too low so I would be allowed out of the house wearing them!

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