I’ve hung out with a lot of hipsters. I’m certainly not one of them, but I enjoy their company and they seem to enjoy mine. While I’m no hipster anthropologist, I have noticed some similarities and differences between East Coast and West Coast hipsters.

I give you – the Hipster Venn Diagram*:

Common hipster traits: All hipsters I’ve encountered have the 3 Bs – Beards, Beer, and Bicycles (many at the same time). In Richmond, hipsters rule the bike scene, while in Seattle, road warriors who commute via bike compete with hipsters for pavement. Tattoos are also a key marking of a hipster in both locales.

Seattle hipsters:

  • I’ve had to get up close and personal with a few hipsters, and I was surprised how clean they smelled despite their rugged appearance. I’m not talking just clean, I’m talking Old Spice Body Wash-clean. I can’t say the same for Richmond hipsters (unfortunately. guys, take a shower!)
  • My first day of work I saw a guy wearing an inappropriate t-shirt of unicorns (not family friendly). In Richmond, the coolest t-shirt I saw was an old-school TMNT – just doesn’t compare.

Richmond hipsters:

  • Cut-off jeans are the signature uniform for Richmond hipsters. I’ve even seen cutoff cords, cutoff khakis, and cut-off cut-offs. Haven’t seen them so far in Seattle, but summer is around the corner.
  • Hardcore is central to the Richmond hipster scene. The music scene in Seattle is so much more broad (given that it’s a much larger city), there isn’t as much emphasis on hardcore.

* – don’t mean stereotype or to offend any hipsters – just my general observations. There certainly are some Richmond hipsters who shower more than once per week.

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