There's more to it than just trendy glasses: How secret to being a true hipster is in liking something no-one else does
We usually identify hipster types by their vintage-inspired fashion sense and cooler-than-cool attitude.
But it seems there's more to it than jaunty headwear or a pair of (often fake) dark-framed glasses.
A new study from Harvard University has revealed that setting yourself apart from your peers is the answer to eternal hipness.
Are you alternative enough According to new research, the secret to being a hipster is in liking something no-one else does
Whether it comes to your taste in fashion, music, books or movies, what you do is hip – as long as no one else is doing it at the same time.
The study which was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involved 200 college students who had their Facebook pages analysed over a four-year period.
The team found that when your friends start getting into something you really rate – say an indie band – the hipper you are, the more likely you are to stop liking it.
Kevin Lewis, lead study researcher and a PhD candidate in sociology at the Ivy League university, explained more.
'The meaning of an indie/alternative taste rests not just in the taste itself – but also in being the only one among one’s friendship circle that expresses it,' he says.
'If I like The Decemberists, and suddenly my friends start liking them too, suddenly I’m no longer socially distinctive.
'So this taste loses much of its appeal and I will run off in search of some new band to express my “hip” identity,' he adds.
Of course, this cat-and-mouse game of standing out from the crowd might leave you with some pretty esoteric tastes – and not a whole lot of friends.
But when you’re that cool, do you really care