My colleagues at CrunchGear tend to romanticize my lifestyle somewhat, and are convinced that I am the most egregious hipster on the planet. It’s true that I have a scruffy chin and hang out at dive bars a lot, but if they’d spent as much time as I on the mean streets of Seattle, they’d know just how mild my hipster qualities truly are. That said, I understand the species somewhat, and have been able to formulate this gift guide for those of you who might have gift responsibilities toward a hipster friend or relative.
It’s important that this hipster gift guide is for 2010 only. I can’t be held responsible for what might occur if you should return to it for recommendations next year — the bright plumage and novelty facial hair of the hipster belie his sanguinary nature, and out-of-season offerings are known to enrage him. If one charges, use a plaid, tasseled scarf as a distraction, and take shelter in a Starbucks (they will not follow you).
Seriously, though. With taste as mercurial as “the kids” have these days, it can be difficult to pick a gift they’ll appreciate. Hopefully something from this list will strike their fancy, and despite the warning, some of these might be good for next year as well. If not, well, even hipsters need new socks now and then.
Moleskine covers for iPad/iPhone/Kindle
I’ve actually got a big iPad cover roundup forthcoming in the next week, so don’t jump on this too fast, but these Moleskine covers for your iDevice would warm any hipster’s heart. Room to write and sketch and make ironic signs to hold up for pictures — and the classic Moleskine style. Unfortunately they don’t fit the iPhone 4 and Kindle 3 yet, so hold off if those are in the picture.
If your hipster is a gaming hipster (and many are), these Pac-Man Moleskines might also be an option.
Classic game console
On the gaming tip: depending on the age of your hipster, a real-life NES, SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, or N64 might just blow their mind. You can get these at used game shops, and if they don’t have anything old enough, just ask the clerk. If they work at a Gamestop or something, they probably know where the real goods are (in Seattle, we have Pink Gorilla in Chinatown and an unnamed shop at the north end of the Ave). Grab a couple games, too; they shouldn’t cost more than four or five bucks each. You can also grab ‘em online, but that’s not as fun.
Total investment could be anywhere from $20-$60. You can also get the RetroN 3 for a not-quite-as-authentic, but still awesome retro gaming fun.
Hipsters love them some retro camera stuff. But they don’t tend to go to the estate sales and antique stores where classic cameras are sold, and they aren’t especially keen on paying hundreds to have flanges re-sealed, mechanisms oiled, etc. So the solution is a brand new, plastic camera with a plastic lens that looks old. Believe me, I know how bad that sounds, but when I reviewed the Diana F+ with the instant back add-on, I found out that the fun is there even if the class isn’t.
Marshall Major/Minor headphones
Although I feel Marshall is diluting their brand with this endeavor, chances are these headphones are pretty decent. Plus, they’re good-looking and say Marshall on them. That’s instant cachet. Too many hipsters are still wearing Apple’s terrible earbuds, or something else with a white cord. Break the cycle. Get them a decent pair of cans.
A nice little external hard drive
Everybody can always use a little extra space, and hipsters tend to use Apple laptops, which aren’t the most well-provided drive-wise. There are a ton of decent hard drives out there to choose from, but I like the brushed metal and integrated plug of the Rikiki Go from LaCie.
Glif iPhone stand
While image quality snobs like myself might sniff at the iPhone’s puny camera, a lot of people have come to rely on it as the camera you always have with you. Hipsters have taken it to heart — they didn’t call that app Hipstamatic for nothing. The Glif is a little doodad that can be used to prop the iPhone up in a million different ways, for picture taking, movie watching, or video chatting. It’s even got a tripod screw for serious stuff.
Death Worm and/or Super Mega Worm for iOS
Sure, you could buy your hipster the latest hot game being promoted by Apple and billionaire developers like Chillingo and Epic, but why, when there are awesome games like Death Worm out there? In this game, you play the role of a monster worm that eats helicopters, grows bigger, and… well, it’s just awesome. The original indie game inspired the iOS remake (Super Mega Worm) an then the original guys came up with an official version. Both will be awesome, and both cost 99 cents.
Everybody loves these, and they’re just as cool as the day came out, which is to say, questionably cool. But every hipster thinks they can pull them off, and it’s our duty to enable that. Unfortunately, Wayfarers cost over a hundred dollars. That is why I recommend…
Fake Ray-Ban Wayfarers
Just as hip, and approximately 1% of the price of the original.
As a last resort, gift cards are an acceptable way of saying “I love you but your lifestyle baffles me” — but make sure it’s to something like American Apparel, iTunes, or Urban Outfitters. Target and Gap, not so much.
And now you have successfully provided for your favorite hipster. Get ready to do it all over and over again, though, until they mellow out (around 30) and start wanting things like silverware, and loans.