We can recognize High WASP style fairly easily. Pearls. Navy blue. Black Ferragamos and white button-fronts. Hunter green cable sweaters with hunter green wide wale cords and family brooches. Peach cashmere tunics, long gold chains, bags without logos. Even embroidered backpacks from a trip to Thailand.
But, now and again, High WASPs flirt with hipster-hood, an urban relative of the Artsy Cousin. Not at work of course. Unless we are gifted with a rare creative gene and work with people who wear skull patterns nonchalantly. Nor for grand occasions. Too risky. Too pronounced a protocol. But on a weekend. In a city. When giddy from the Sunday New York Times and too much Lapsang Souchong.
My brother is pretty good at hipster ways. Better than me. Luckily he gives great presents. For example. He gave me theese earrings for my birthday last year.
Gold twisted wires. Oxidized metal flowers. Black metal, by default, is always presumed to be kind of hip. Even when used for cute little posies. These are by Claudia Kussano, a San Francisco artisanal jeweler. (That’s what we say about cheese. Does it work for earrings?) I believe these keep me in the world of tradition where women hang sweet notions from their earlobes, while implying that I might, just might, consider adventure. And if I’m wrong about that, only disillusion me if you must. I trust you to be gentle.
Here is something else which recently made its way from one hipster in my extended family to another of the more hip amongst us. Neither of them me, in other words.
Vera Bradley. Can’t get much more traditional when worn as expected. But this belt, with boyfriend jeans, low on the hips, a t-shirt, hints at subversion. Irreverence, at least. Radiates 1970’s retro, if you look closely. We like a few subtle rebellions, but still say, “Please,” and “Thank you,” and “You’re welcome.”
I believe it’s good for everyone to widen their identity now and then. You true hipsters, dig out those pearls from Grandmama. They go with everything. Even skulls. The more conservative amongst us, now and then take a little bitty walk on the wild side. You might already. Do tell.
Images: me, Vera Bradley