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How to dress indie, look indie, be indie

How To Be Indie

First of all, if you need to read a guide on the internet to become indie, then you have a long way to go. But luckily for you, you were smart enough to come to me, lumberjack. Throughout my years of clear cutting virgin forests and other unsustainable logging, I have come to be somewhat of an expert on indie culture. And I'm going to pass it on to you!  My indie fashion advice is topknotch if I do say so myself.

Indie Fashion

How to Dress Indie

Indie Fashion:

You don't have to "Suffer for Fashion" like of Montreal to be indie. Rather, indie clothing is some of the best clothing available today!

The basics of dressing indie:

Cardigans, ironic indie tees, flannel shirts, plain fitted t-shirts, vintage hoodies

Skinny jeans, corduroys, skirts, fitted jeans, etc.


Converse, Vans, Nike Dunks, Moccasins, Boat/Deck shoes, "Vintage" Adidas and Puma

Corduroy jackets, Members jackets, vintage leather, peacoats


Bracelets, necklaces, pins, headphones, interesting bags

Alright, now that we have the basics down I will delve deeper into indie fashion.

Indie Tops

I would stay away from cardigans if you're a guy. Though they are considered indie, they also make you look like a grandma. Girls will say they look good on you, but what they are really implying is that you remind them of granny back home. You can be indie without being stripped of your sexuality, so guys just say not to cardigans. Cardigans are fine on girls, however.

Flannel is the epitome of indie in my humble (ya right lol) opinion. To truly be indie you need to stock up on whatever flannel/plaid you can find. It's great buttoned up, or unbuttoned over your favorite ironic indie shirt.

Fitted solid-color t-shirts and vintage t-shirts/hoodies are indie as well. Target has some great solid-tees, so you don't have to spend much. For the vintage, check out your local vintage retailers and thriftshops.

Indie Bottoms

You don't have to wear skinny jeans to be indie if you're a guy, but if you're a girl and they are flattering then skinny jeans are practically a must. Guys can go for anything that is fitted well, just stay away from baggy carpenter's and unflattering styles. Levi's 511 are good.

Corduroy is great, and will keep you warm in the cold winter months. Stores like H&M or Urban Outfitters typically have a good selection of cords. Again, thriftshops may have some gems as well.

Girls, for skirts anything that looks good on you is A OK!!

Indie Shoes

Okay, shoes are where it is at!! I'll start with Converse. Though hipsters might complain that Converse has sold out since they are owned by Nike, they are still very fashionable and look good on everyone! Converse Allstars that is. Stay clear of that Converse Onestar bull that Target tries to push on you, and stick to the classic Chuck Taylors. Emos might have hijacked Converse, but your indie self can pull them off.

Vans, quite frankly, are the espresso. Vans Authentics and Vans Off The Walls are both completely viables candidates for indie shoewear. You can get slipons in almost any colors, as well as plaid and checkered! Check out the Zapatos del Barco, those are some of my favorite.

Moccasins and boat shoes add a touch of class to your indie wardrobe. Moccasins can be purchased online, just Google them. Zappos has some nice ones in stock. As for boat shoes, Sperry Topsiders are wonderful. It's rumored that Moses, the indiest guy who ever lived, owned a pair. Aside from lumberjacking, sailing is one of the most manliest professions and boat shoes just scream "Hey I'm indie, I'm a man, and I'm proud!" That's not to say that girls can't where boat shoes, they look cute on y'all too!!

Lastly, both Puma and Adidas have "Vintage" lines with lots of colors. Green retro kicks are quite indie.

Indie Outerwear

Basically, just wear something fairly noncommercial. Peacots, Member's Only jackets, vintage leather jackets... it's all pretty self explanatory. Plus, if you're feeling adventurous, you could even rock a poncho - just like the man with no name (most bad indie who ever indied).

Indie Accessories

Accessories can make or break your indie wardrobe, so listen carefully. Girls, you're on your own as far as bracelets and necklaces go. I'm a dude, I have no idea. Try for some handcrafted jewelry.

Messenger bags are preferable to backpacks. You can get them in all sorts of materials and styles, my favorite being the ones Timbuk2 produces. Decorate these bags with all manner of pins and schwag you accumulate from attending indie shows!

Headphones! Nothing screams "I love music!" more than a nice pair of hipster headphones. Try to avoid SkullCandy, as it has become a bit too mainstream. Lesser known electronics manufacturers like Denon or high-tech fancy ones like Bose are both fine, however. If you can find them, a stylish pair of vintage headphones will work wonders. They'd probably raise your indie cred over 9000.

Indie Fashion Don'ts

Whatever you do, don't shop at retailers like Abercrombie, American Eagle, Hollister, or Aeropostale. These stores represent everything the indie culture opposes. Even if American Eagle tries to lure you in with some Foals tunes, you must resist!

Indie Music

Indie Music

The most important part of being indie is becoming a fan of the music. If you dislike indie music then stop reading, because I'm trying my hardest not to turn you into an indie poser. While technically indie music can be any independently produced music, I am going to focus more on indie pop (twee) and indie rock.

Some bands to get you started are of Montreal, The Shins, Neutral Milk Hotel, MGMT, and Architecture in Helsinki.

Finding local and lesser known bands is a must. Luckily we have the internet! Make use of websites such as thesixtyone, the pretentious pitchforkmedia, StumbleUpon, and even

Offline, you have other options. Watch MTV U for some ideas (though most of the music is garbage like Eminem) and listen to college radio stations. If you live in any decent urban area you will probably have some indie radio stations as well.

Become a part of the local music scene! Even if it's not indie music, it's a start. If there is no scene to become a part of, then I'm sorry, but you need to get the hell out of that podunk town. Move to a college town or large urban city like New York. You can't live in a better indie locale.

Indie Personality

Next you need to work on the indie attitude. First and foremost, never refer to yourself as indie. Doing so will cost you major indie cred. Don't mention that you read an online guide on how to become indie either. That's just lame to talk about.

The indie attitude is all about having a cool demeanor. Be random, be fun! BE YOURSELF, but cooler. If you are quiet and introverted, don't just be the shy kid in the corner. Be the mysterious badass, like Clint Eastwood! If you're extraverted and outgoing, then just talk to other people! If the conversation turns to music, then use this as an opportunity to drop names of indie bands to establish some indie cred.

Learning an instrument helps, especially if you're quiet. You can just bring your guitar places and strum a few chords. The chicks or studs will be all over you, I guarantee it. :-)

Parting Message

Hopefully now you have some idea of what being indie is about. Just remember, never refer to yourself as indie, let your new indie threads do the talking. Head to some indie shows and make a lot of indie friends!  Always look indie in the process!

¡Vaya con Dios!

More Indie Hubs



Luke the klansman (sike I'm playing XD) on August 14, 2017:

My mom makes me shop at aeropostale but I want to be Indie! What should I do?

Smokeandmirrors on October 11, 2016:

Indie is just being yourself. Also, Prince Ivan and Boxen. Need I say more?

martellawintek on December 02, 2012:

Scroll to Continue

yous ok nev i got it from a friend so here is there site

and some info ,ring them for help & advice ,just say I told you to ring him

a on November 30, 2012:

I tried this michael jackson thriller jacket and i felt very cool and comfortable with this jacket.I would suggest you to buy this jacket from

Sociologist on April 24, 2012:

It's kinda funny to see people being upset about the existence of such an elaborate guide. It might be because I'm from indie-heavy Montreal but hell, the indie movement has become a ''trend'' followed by absolutely clueless douche, stuff like that is inevitable. You guys should thank the author since he's helping us neophytes avoid some ridiculous hipster traps (say, lime green skinny chinos for instance).

Sorry to break it down to you like that

Si on April 18, 2012:

Why you on here reading it if you don't want to use it??

The girl with no name on March 25, 2012:

This made me realise something.... My bizzare taste in shoes, music, movies, and t-shirts actualy means something!!!!!!!!!!

BarnesLARA22 on March 08, 2012:

I took 1 st loans when I was 32 and it supported me very much. Nevertheless, I require the short term loan also.

Brod on February 29, 2012:

Check this:

Cute furry lumberjack phone case:

wannabeindieguy on January 25, 2012:

What kind of hair? Or hats :p

roys on January 16, 2012:

top job dude people r still reading this xD

Izzie on January 09, 2012:

Good job bro :D

bptr on December 11, 2011:

Why are so many young people so comletely insecure that they have to dress in uniforms to feel accepted???

(yes, if you all wear the same thing, it is a UNIFORM)

Here's an idea: just buy the clothes you like and wear them.

I can't stand cliché conformists. "Indies" are no better than all the people who have to have a The North Face jacket then make sure they don't take it off when they are inside because they want everyone to know that they got theirs. They know they aren't original - they actually fear that. They just want to have the thing that says they are "in the club" with everyone else - even though the club is anything but exclusive.

This all says just one thing: EXTREME INSECURITY

AnTony on December 09, 2011:

I tried to find the style that matches me..., i always was an artistic guy, who loves photography and music, i listen a lot to Bat for Lashes, great indie band...

poo on December 05, 2011:

indie is about being independent, you say boys cant wear cardigans. helooo? INDEPENDENT. meeeh. no offence but u have to be pretty sad to sit & write this stuff. XP lol

Anonymous on November 29, 2011:

this is huh, wow.

Nustylze on November 29, 2011:

Paris, and Petra have it right. Just be your self and wear what you want it's about confidence more than anything else.

Petra on November 24, 2011:

This hub is messed. If you really want to be indie, you wear whatever syle you want, rock it, and don't give a damn about what everyone else thinks. If you are indie and find a cute hollister top, then wear it proudly, with your pair of thrift store moccasins and distressed jeans!!!

Kylene on November 19, 2011:

Haha agreed Sophie!

Sophie on November 18, 2011:

If you used to be 'Indie' it meant you were independent, and to be truly independent you have to dress and be the way you want AND NOT HAVE TO BE TOLD BY OTHERS. Indie is a stereotype but it isn't true to it's name anymore and those who label themselves Indie nowdays are kidding themselves that they are actually being independent from the rest of society. I have nothing against what is said here, nothing against people who come here for this advice, I am merely just letting people know what real Indie is and that your real Indie is deep down inside your heart somewhere, you just have to let it flourish. :D (By the way, girls say cardigans look good on guys cos there are actually REALLLLLLY hot)