Difference Between Indie and Hipster

As centuries passed by and many types of entertainment and new forms of passion started coming up, there was also an uprise of division between the people. A few set themselves apart from the rest because their taste in genres of entertainment differed.


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Two mainstream groups who were different on their tastes and yet often confused with one another are indie and hipsters. They are both groups who are unique and also have their own sets of norms that are to be followed.

Indie vs Hipster

The difference between Indie and Hipster is that hipsters avoid socializing with other sub-cultural groups and also do not accept any other genre other than their own. Indies, on the other hand, are open for sharing their thoughts and receiving others on their genre of art forms.

Indie vs Hipster

Indie is the subgroup that captured many forms of art ranging from dance, films to publications. They did not limit themselves to music. Indie was also seen to be bands that were not under any big labels but produced songs solely to entertain their followers.

Hipsters are often trendsetters who find the need to stand out amongst a crowd. They usually do not follow trends, rather make them and abandon them. These are also the people who follow indie bands but stop once they get a mass audience only to come back when they lose it.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIndieHipster
OriginShort for independent“hip” and “ster”
DefinitionThey are the group of people that capture many forms of art that are not limited to just musicIt refers to those people who have excluded themselves from the main culture
SocializingThey socialize with other groups and share their interestsThey not only avoid socializing but also criticize other forms that are not to their taste.
MusicThey are the bands that put out songs to gain followersThe followers are usually hipsters and stay with the band until they get a mass audience.
FashionThey have a retro vintage and vinyl styleThey do not have any particular style as they only want to stand out and be unique

What is Indie?

Indie stands for independent. This is so because they emerged as a cultural subgroup from an independent business that does not follow only music. Indie are open to many cultures and art forms as they are often seen to be socializing with other subgroups.

Indies are mostly characterized by their idealism along with their anti-corporate attitude. The need for staying unique is not taken by the people who follow indie as they are naturally unique. These subgroups are also seen to be retro-styled and also like vinyl records or classic songs.


What is Hipster?

Hipster is a slang that was first used in the 1940s. Back then, it referred to the teenage kids who found the need to dress and behave differently from the main crowd. They felt the need to be unique.

Hipsters are to date the ones who make new things that are unique and present it to the world. Once it starts trending, they start working on the next concept for maintaining their uniqueness. So, they do not stick to the trend while it lasts.

They are often characterized by their anti-conformity behaviour and are regarded for their innovativeness. They often dress to impress so their fashion stands out in a crowd.

Hipsters do not follow anything mainstream. So once it goes mainstream, they start searching for other smaller and less popular ones. This is the case for their hangout area as well.


Main Differences Between Indie and Hipster

  1. Indie is short for independent as they are independent as they do not carry any big labels. Hipster is from two words: ‘hip’ that refers to the people who followed music during the Jazz Age and ‘ster’ a common suffix.
  2. Indie does not limit themselves to only music as they include many genres of art forms like art, design, films etc. But hipster on the other hand is the people who have excluded themselves from the mainstream groups.
  3. Indies do not have any problem with socializing and listening to other genres of music while hipsters do not socialize with anyone other than their group of people. If approached, they even diss and criticize other genres.
  4. Many bands that are not under any big labels or companies that release a song or two for the people to enjoy are called indie. The followers of such bands are usually hipsters who stick around with the band and their songs until they gain a mass audience.
  5. The fashion of both these subcultural groups is also different. While indies go for a vinyl, retro and comfortable fashions, hipsters are always trying to stand out and make it a trend. They can even wear retro with a modernized touch.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10253866.2012.678785
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/20484466
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