Unique Vintage Gift Ideas for Hipsters

Did you know that the term “hipster” goes all the way back to the 1930s? I didn’t either until I looked it up recently in Dictionary.com, which notes that the name derives from “hepcat,” used to describe jazz  aficionados in the ’30s and ’40s (think Sammy Davis Jr, the coolest hepcat of the Rat Pack). Hipsters are also the direct descendants of the “beatniks” and “hippies” of the ’50s and ’60s. Perhaps this storied heritage explains why the 20- and 30-something hipsters of today, living in upcycled warehouses and lofts in and around Williamsburg,  Brooklyn or San Francisco’s Mission District, are big fans of vintage.

A hipster likes things that he or she perceives as outside the cultural mainstream. According to  Urban Dictionary, “hipsterism” is really a state of mind wrapped up in the rejection of mainstream consumerism. Thus, their love of wearing vintage and thrift store-inspired fashions, old-school sneakers, and thick-rimmed glasses. We might make fun sometimes but these trends have caught on far beyond the hipster realm and many of us are looking at vintage items with new eyes. It’s really a smart and useful way to recycle and reuse.

The lesson in terms of gift giving is clear: an off-the-rack shirt or tie from a department store won’t cut it for hipsters. It may seem odd to opt for pre-owned items as gifts but remember that vintage is cool in the hipster world. A weathered wooden cigar box has character, especially when displayed on a reclaimed wood shelf beside a tattered hardcover literary classic. Etsy is a great place to find some of these midcentury classics this gift-giving season. Here are a few of my recent favorites from my own and other Etsy shops.

Vintage European Art

Yvon etching paris
Hipsters love art, indie rock, and creativity, according to Urban Dictionary. This 1940s etching of a Paris bookseller, signed by Yvon, is bound to be a big hit as decor and conversation piece. Listed by Premium Transitions. $95.

 

vintage art print
A 1952 poster of the Tour De France, baked onto a European birch plywood tablet. Listed by WoodPrintz. $17.49- $34.98.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vintage art
A vintage framed etching of a European street scene signed by Hans Figura. Listed by Last Century. $198.

The Midcentury Kitchen Craze

Amber diamond point Salt and Pepper shakers made by Indiana Glass. (Listed by Steamcrunk)
Amber diamond point Salt and Pepper shakers made by Indiana Glass. Listed by Steamcrunk. $25.
vintage salt shaker
These jadeite flamingo salt and pepper shakers from the 1950s have an Art Deco vibe. Listed by FengSway. $60.
vintage teapot
Roosters are one of the hottest vintage decor items lately. Combine that with the trending popularity of tea and you have a winning vintage gift. Listed by Premium Transitions. $28.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wooden Storage Boxes

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A vintage rosewood box for jewelry storage with a luxorious red satin interior. Premium Transitions. $60.
Wooden crate
A 1920s wooden crate that was once used to store cod liver oil. Now a great display piece or hip storage area. Listed by Time Passages. $75.

Tobacciana

 

Vintage lighter
You don’t have to smoke to appreciate the sleek design of this chrome cigarette lighter made by the American Safety Razor Co. in the 1940s (Bonus: made in Brooklyn). Listed by Premium Transitions. $48.

 

Vintage lighter
A 1940’s Art Deco DunHill Gold Lighter. listed by GypsyRoadStudio. $214.
Vintage cigar box
This midcentury cigar box is made of knotty pine with carved cameo-style brass accents.Listed by Premium Transitions. $45.

 

The pipe smoker, dog lover, or simple man of good taste will not be able to resist this lovable spaniel tobacco caddy. Listed by Dan The Picker. $29.99
The pipe smoker, dog lover, or simple man of good taste will not be able to resist this lovable spaniel tobacco caddy. Listed by Dan The Picker. $29.99

Vintage Cameras

Vintage Genos camera
The Genos Rapid bakelite box camera, made in Germany, was introduced in 1950 and is still functional today. Even non-photographers will love the design and original worn-in leather case. Listed by Premium Transitions. $45.
Vintage camera
It’s a bit of a splurge, but this Polaroid SX-70, with its iconic folding design and chrome and leather styling, make it a favorite of collectors, according to the owner of MicroscopeTelescope. $256.

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