ByTommy DePaoli, writer at
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Tommy DePaoli

In her new movie [While We're Young](movie:917165), Naomi Watts plays a woman who must confront a new era of hipsterdom (as represented by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) while clinging to the old, comfortable love of her past (Ben Stiller).

Watts, who remains as luminous as her name suggests, spoke to me about her character Cornelia, the traits that spoke to her, and, most importantly, the inexplicable modern trend of fedoras. Check out everything she had to say here:

The premise of While We're Young and my conversation with Naomi got me thinking; life may never get old, but trends certainly do. Why, then, are there so many forms of old technology that my parents have given up on that have ended up in the apartments of my friends?

The movie does a hilarious job of exploring how what was old can be new again. In that spirit, here are the 11 outdated things adults are shocked to see millennials bringing back into fashion.

1. Typewriters

In an age when seemingly every teenager has a miniaturized, full-powered computer in their pocket, they're also turning to one of the most manual, cumbersome machines still on the market: typewriters. Young people—and I'm talking too young to ever even encounter a typewriter—are keeping the industry in business with their yearning for something tactile. Don't be surprised if you go to a coffee shop and hear a relentless "click, clack, DING!" coming from the table next to you.

2. Bartering

My generation is totally down with what experts call "collaborative consumption." In other words, we see no problem with trading used items for other goods or even services, and we frequently trade in or donate the items that we no longer use. This goes against pretty much everything my parents taught me about purchasing quality items, but, hey, when money is tight, we know how to make it work.

3. Tape Recorders

While most adults have moved on to digital recording devices or even just their phones to suit their needs, I know many people my own age who insist on using an analog tape recorder. If I had to guess, I think it has something to do with this common push for something physical, but I just can't wrap my head around getting an entirely new device for a feature that already exists in an iPhone app.

4. Home workouts

My parents' generation has seen the workout craze begin on TV with fitness guru Jack Lalanne and then steadily make its way into the status symbols of gyms. Now, I see major shift away from paying exorbitant fees to the hippest gym in town in exchange for returning to that old model: doing workouts at home in front of the TV. Of course, this often means using digital platforms like Daily Burn instead of Jane Fonda vids, but the idea is just the same.

5. Personal grocery carts

Ever since I moved downtown in an effort to eschew my car, I cannot escape the sight of these wonderful wheeled carriers. It seems like with more and more people are moving to urban centers, and with that comes the need for a higher carrying capacity. Honestly, whenever I see one of these I'm reminded of Mama Bear from The Berenstain Bears returning from the market. If that doesn't encompass a life goal, then I don't know what will.

6. Fixed Bikes

My parents look at bikes without brakes and instinctively balk. Back in their day, the people that road fixed bikes were competitive racers and kids with a death wish. They're shocked to see that fixies have exploded in popularity, and you'd be hard-pressed to avoid one if you're on the streets of a city.

7. Fedoras

As Naomi remarks in the video, the fedora has become a symbol for a very specific type of guy, and I'd be willing to wager that most of us have encountered him. In the movie, Ben Stiller's character feels like he's regaining his youth by donning the distinctive hat, but as his adult friend quickly calls out, he just looks utterly ridiculous. That may not be true for every fedora fan out there, but it goes without saying that this is a headwear trend that millennials can't avoid.

8. DIY Everything

These days, it seems like the trendiest people need to do literally everything themselves. This includes making your own craft beer, homemade laundry soaps, and even DIY snack foods like Cheez-Its and Pop-Tarts. Somehow, my generation has enough time carved out to spend hours making artisanal EVERYTHING, while I'm too lazy to trudge to the store a block away and pick up a bag of chips.

9. Music festivals

When Woodstock took place in 1969, it was a defining and highly politicized moment in music history. Now, music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza are defining moments of college spring breaks and ultimate party weekends. Adults are often surprised that this kind of revelry didn't die with the hippie movement, but who wouldn't want the equivalent of adult summer camp jammed into a debauched three days?

10. Rollerskating

Between roller derby, city rinks, and all those brave who wear skates to walk their dogs, it's safe to say that rollerskating is nowhere near dead. A couple of my college friends caught the bug and took me the local rink once. Let's just say my lack of coordination coupled with the amount of bruises I walked away with mean I will probably not be hopping aboard this phenomenon any time soon.

11. Vinyl records

To round out this list, how could I not mention the ongoing obsession with vinyl? The younger couple (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) in While We're Young have an entire wall with their record library, and that's not too far off from reality. Plenty of music buffs these days swear by vinyl for superior sound quality, causing a full-blown revitalization of a pre-CD era. As a result, just as my parents have figured out YouTube and iTunes, I'm raiding their childhood record collections for Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac.


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