How to be a Seattle-ite

April 11, 2011

If you’re reading this, you probably know I moved to Seattle a few months ago. I have spent the past few months settling in, and Seattle definitely has its own distinctive feel.  Trying to fit in is very tricky, and natives are very good at spotting outsiders, but thanks to my keen observation skills, I have learned some easy ways to blend in.  Just follow this handy guide, the more points you get, the more Seattle-ish you will seem, and soon you too can fool people into thinking you are from the Emerald City.


  • Cut your hair short- 1 point
  • Dye your hair black or platinum blonde- 1 point


  • Dread your hair- 1 point
  • Handlebar mustache- 1 point (1 bonus point if you wax it)
  • Hobo Beard- 1 point (1 bonus point if you dread the ends)


  • 1 point for every flannel in your closet (bonus point for each that is from a thrift/vintage/consignment shop)
  • Thick rimmed (aka Buddy Holly style) glasses- 2 points (1 bonus point if they’re not prescription)
  • Everything you own is pre-1980- 4 points
  • Minus 3 points if you carry an umbrella


  • Facial piercing- 1 point for every piercing up to two, minus a point for each after that
  • Bellybutton piercing- Minus 5 points
  • Get a tattoo- 3 points (Bonus point if what it references is too obscure for 75% of the population to understand)

EMPLOYMENT (or lack thereof)

  • Work at a coffee shop- 2 points
  • You work less than 20 hours a week and it’s your only job- 1 point
  • Your only job is less than 20 hours a week AND it’s at a coffee shop- 5 points

HOBBIES (aka, The 4 B’s)

  • Be in a band- 3 points (1 bonus point if it’s a male band with token girl, another bonus point if she plays violin BUT triple bonus points if it’s a female band with a token guy)  NOTE: This is a pretty crucial one for fitting in, but if you lack all musical ability, you can get one point for dating someone in a band.
  • Bicycling- Own a bike- 1 point, Ride it to work- 3 points, 1 bonus point for each hip accessory (ie. waterproof saddle-bags)
  • Brewing your own beer- 3 points (1 bonus point if it’s in your garage)
  • Board games in bars- 1 point


  • You buy only organic- 1 point (bonus point if you only buy local, bonus if you only buy at farmers’ markets, triple bonus if you grow your food in your own backyard)
  • You’re vegetarian- 1 point (bonus point if you’re vegan, bonus point if you’re gluten-free)
  • You carry your groceries in reusable totes- 1 point (bonus point if you sewed them yourself)

This is really only the tip of the iceberg, but if you try and gain as many points as possible soon it is a big leap forward in your ability to become a true Seattle-ite (or at least fool people into thinking you are one).



  1. What’s your score? I’m going for the hobo beard and short hair…

  2. I don’t know, I think Janice would really dig the handlebar mustache…
    Now that I added the very important section regarding piercings and tattoos, I’m at 15. Is this list biased towards my roommates and I? Perhaps…

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