Puff. puff and press play! The 1970s were a time of fun, fashion and All-American experimentation. Free loving LSD binge of the 60s was over, and the coked-up materialism of the 80s was in the very far off future. No, the 70s were a time of Wonder Bread bliss and bell bottoms, one captured on the small screen by shows like The Wonder Years and That Seventies Show. Although different, both shows highlight the fun-loving age of American innocence that was slightly muddled by suggestive cloud of ganja bliss. Thanks to the move away from psychedelic drugs, more and more Americans were turning to “natural” drugs like marijuana to get their fixes. Age had no factor in the equation of getting high, and no film drives this home more than the 1993 Richard Linklater classic Dazed and Confused.
Dazed and Confused tells the story of one last day in high school in 1976. As a day-in-the-life film, a medley of wild events occurs throughout the film’s course, such as: incoming freshmen being hazed/smacked on their butts with large wooden paddles by rising seniors, the class nerds take back the night, hot senior girls make the freshman ladies propose to the senior boys, a super wild keg party pops off in the woods, teens go cruising on the main streets, and pretty much everyone smokes a ton of pot. In essence, this is a film about not much more than a hazy, stony day in the life of teens in a small town. In this clip below, smoking was the topic of the day… and night…
What makes the movie such a cult classic are its characters and their authenticity. Everyone, even if you never grew up in the 70s, knows at least one person who fits into the high-school archetype: the nerds, the freshman wimps, the 10-years graduated loser who still hangs around the high school parking lot trying to pick up chicks, the sympathetic jock, the hot chick, the hot hippie chick, and goofy stoner. Linklater followed the blue-print for the successful teen flick, creating characters every viewer felt familiar with. Check out this clip below– it’s filled with everyone you know, at least everyone exactly like someone who went to your high school!
Besides being the 70s teens-next-door you’d want to smoke a bowl with, one of the best things about the kids in Dazed and Confused was their sense of fashion. Everything the stoners wore had its roots in traditional 70s garb and felt very authentic. The guys were decked out in bellbottoms, some with their button-down shirts tucked in, others with them hanging out. Their jeans were light colored and topped with thick brown leather belts, complete with obnoxiously awesome gold buckles! Like all 70s garb, their color scheme was loud, colorful and borderline tacky–pastel purples and tropical print were standard wear for dudes in the 70s. Perhaps the most memorable male in the film was Wooderson, a high-school flunkie who hung around the campus even though he was going on 30+ to scope out chicks. His dialogue? Hysterical! His outfit? Priceless! Wooderson (played by a hot n’ buff Matthew McConaughey) wore a set of pastel pink bell bottoms, cowboy boots and a body hugging white T shirt tucked in, with the sleeves rolled up. His blonde mustache and hanging pendant are the classic mark of 1970s scuzzball, a lovable one at that though! Check out a clip of Wooderson in his prime below, how can you not want to high five the dude!
The ladies, on the other hand, were a bit more complex. Yes, they still wore bell-bottoms, but these came in a variety of shades and had special features, such as fringe or colored panels on the side. When they weren’t wearing the wide legged pantalones, they were rocking cut-off denim and plaid shorts–some daisy duke in length, and some that hit mid thigh. Like their male counterparts, the ladies also wore thick tan leather belts adorned with golden buckles. But these ladies kept their top halves simple, wearing either plain or striped T shirts, or solid colored halter and tube tops. Other popular options seen in the movie were floaty peasant tops or Mexican print shirts, with work shirts also being a popular option. Their footwear was where they shined– platforms were in, as were cute wooden heeled peep toes. Kicks were also a favorite option with the ladies of Dazed and Confused, specifically old-school vintage running shoes.
The moral of Dazed and Confused? Clearly, pot and groovy fashion brings us all together! OK… maybe that’s not the moral. Maybe the moral has something to do with the fact that teens are more like than they’d ever imagine. But, I think the whole bell-bottoms, belt buckles and bongs stuff is a lot more interesting!!
- Bringin’ Back Bell Bottoms
- Grace Jones in November ’08 issue of Dazed & Confused
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