Youth in Revolt

Style inspired by films about being young and on the loose.

There’s something about the middle of the summer that always had me aching to be with my friends every single minute of the day. Nobody felt like being alone at home, so you’d get into the kind of trouble that usually happens when the sun goes down. These highly quotable and equally stylish movies remind me of that summer freedom we so desperately yearn for when fall is just around the corner.

Clockwise from top left: Seniors shirt, $22, Found Item Clothing; denim shorts, $46, Romwe; striped tube socks, $10, American Apparel; Nike sneakers, $57, Foot Locker; ketchup and mustard squeeze bottles, $18, Neatoshop; tie-front shirt, $35, Delias

The stoner lines in Dazed and Confused (1993) stuck with me long before I ever tried weed. Pothead conspiracy theorist Slater (Rory Cochrane) went on a hilarious tangent about the first president: “Behind every good man there is a woman, and that woman was Martha Washington, man, and every day George would come home, she would have a big fat bowl waiting for him, man, when he come in the door, man, she was a hip, hip, hip lady, man.” Along with such memorable gems, the movie came with an awesome soundtrack and starred a bunch of then-unknown peeps like Matthew McConaughey, Adam Goldberg, Milla Jovovich, and ’90s indie queen Parker Posey in her first major role as Darla, a real COOL beyotch. I wanted to be like Darla and the other seniors who tortured those poor freshman girls SO BAD. (Sadly when I was a senior and half-joked to my friends about spraying ketchup and mustard on the newbz, nobody was down. WHATEVA.) The film takes place on the last day of school in Texas in 1976, hence all the shorts. Get a pair like these star-printed hot pants and wear them with a cute halter, or make your own “Senior” shirt with some iron-on letters from the craft store!

Clockwise from top left: dress, $53, ModCloth; lipstick pin, $10, ModCloth; sunglasses, $20, ASOS; Munsters lunchbox, eBay; wedge, $50, ModCloth; purple tights, $15, ModCloth

Reality Bites (1994) was such a huge part of my teenhood. All I wanted to do was dance to “My Sharona” in a gas station convenience store, engage in witty, pop culture-referencing repartee, and debate the meaning of irony while unknowingly falling in love with my best dude friend, à la Lelaina (Winona Ryder) and Troy (Ethan Hawke.) But my favorite character was Vickie, played by Janeane Garofalo. She wore ’60s minidresses, strappy platforms, baby bangs, and red lipstick. SOMEBODY HAND ME A MIRROR, I think I turned into Vickie! She carried an old lunchbox tin as a purse, a trend I seriously wish would come back and stay forever. I had three: a neon New Kids on the Block lunchbox, a really cool Universal Monsters one, and a rusted Peanuts tin, which I had spray-painted and shellacked collages of Pat Smear and Drew Barrymore onto and glued faux fur around the edges. Sounds awesome right? Look for old lunchboxes while thrifting and on Etsy. Check out this cool Muppets one from the ’70s!

Clockwise from top left: T-shirt, $10, American Apparel; shaping balm, $17, Ulta; flares, $80, Topshop; red canvas belt, $4, BeltsNJewelry; sneakers, $70, Adidas

Kids (1995) was a really hard movie to watch, because it showed the dark reality of what can happen when people get too reckless with their bodies. Unfolding over the course of 24 hours, it depicts the lives of a few New York City teenagers, and their lives included STDs, underground raves, and drug-induced, unprotected sex that caused me and my vagina to scream “Nooo!” a few times. This was also our introduction to Chloe Sevigny, who, like Parker Posey, soon became a beloved indie “It” girl. She played Jennie, the tragic heroine who finds out she contracted HIV after her first and only sexual encounter. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Chloe when I watched this movie for the first time. There’s something about her that’s so effortlessly cool. While her clothes were simple–a blue ringer tee, flared jeans, and a red canvas military-style belt–this ensemble, paired with her pixie cut, came together in a way that undoubtedly made girls everywhere grab their scissors. If you’ve been thinking about cutting your locks for the summer, let Jennie’s hair inspire you.

Clockwise from top left: dress, $50, Romwe; vintage glasses, $118, Etsy; portable turntable, $170, Fred Flare; pencil ring, $68, Me & Zena; green boots, $60, ModCloth

When Ghost World (2001) came out, I was so stoked to see how costume designer Mary Zophres translated Enid’s look from the graphic novel. It was hard doing just a four-photo collage, because she has SO MANY CUTE CLOTHES! While mostly in vintage dresses throughout the movie, Enid still manages to play around with her look constantly. She’s a rebel girl always struggling to stand apart from everybody else. Her fashion sense was fun and kind of unpredictable, so I looked forward to what she was wearing from scene to scene. In a couple of them, she sports a blue dinosaur RAPTOR shirt, which you can actually find on Etsy, as well as a punk-inspired look that included a brief flirtation with green hair. She remains a TRUE CLASSIQUE more than a decade later. ♦


  • meredithwho July 23rd, 2012 7:08 PM

    Moonrise Kingdom should have been in this! It makes me want to wear pink collard dresses with boy scout uniforms!

  • Tyknos93 July 23rd, 2012 7:17 PM

    I FLIPPED when I saw the Chloe Sevigny thumbnail! Kids is like my favorite movie!!! Which is probably really strange because it was and still is one of the most shocking and controversial movies to exist. Harmony Korrine was still a teenager when he wrote and not many movie have left such an impression on me as this movie. I’m sooooo glad it was finally featured :)

    • Tyknos93 July 23rd, 2012 7:20 PM

      “when he wrote ‘it’”
      “not many ‘movies’”

  • Eric Rangel 57 July 23rd, 2012 7:22 PM

    Hallo. I have seen all of this movies and could not agree more with Ms. Marie. They all definitely played a major role in my understanding of socially enigmatic situations. Thank you.

  • tove July 23rd, 2012 7:41 PM

    “reality bites”, OH YES.

  • Dale July 23rd, 2012 7:50 PM

    I love this post! I just made a pair of star spangled shorts like the ones featured on the “Dazed and Confused” spread. Here’s a tutorial on my blog:

  • vanessa July 23rd, 2012 7:50 PM

    Love it! I still channel Vickie on most days, even if it’s only hints of her not full on head to toe.

    • bethleeroth July 24th, 2012 10:31 AM

      Same here! Vickie is my ultimate style icon… still to this day.

  • caro nation July 23rd, 2012 7:51 PM

    I find it funny you categorized Ghost World under the “youth being intrepid and care free and rebellious” label. I find Enid especially to be almost faux-rebellious; she tries VERY, VERY hard to be the outcast (and does so adequately), but she always seemed to be hiding under a meticulously constructed facade, one that, ironically, was supposed to convey a “devil-may-care” disposition. That’s part of what made Ghost World so… unnverving, because she takes it pretty far.

    Also, DON’T GET MAD AT ME MARIE, but I strongly disliked all of Reality Bites, excluding Garafalo in all her glory. TROY WAS AN ASS. TROY WAS A SUPERCILIOUS AND PITIFUL NOTHING. AND THEN THEY ENDED UP TOGETHER. WHY?

    • Anna F. July 23rd, 2012 8:29 PM


      • unefillecommetoi July 23rd, 2012 8:37 PM

        I think the point in that ending is that it makes you think exactly that, it’s like mocking the “happy ever after ending” because even if it’s technically a “the couple stays together ending” it’s not happy… I don’t know if I’m making sense here but I think a big part of that movie is de-gloryfying relationships and that ending does that.

    • Marie July 23rd, 2012 11:08 PM

      I feel like they were together for two months tops after the ending then split up.

      • bethleeroth July 24th, 2012 10:30 AM

        I’m going to start imagining that. Because ugh, Troy. I love 90s Ethan Hawke as much as the next girl, but Troy was the worst. Ultimate Gen X movie means that Troy got the girl even if he was a turd because he was a “free spirit musician.”

        • Marie July 25th, 2012 12:16 AM

          So many of us have loved an asshole Troy unfortch.

  • unefillecommetoi July 23rd, 2012 8:34 PM

    Enid’s shirt is on Etsy!!!!! Ohh god I love these movies (well I haven’t seen kids but i love harmony korine+chloë sevigny like in Gummo). ALSO I know he’s a guy but I loved River Phoenix and his style in My Own Private Idaho, he kind of fits in this article thematically sort of no? Freedom, you know…

  • missblack July 23rd, 2012 9:01 PM

    Gah Parker Posey is SO SO SO cool in Dazed & Confused. I love that movie. (Also I have to see Reality Bites. HAVE TO.)

    And everyone always disagrees with me on this but I kind of like Rebecca’s clothes (in Ghost World) better than Enid’s. I just like how she would wear a plain t-shirt and a mini and huge boots and it was so, like, “I look cool/kinda dorky but I don’t actually care” but it was MORE ‘I don’t care” than Enid ever was.


  • Whatsername July 23rd, 2012 10:04 PM

    Dazed & Confused was like the best thing ever! I loved the three outcasted genius kids who’d just drive around discussing life while Jason London {<3333333} and his friends are stumbling around smashing shit. Also, Slater is freaking hilarious.

  • anenome July 23rd, 2012 10:12 PM

    every single one of these movies is a favorite of mine

  • kimmi_kimz July 23rd, 2012 11:10 PM

    I totally have those adidas tennis shoes. They are totally my first pair of tennis shoes in about 3 years. Hahaha ~feelin like a g~

  • kzspygv July 23rd, 2012 11:12 PM

    Okay, RE: Reality Bites: when I was a youngin’ in the 90s I had a plain metal lunchbox that I spent YEARS decorating until it was this perfect, messed up, layered collage of madness on every side. I felt all riot grrrl queen shit until the day my older brother’s friend threw a football at me—I was holding my lunchbox and he somehow he hit it BULLS EYE. The box went flying, but I was STILL HOLDING THE DISEMBODIED HANDLE. It was dented to hell and had no handle but I STILL wish I hadn’t thrown it out.

    • Marie July 25th, 2012 12:15 AM

      HAHAHAHHAHAAHHH!! Still holding the handle with the box destroyed is straight outta movie. So good. (BUT ALSO SUCKS)

  • Genevaisme July 24th, 2012 12:09 AM

    I personally hated Ghost World. I think it was depressing, awful and it made me loose faith in human intelligence. I literally threw out the DVD.

  • Susann July 24th, 2012 3:26 AM

    So many movies to finally see..! The styles are so cool!

    Fashion in Pepperland

  • Annie92 July 24th, 2012 8:00 AM


  • bethleeroth July 24th, 2012 10:27 AM

    THANK YOU. Janeane Garafalo in Reality Bites DIRECTLY MADE ME THE PERSON I AM TODAY. Seriously… My closet is Vickie’s closet. I’ve been wanting a feature on Vickie alone for a long time, but this will do… For now. :P

  • RockHatesMiriam July 24th, 2012 1:44 PM

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that you can get almost an exact replica of enids shirt. i might buy it!

  • christinachristina July 24th, 2012 3:49 PM

    I love Joey Lauren Adams so hard. I love my “obviously a 1977 original punk rock look” jacket i found at a thrift store so hard. And mostly, I love this article so hard.

  • what July 24th, 2012 4:44 PM


  • Peanutpug July 24th, 2012 6:38 PM

    I hope knowing that about Chloe Sevingy’s character in Kids won’t affect the movie becos I haven’t seen it yet and it is on my to-be-watched-in-the-very-near-future list!

  • insteadofanelephant July 24th, 2012 9:12 PM

    great movie choices, i love how you included the ketchup and mustard bottles for dazed and confused!

    instead of an elephant

  • Clairebearscare July 24th, 2012 11:05 PM

    YES! Dazed and Confused and Reality Bites are some of my favorite movies. I’m so glad you had Vickie on here. She’s been my fashion role-model ever since I saw this movie.

  • onewithahippiesmile August 2nd, 2012 2:52 PM

    love these movies… like, they bring me this awesome teen riot style vibe which i love! especially for ghost world, it is just as perfect as the graphic novel! i totally identify with enid, especially for her style!

  • DreamBoat September 23rd, 2012 2:00 AM

    Reality Bites is, forrizzles, one of my fave movies, eva <3
    PLUS, one of the reasons I saw it is because of this post, SO, MARIE, I basically owe you my life <3