17 Times Movies Influenced Trends In The Real World

Kasia Mikolajczak
movie film roll
Unsplash | Denise Jans

Have you ever watched a movie and immediately afterward wanted to be just like the characters you saw on the screen? Well, you're not the only one. As it turns out, there are plenty of films out there that had an influence on trends in the real world.

So I'm going to give you a few examples below. Let me know if you followed any of them and which movie was the biggest influence on you overall.

'Grease' (1978)

Olivia Newton-John looking back sitting in the car with John Travolta in the movie Grease

Okay, confess — Grease is the word, right? Ha, ha! If you were obsessed with this flick, I bet you started wearing bomber jackets. Am I on the right track? And did it make you fall in love with leather pants, too?

'The Great Gatsby' (2013)

Leonardo Dicaprio and Carey Mulligan sitting in front of white flowers in The Great Gatsby

I don't know about you, but I love fashion from the roaring '20s. It's so fun, isn't it? So after The Great Gatsby movie came out in theatres, there was definitely a resurrection of fringed clothing and women’s chin-length hairstyles.

'ET' (1982)

scene from ET when Gerdie gets scared of ET

So how did Elliott get ET to come to his house? Do you remember that? Well, of course, he lured him by tossing Reese's Pieces, the peanut butter-flavored candies from Hershey's. So after the movie came out, it's no surprise that the sale of these candies skyrocketed.

'Beetlejuice' (1988)

Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice.

One of my favorite Tim Burton movies did have an influence on clothing that still resonates today. Winona Ryders' character Lydia wore all-black, gothic-inspired ensembles that everybody tried to mimic. Even chokers got super popular after the movie came out.

'Risky Business' (1983)

Tom Cruise wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses in Risky Business

We all remember that iconic scene in Risky Business where Tom Cruise's character slides across the floor wearing only socks, a white button-down, and white undies. But there's another fashion statement that he made in the movie and it's the Ray Ban sunglasses he sported.

Apparently, Ray Ban's sales were suffering before the movie but got quite the boost afterward and they're popular until this day.

'Toy Story 2' (1999)

Etch A Sketch, Piggy bank and Mr.Potato Head in Toy Story 2
Walt Disney/Pixar | Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Studios

A quiet hit came out of Toy Story 2, and that's the classic Etch A Sketch. It first became popular in the '70s and '80s, but video games quickly took over. It wasn't until Toy Story 2 came out that the company that made it originally returned to profitability.

'101 Dalmatians' (1996)

two dalmatians from a scene from 101 Dalmatians

This beloved children's story focuses on an evil high-fashion designer who plots to steal dalmatian puppies to make an extravagant fur coat. Needles to say, the breed of the dog portrayed in the movie became hugely popular after its many releases. Sadly, that didn't last long, and there were many dalmatians abandoned afterward.

'V for Vendetta' (2005)

Guy Fawkes mask in V for Vendetta
Giphy | Giphy

I'm not one to wear a mask, but if that's your thing, you probably bought the Guy Fawkes one, huh? I had no idea it was actually modeled after the 1605 revolutionary who was arrested and executed for trying to burn down the British parliament. Originally these masks were only popular in Britain, but the movie made them into a worldwide phenomenon.

'Sideways' (2004)

Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti looking at wine in Sideways (2004)

If you're an avid wine drinker, you probably enjoyed the indie comedy Sideways, huh? In the film, Miles is an ardent fan of pinot noir and refuses to drink merlot. So after the movie came out, sales of pinots have skyrocketed so much so, that the demand increased California's grape planting by 170% since 2005. Wow!

'The Avengers' (2012)

Chris Evans wearing a red sweater laughing hard
Giphy | mtv

Here's a funny story if you stayed until after the credits rolled in 2012's The Avengers movie: You might remember the scene where Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, and the rest of the group sit in a restaurant eating some shawarma after defeating Loki and the Chitauri. Apparently, some shawarma places in both Los Angeles and NYC had a spike in sales after the film came out.

'The Italian Job' (2003)

Mini Coopers being chased by a helicopter in The Italian Job (2003)

I don't know about you, but I loved the 2003 remake of The Italian Job. Not only did it have a stellar cast, but people became obsessed with BMW's Mini Coopers. In fact, I still want one, ha, ha. Apparently, sales of the $20,000 Mini Cooper (in 2002) rose by 20%. Aha!

'Roman Holiday' (1953)

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck on a Vespa scooter in Roman Holiday

Speaking of vehicles that became popular after a film, the same thing happened back in 1953 when Roman Holiday came out. People became enamored with the Vespa scooters that Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck used as their main form of transportation to speed around the Eternal City.

'Annie Hall' (1977)

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen on the street in Annie Hall

I'm not going to lie, I'm not much of a Woody Allen fan. But his 1977 movie Annie Hall definitely inspired a ton of fashion trends. The titular character, played by Diane Keaton, does what she wants. She wears quite an array of unusual outfits such as baggy beige trousers, a waistcoat, a tie, and a hat. It was a departure to see that from a female character, alright.

'Breakfast At Tiffany's' (1961)

Audrey Hepburn as her iconic character in Breakfast at Tiffany's

If you're looking for a truly iconic style, look no further than Breakfast At Tiffany's. Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly had many outfits that set trends. From the blonde-streaked hair, the blue jeans and grey sweater look, the beige trench coat and oversized glasses, to all the dresses, each look was unique in its own way.

'Rebel Without A Cause' (1955)

James Dean wearing a red jacket in Rebel Without A Cause
Giphy | Giphy

If you're a fan of James Dean like I am, then you must've watched Rebel Without A Cause, eh? It's such a classic movie. But what stands out from this beloved flick is the style of clothing Dean's character wore. The white T-shirt with sleeves loosely rolled up, and a red jacket became an ever-popular look.

'Flashdance' (1983)

Jennifer Beals wearing a ripped sweatshirt in Flashdance

One of the most iconic things Jennifer Beals' character wears in the movie Flashdance is the off-the-shoulder sweatshirt. So as you might have guessed, this became the fashion trend following the movie's release.

Apparently, Beals revealed that she invented the look "accidentally" when she shrunk a sweater in the dryer and cut a new, enlarged hole for her neck. Wow!

'Top Gun' (1986)

Tom Cruise sitting in a plane against a U.S. flag in Top Gun (1986)

Who here was obsessed with the original Top Gun? Oh my goodness, I can't tell you how many times I watched this movie. But I didn't know that after its premiere, requests about the US Navy's Aviation program increased because of all the interest the movie garnered. Heck, even I wanted to fly one of those planes, hee-hee.

So, did you follow any of these trends inspired by movies?

Tom Cruise wearing Ray-Ban glasses in Risky Business
Giphy | HULU

I definitely wanted to look like Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice but I couldn't exactly pull off the style, hee-hee. I can surely see how popular movies can influence fashion and lifestyle trends. And some of these styles are even still fashionable today. What do you think of that, huh?