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Flippin’ Sweet: Why Napoleon Dynamite is Still a Cultural & Fashion Icon

Napoleon Dynamite is Still a Cultural and Fashion Icon – When Napoleon Dynamite came out in 2004, everyone thought the little indie movie was going to fly under the radar. But, despite a tiny budget of only $400,000, it grew wildly out of control and earned a staggering $46.1 million.

Overnight, everyone was quoting every line of dialogue from the film. Plus the quirky “norm core” looks turned Napoleon into a fashion icon.

Now, more than 10 years later, the fever for the film may have cooled but Napoleon Dynamite is still a phenomenon.

Here’s why.

80s Wave Fashion Icon

Have you noticed the 80s have come back big time? The neon retro-future has hit its stride in the 2010s but was predicted back in 04 by Napoleon Dynamite.

How did Napoleon become a fashion icon? Beyond blowing up big time at the box office, it had everyone feeling a bit nostalgic

Let’s go over the classics that made the movie a master class in Idaho couture.

Vote For Pedro

The most recognized of all the looks from the movie, the Vote for Pedro tee is the gold standard.

The white ringer tee with iron-on red letters is ultra nostalgic. Who didn’t have a little league shirt that looked just like it?

Plenty of people wore this shirt ironically and yet…they wanted to be part of this uncool cool club.

napoleon dynamite patriotic pantsPatriotic Pants (Rex Kwon Do)

Remember the hilarious dojo scene? Of course you do – all because of those Rex Kwon Do pants.

In the quotable scene, Rex promises that his own brand of martial arts can bring you “…the STRENGTH of a grizzly, the reflexes of a PUMA, and the wisdom of a man.”

Unabashedly patriotic plus roomy enough for roundhouse kicks, you want to rock this look at every summer backyard BBQ.

Rex Kwon Do pants had an ironic edge to them as well and yet can you deny Rex is your personal style sensei?

napoleon dynamite deb

Puffy In Pink

Deb’s debut at the dance was memorable for so many reasons. The crimped hair, the side ponytail, and that puffy pink dress.

The director based the story on his own experience in Idaho, a place where time moves a little slower and fashion lingers long after its expiration date.

So while Deb may seem a bit behind the times, she was a fashion icon back then – and is still one now.

The excess of the 80s is making a comeback and with it, big sleeves and bright pink. Take a tip from Deb who was way ahead of the curve.

Besides, Napoleon liked her “real big” sleeves. Ladies, take note!

Moon Boots

These are the foundation of the Napoleon Dynamite style. If you want to rock the look, you must have a tucked in printed tee, dad jeans, and a pair of sweet moon boots.

Would Napoleon have been able to dance his way to victory without them? Probably not.

Moon boots, puffy sleeves, ironic tees, and Rex Kwon Do pants – Napoleon Dynamite set the trends.

We’ll never stop quoting it and the fashion has stuck with us all these years. This movie is worth its weight in tots, it’s so good. Flippin’ sweet.


Photo credits: Napoleon Dynamite, Fox Searchlight

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