If you’re in for more than just the bag, you can go for the post-apocalyptic look. It’s a look that will connect with your inner strength, individualism and freedom of the self. Also – for those days when you really don’t want to fall in line or make any concessions, when you don’t want to compromise your ideals. And finally, when you want to make a statement on blurring the line between male and female, hence opting for non-gender specific social relations – that meaning aspiring to be treated as a human being, rather than a man or a woman. On that last point, it is my perception that all cliques, social movements and urban tribes enhance and differenciate very clearly the girly from the masculine, even those who wish to portray themselves as rebels. No wonder then we hear so often ‘men and women can’t be friends’. Fashion can be great for enhancing femininity but also can fall into a vicious circle of fostering gender-specific social conduct, building ever higher walls between genders that we are not even aware of.
Reflections apart, what do you need for achieving that post-apocalyptic look and where can you get it? When I think post-apocalyptic, I think of one thing: DUST. That planetary dreadful dust from the urban, man-made and natural desert forces rebelling against humanity alike, both sweeping everything away. So I think of neutral muted colours, colours that you actually can’t really tell apart because they blend subtly: the whole grey spectrum and army greens work great. Concrete and a reminder of hardened resilient plant-life, even if just a wish. Also, my take on post-apocalyptic is not the loud Mad Max / punk version, rather, one that is humble, minimalistic and reminds more about design. In that same direction, I don’t really like the brown tones that steampunk favours.
In terms of clothing, hoods, hooded scarfs, draped jackets, hooded vests, loose to somewhat loose tunics / sleeveless tees / shirts / sweaters (the idea is not to enhance your curves), cut-outs at the shoulders and arms, raw edges, high lows, asymmetric hemlines, tie-dies or uneven dies that give that illusion of a single unidentifiable colour, cotton and fabrics with a worn and flowy feel, ripped knitwear, non-foam seamless bras, skinny jeans and flat combat / lace up / simple boots (now is not the time for diva aspirations). Simple, utilitarian and rather minimalistic attire, with a casual, tough and roughened by the elements look that will mimic an eventual dystopian world, post global armageddon. A look that will have to show both the resistance and the defeat of mankind at the hands of nature, so while tough, it cannot be obnoxious, since it has to aknowledge nature’s powers.
When it comes to brands, there are options for both the cutting-edge design -and highly priced- tastes, such as innovative brand Demobaza (see online store), as well as for those on a very tight budget. Here I have to name a very budget-friendly clothing line: Divided Grey, by giant H&M: it is a great source to hunt for a few post-apocalyptic pieces, if one has ideas in mind. Divided is already known for being bolder than other H&M clothing lines, but Divided Grey is specifically edgy, geared mostly toward the rock/metal, punk and goth crowds. One thing to remember is to stay away from black as much as possible, since there is a very fine line between what would look or feel post-apocalyptic and the whole rock & goth look. A total black look, shine (footwear, fabric), and accessories (like large chunky necklaces) are to be avoided. Also patterns.
My favourite combination is definitely the hooded vest (it is amazing how this single item turns everything boring into something post-apocalypse style) with something sleeveless or cutout in the shoulders/arms (crop tank/top, tunic, dress) and grey skinny jeans. Also, wearing the Divided Grey dresses above as tunics.
Some of the items above you will be able to find online, others, in stores only. Not all H&M stores carry Divided Grey though, so ask your local store where you can find the brand.
When thinking of leather (boots, leather jackets seem a bit too obnoxious), go for the aged / distressed look and the real deal, not faux materials, which won’t age like leather does.
Below are a couple of interesting sources where you can see how leather can be distressed and certainly have fun in the process – Enjoy creating your own personal apocalypse: