Post Apocalyptic Clothing (with Color Commentary)

Post apocalyptic clothing fashions range from the bizarre to the asinine, and I would like to examine the different styles along with a little sarcastic color commentary.

I am going to discuss the clothing styles of the post apocalyptic movie genre with the purpose of tying it in to the practical reality of actual post apocalyptic survival.

Keep in mind, I just got home from a bar and saw a couple of genetic-dead-ends dressed like they were straight out of Resident Evil that were the the inspiration for this post. So here goes my vaguely coherent analysis of post apocalyptic clothing in movies and then ultimately in reality.

Post Apocalyptic Clothing Styles: Served with a Side of Reality

Post Apocalyptic Clothing

First and foremost, I know that every asshole and their dad thinks that when SHTF they are going to be riding around on a motorcycle wearing football pads, sporting a red Mohawk like this retard in the famous post apocalyptic film Mad Max 2: Road Warrior.

Post Apocalyptic Clothing Ass
If they don’t fall into that category, a large portion of them fall into the other style that I hate, the uber “tacticool” post apocalyptic soldier category:

You see, I have a different take on post apocalyptic survival. I think it is more important to not get randomly sniped in your head because you look like a threat or even worse, unstable.

I get the whole obsession with cool military surplus gear, I have a woodland camo Alice pack and I will admit it. But what really grinds my gears about that particular post apocalyptic clothing style is that it makes you more of a target than necessary.

Let me explain, if you are walking up my property, even with Jesus-like intentions, and you are sporting some super tactical get up with a red Mohawk, my first reaction is going to be to blast you from a distance.

A. You look like a serious threat to my family even if you aren’t.

B. You are a walking advertisement that you have nice gear that could be useful ( I probably would just like you more, but my point is most people will not).

This is why when you are choosing post apocalyptic clothing for your apocalypse survival kit, you should really understand that camouflage doesn’t make you invisible and conspicuous survival gear makes you a target.

Also, disregard everything you ever saw in every movie that you love. Post apocalyptic clothing in movies is designed to achieve a look. Here is a nice little chart I have made of several real jobs and their Hollywood representation.

Hollywood Pirate Real Pirate
Hollywood Cops Real Cops
Movie Cop
Hollywood Drug Dealer Real Drug Dealer
Movie Drug Dealer
Hollywood President Real President

Well I guess you could disregard that last one…

Anyway, you get the point, lets get back to post apocalyptic clothing.

To sum it up:

In the Hollywood post apocalyptic fashion world it is always fashion over function. They have the job of creating a feeling in the audience by displaying some sort of powerful visual.

It isn’t reality and you know that, seriously just look at this bitch.

Post Apocalyptic ClothingI’m sure a lot of you will disagree with me and I encourage you to leave a comment if you do. However I have to think that post apocalyptic survival is about a lot more than how amazing your gear is. It is about human psychology. You want clothing that will actually provide you some tangible benefit and not shock or frighten other people.

You will be dealing with regular people that probably weren’t reading or seriously (maybe even humorously) developing skills to survive the breakdown of society.

Real Practical Post Apocalyptic Clothing vs. Hollywood.

Most people will be completely unprepared if the SHTF my friend, so if they see you as more prepared they could consider you a threat or see you as potential prey.

You assuming that you are invisible with your tactical camo gear isn’t going to stop Mr. Johnson the farmer from putting a .308 in your skull from 500 yards before you even realize you are on his land.

Do I think camo and tactical gear are useless? Hell no, but like everything else there is a time and a place.  I am less likely to pop a long distance cap from my window in a guy who is wearing a flannel lumberjack short even  though he might be a bigger threat.

Without further ado however, I will end my characteristically typical rant that never allows me to get to the meat of the post. Here are all of the categories of post apocalyptic clothing and my opinion of them.

For lack of a better term, the first post apocalyptic clothing category is the asshole. This is the guy who looks like he randomly found equipment that is pointless and put it all on because he watched mad max and he’s so happy society crumbled so he could flaunt this shitty style.

This style comes primarily from post apocalyptic movies, but you can be damn sure retards will dress like this if they wake up and there is no government. Its like the chance of a lifetime for the goth kids from high school to fit in.

Too bad you still won’t be fitting in junior.

It doesn’t matter to this type that their gear serves no functional purpose, they want the Mad Max look so bad that they will strap on random sports gear and cut their hair into some asinine style. If I see you sporting some stupid punk haircut dressed like a cluster fuck, I am going to assume you are one of the bad guys from Road Warrior and blast you.

“Emo” haircuts better be the first thing to go extinct when society collapses. If you want to rebel against society, don’t do it with your haircut you fucking pussy.

It’s not because they look “scary” and rebellious it’s because I want to take people like that out of the human genome. Society in a post apocalyptic world will be bad enough. We don’t need a bunch of shit eating, wrist cutting, makeup-wearing, emotional-wrecks sporting dyke haircuts to be reproducing and making it even shittier.

If you were a walking billboard for your dislike of society and authority before the apocalypse, what the fuck am I supposed to expect from you after society has collapsed? At least keep your contempt for modern society and the government inconspicuous like the rest of us, or find a way to display it that doesn’t make you look like a fucking three ring circus act.

Next on my list of post apocalyptic clothing styles is the “tacticool” post apocalyptic soldier wannabe’s. This is the type of person who will be running around in their air-soft gear, their only combat experience is call of duty on Xbox, but they will appear threatening through a rifle scope.

Tacticool!!! Fuck Yeah!

tacticool awesomnessIf it is just one of them I might try to have a conversation, but if they are with their air-soft buddies or Xbox live friends, my wife and I are picking them off at 500 yards just to be safe. Who knows, they could be modding or have hacks and I am not taking any chances. You could be a higher level than me, and that is unacceptable.

I am going to do something I would almost never do right now, because I have to. I am going to repost the same image from before with a different meme slogan. Sue me.

Fat people kick ass when they have on tactical gear.

I understand you might be scared and think military and paintball gear is really cool because you can blend in. Having some camo gear for hunting and maybe even recon is smart. Having a wardrobe of tactical camo and full black outfits that you plan to wear every day could be suicidal.

A big aspect of post apocalyptic survival is blending in and not making yourself a target. Camouflage is not always the best way to “blend in”. I urge you to keep that in mind when you are preparing your kit for after the apocalypse. It is really tempting to just get the most tactical oriented gear possible and try to be the terminator.

Post apocalyptic gear doesn’t make you the terminator. Being a robot that comes back from the future makes you the terminator. Don’t forget that post apocalyptic clothing is not about looking cool, it is about surviving. I just hope you realize that just like in modern society, you can dress however you want and people can and will judge you for it. Which leads us right into our next category of ridiculousness.

The next post apocalypse clothing trend I ran into while researching post apocalyptic clothing was actually “post apocalyptic fashion” as in models and catwalks. Inspired by the post apocalyptic movie genre, designers have started to create post apocalyptic clothing lines. Yea, they made cowboys gay and now they have begun to try to make the post apocalyptic genre gay.

Post Apocalyptic Fashion

Not on my red blooded, gun toting, Constantina-wire-eating, napalm pissing  American watch they won’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I am as pure a libertarian as the good Dr. Ron Paul, but apocalyptic fashion on runways makes a mockery of the severity of what we could potentially be facing. Ahh, who really gives a shit I am just drunk and tired of the softening of America.

Thank God I get emails from so many of you out there who operate on the same wave length as me and believe that being a man requires a certain rugged individualistic toughness that is increasingly absent in modern society.

Shit, they don’t even keep scores in kids sports now what kind of shit is that. How can you expect a kid to grow up and be productive and hungry for success in society when he grows up thinking everyone gets a trophy and there are no losers? Winners don’t exist without losers.

I have beaten ass, and got my ass beaten in my younger days so many times that a modern liberal psychologist would probably think I was damaged goods. But I learned from it, I learned that there will be people bigger, faster, stronger, smarter and we are not all equal except under the law (supposedly).

This constructed a model in my mind that enabled me to overcome anyone, anything or any obstacle by outsmarting or being more imaginative than my competition. This was survival of the fittest to me and it was in line with Darwin’s theory of the origin of species that my teachers crammed into my head.

Ironically, I found it to be odd that the very people who instilled this voracious appetite for dog-eat-dog scientific analysis of how the world worked, were so vehement in their quest to relinquish the Christian teachings I had learned at home. When I was politically inspired by their natural message of “survival of the fittest” in a social Darwinist sense, and explained my views based on natural law, it became incorrect. Their blatantly liberal political, inconsistent framework contradicted itself so glaringly that perhaps this is what led me to major in political science and get involved in politics?

That last paragraph shitted on all grammar education I have ever received, but on the bright side it reminded me of three things:

  1. This post is probably chock-full of spelling and grammar mistakes that I am not going to correct before I post this.
  2. I am about as far off topic right now as the U.S. Government is off of a balanced budget.
  3. I am hammered.

So watch how I cleverly re-weave this eloquent transition.

(We are talking about post apocalyptic clothing, specifically fashion models on the runway and other shit that pisses me off.)

This is the style you see hitting the runways with men who look like women and women who look like little boys donning this super “cool” new trend to dress like its the end of the world. If you can look at this picture without wanting to beat this guy mercilessly, you should probably get off my website. You don’t belong here, you are among men.

I don’t even want to talk about this anymore. It makes me wanna throw up, then kill a large animal, field strip and consume it.

So lets try another post apocalyptic clothing style and see if I can keep my blood from boiling.

Desert Wastelander

This post apocalyptic movie clothing style is the desert wastelander look. Dirty trench coat, finger tip gloves, basically trying to look as close to homeless as possible. Shit, you probably will be standing around some oil drum barrel fire warming your hands, so I guess when in Rome…

This style is pretty functional and practical though. No crazy random shit hanging off of you. This is the first one in our lovely post apocalyptic clothing list that doesn’t really press any buttons with me. This is really what people will probably wind up dressing like.

But if you really wonder what post apocalyptic survivors will look like, just spend a week in Appalachia.

These fuckers are tough as nails and are the closest thing in modern American society to post apocalyptic society. People make fun of em’, but I don’t.

I know they will probably be the last ones left, those rugged mountain bastards.

I spend a lot of time primitive camping in the Appalachian mountains and I am amazed by these people. Especially when I have driven miles off road through trails and down streams to set up a camp way out from society only to realize up the mountain near me there is a full house built out of scraps.

Everybody in the house has a beard to their knees, even the women and children. I don’t fuck with these people and to be honest I am in awe of them.

Ok I guess I am at the point where I should wrap things up, I don’t even think I read posts this long so I have no idea why I write them, but if you have read this whole thing I am impressed. This is probably more of a personal grumbling than anything else, but I hope you get some insight into where I am coming from in this post. For all I know, I will read this shit tomorrow and be pissed I posted it. So to the bottom line:

People will probably wear post apocalyptic clothing like this:

Post Apocalyptic Clothing

Functional, warm clothing that works and doesn’t look to flashy or too tactical. When selecting your post apocalyptic gear don’t go overboard on the tactical, think practical tactical and how you can best conceal your weapons and gear without looking too prepared.

In summary, get the proper post apocalyptic clothing and don’t be this guy:


Post apocalyptic survival fans found this searching for:

  • post apocalyptic clothing
  • post apocalyptic fashion
  • post apocalyptic clothes
  • emo meme
  • apocalyptic clothing

About Guest

Judah Hamilton is a apocalyptic survival expert. He is a political strategist, inventor, author, avid reader and corporate hack. In his spare time he is a welder, sheet metal fabricator and primitive survival skills expert. All of this aside, he is best known for his drunken, whiskey-induced rants on a variety of topics on post apocalyptic
This entry was posted in Apocalyptic Survival Gear and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Post Apocalyptic Clothing (with Color Commentary)

  1. Jamie says:

    Absolute agreement. Practicality first. A good long coat is nice for various reasons. Concealment of weapons, or armor, keeps your clothes clean.. er than if you weren’t wearing one. Does not keep them clean from sweat or soiling yourself. Doesn’t make you look like super out of place. It may, however, make you a target to people who want to look badass. It can get hot wearing a long coat. It can get bulky, and cumbersome to move in. It’s really got as many cons as pros. A 3/4 medium weight is probably your best bet for outter wear.
    I strongly suggest natural fabrics (leather’s not a fabric, just fyi), wool is by far the best. Soft, warm, breaths nicely, and highly fire resistant! Also the only material (well, natural material) that will still keep you warm while wet! Some people may find it itchy; so as an alternative, I’d suggest cotton.
    Also, high ankle boots (16 eyelets) that you can tie snuggly, but not tight. Running shoes fall apart when wet, taller boots are a pain to get off incase of an ankle break. Welder’s boots have a plated tongue that covers your laces, which ads protection from falling debris (or a haphazardly swung axe), as well as steel toed protection. Con, they’re heavy, bulky, and hot, and not very easy to sneak in if that’s what you need. Everyone should carry puncture proof, reusable gloves, good for going through pockets, or clearing debris, which I estimate will be done frequently while scavenging. Not very warm though when it gets cold.
    Hats! I don’t care if you hate hats, if you will be outside a lot, get a hat. Wide brims are better than baseball caps.
    Also, very important, are good, solid sunglasses. Cuts down on glare, brightness, clears your line of vision. You want a quality pair so they can double as practical safety glasses. (those of us needing prescription lenses are going to suffer without a decent stockpile. crud)
    Also, plastic baggies! Good for filling with scavenged foods, or medicine. Nothing will give you away faster than a bottle of pills jingling in your pocket. Although, if you time your steps, you could play yourself a song… this is destracting, however. :-p

  2. Jamie says:

    oh yeah, and under no circumstances are shorts good. They leave your legs exposed, they make it difficult to conceal and carry.

  3. The Mac says:

    I admire your respect for people from Appalachia but few here are still living like and living up to their reputation given them by outsiders who only see our life here briefly.

    Although I am from Appalachia (born and raised except for my time in the military), I must say that many of the younger people here(teens to 40 year olds) have no clue as to their heritage or ancestral ways.

    Although a lot of people of these ages hunt to appear macho in my area (WV), many do so on 4 wheelers or from their back porches by modern methods due to being so extremely overweight and out of shape. This is a big problem in my state as a whole. Most of the people here don’t hunt because they have to anymore. Most wouldn’t or couldn’t even hunt at all without modern hunting gear, 4 wheelers and technology that the upkeep and replacement parts of requires a functioning society to maintain from hunting season to hunting season.

    Many pay to have their game profesionally dressed before they give it to the homeless shelters or food banks because they have no clue of how to do it correctly themselves and think that game meat tastes too bad to actually eat themselves. It would actually be funny if it weren’t so frighteningly prolific of a situation here.

    Most of the families are the working poor, where mother and father both work long hours at minimum wage jobs, and can’t afford the price of fresh food while having no time to grow any appreciative amount of food on their own no matter how much land they have around them. They buy mostly junk food from Walley World as a dietary staple because it’s cheaper.

    A very large proportion of the residents of Appalachia are on food
    stamps or get their basic foods from food pantries simply because they can’t live off of the land like their ancestors and their skills of being truley self sustaining suffer for it.

    Sadly, the only people in Appalachia who can farm enough land, have enough use of natural resources and invest the time to re-learn the old ways of doing things well enough to be benificial to them in an apocalyptic situation are those fortunate enough to afford the leisure time retirement brings or to be very rich.

    These above mentioned poor “Mountain Families” will only fare well in apocalyptic situations because of lower population density and close family ties not so much from knowing how Granddad used to do it. The large majority will have to quickly re-learn their ancestral skills or face the same bleak outlook as all other people around the world if TSHTF.

    Also, due to high instances of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hillbilly crack fiends (crank and meth addicts) and an area with a high elderly population dependant on medications, many of Appalachia’s inhabitants wouldn’t last until their next perscription refill or crank withdrawl rampage made them a good target.

    I’ll give you some examples:
    1. Knowing how to make a tar paper and plywood shanty is good now if you are poor in Appalachia but doesn’t transfer to post apocalyptic living since the ingredients in your shack, although cheap, are produce by a functioning society and fighting over scraps will just get you killed even quicker.

    2. An Appalachain man today plows, tills, cuts his trees and clears his land the same way everyone else does and that’s with tractors, roto-tillers, back hoes, weed eaters, lawnmowers and chainsaws. Most have to take their gas powered machine blades to a smith to be sharpened (on his electric sharpening machines) because they have even lost the will to learn basic sharpening skills. In other words, he’d probably freeze and starve the first winter.

    3. Even if you have the basic ancestral knowledge of how grandpa used to do things, most Appalachains will find that they have long since sold Granddad’s anvil, non-gas or non-electric household items and farming tools to some antique store on E-bay so they could buy tactical S.W.A.T. gear, Ninja swords, food rations, beer, meth and to have the Doe they bagged from the seat of their 4 wheeler butchered properly.

    Yes, Appalachains are a resourceful people and most make due with very little, but that in and of itself doesn’t transcribe to being better off WTSHTF because most have long sold out on the very skills that once set them apart from most other Americans and they are in no shape or position to invest the time to relearn them in any way that makes them better off than anyone else.

    I hope what I have written makes some Mountaineers angry. It makes me angry too but it is the truth told by someone who lives on the inside not just a passerby.

    In the end, it may not matter much about where you are or what your reputation says of you. It will probably just come down to not only knowing how to survive but being able to teach others how to have what you have and do as you do as well. If you can’t do that you will always either be considered a threat or prey.

    It really does just come down to knowing how to make a fishing pole and teaching men to fish. It’s biblical and it keeps you from being envied or robbed!

  4. Nothus says:

    It’s a bit like sitting round a fire at night, toasting your toes and nursing a brew, listening to the crackle of the flames staring at the glowing embers. You can sit there lost in it all, listening to the to an fro of the campsite talk, join in and tell’em why they are wrong or not as right as they think they are, or get up of your ass and head off to your cot and gaze at the stars before nodding off… but if it gets just a little too much to handle and you just can’t or don’t want to keep up, then you can always break camp good and early next morning and head on down the road.. Web chat/post sites can be like that… If you want to “rant and rave” about that which inspires you then for what it’s worth, that’s fine be me… it’s your campsite mate.

  5. Nothus says:

    As afar as dress sense is concerned? What is this… prom night? I’ll take whatever works… durable, comfortable, practical. It really depends on where and when, I and those that I am with, are. I do agree with you on some aspects that you don’t want to look like the uber soldier if you can’t back it up, but by the same token you don’t want to come across as something out of Victoria’s secret catalog or the Ken and Barbie collection….. but hey! what if everybody else looks that way… for survival sake, don’t you want to… fit in?

  6. Adriana says:

    I love your site, and your writing. It’s very funny. More hammered posts!

  7. Miss Anoni says:

    camo doesn’t have to mean “mossy oak” or geen/brown/tan.  camo is whatever blends with your environment.  if, in your area, after TSHTF people are wearing polos and khakis, then manage your clothing to fit in as best as possible.  be flexible and try to blend with whatever surrounding you find yourself in.  but traditional camo is good to have too.

  8. John Merrik says:

    This is great!
    I love the Hollywood leather and feather bullshit as much as the next guy… but cmon… If I could take one jacket with me… it wouldn’t be the leather jacket with only one sleeve… it would be my carhart.

    I kind of forget that people associate this kind of shit with actual survival.

    I reblogged this, as I run a blog dealing a lot with the hollywood type of imagry (mainly due to movies and video games being a prime focus on it) but I do want people to take away some element of survival. And this is a great step forward to that!

    I am working on an explanation on how gas masks are meant to filter the air we breathe, and not get ugly people laid at goth clubs. Id love to hear what you have to say about that.

    Thanks for the awesome blog man.
    Keep it up!
    John Merrik recently posted..Post Apoc Survival “Fashion”

  9. Rascal says:

    I think the “look” that the author is talking to us about is actually more practical than you think. It’s about repurposing things from a world that we remember but where those things can no longer be purchased for their original use. If we think of uncivilized groups of people they will use animal skins and natural products to establish heiarchy and status in their own little communities. Body paint (even made with natural products), feathers, grommets, anything metal, leather…these things will last a long time and can be multi-useful so why not carry them around on your clothes. Spikes should also be on clothing to possibly help protect you from being jumped too easily. Combat boots make your feet sweaty and might not be easy to run in but they may help against the elements and shrapnel and they will last a long time. What male in America doesn’t have his or his brother’s old highschool football pads in storage? I think the purpose of wearing them as clothes is both utilitarian and creates the illusion of being a stronger and bigger opponent. The mohawks, peircings, horns…make people looker bigger, tougher. Tongan and Scottish men wear freaking skirts to battle in…what the hell is that…if you are charging the enemy and fall do you really want your ass crack exposed to the bad guys?! The run way models take on it is to turn a bad situation into art..kind of like how we take naked people and pay them money to slide up and down a pole. Do you think tribes in Africa would pay for that? I don’t think so ..they get as many naked chicks for free that they want…all day long…and they don’t even know what money is. The point is that when we don’t have our old ways and traditions anymore and nothing is familiar people will take what they can and make it into art..individualize it. Thank you gays and emos for giving art a try. What I do agree with is that post-apoc people are really hard to tell apart from homeless. I never in my 35 years thought that satan worshipers, nerds and the homeless look would become the norm. Thank you America.

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