How to Dress for the Apocalypse According to Movies
If Hollywood is to be believed, it's only a matter of time until the world ends. Don’t want to end up on any postapocalyptic worst-dressed lists? As the campy cult classic ‘Waterworld’ turns 20, we turn to these movies for some style advice.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
If intelligent, talking apes ever take over the world, expect the dress code to be reduced to a bare minimum. Humans in the 'Apes' films wear ragged loincloths and little else.
The Road Warrior (1981)
The 'Mad Max' franchise has had a profound impact on how we picture life after the fall of civilization. While water and gasoline are both at a premium in this hellish landscape, at least there's plenty of leather biker gear and colorful masks to go around.
The Terminator (1984)
In the future, members of John Connor's resistance movement always dress for war. Combat fatigues and armor are the order of the day. But if you find yourself traveling to the past to stop a killer cyborg, whatever you can scrounge from the sporting goods store will do.
Tank Girl (1995)
As this kooky sci-fi film proves, you don't have to tone down your sense of style just because the world has gone mad. The titular heroine and her friends (both human and kangaroo) prefer torn T-shirts, denim and other early '90s punk-rock trappings.
The survivors in 'Waterworld' subscribe to the Henry Ford school of fashion design – give the people any color they want, as long as it's brown. Everyone in this wet landscape is limited to functional, if soggy, brown garb.
The Matrix (1999)
The humans in the dead wasteland of this world don't have time for much besides hiding from angry robo-squids, so their fashion is limited to drab, gray homespun. But for those lucky few who hang out in the Matrix, the sky is the limit as far as stylish trench coats and trendy sunglasses.
The Road (2009)
If there's one thing 'The Road' taught us, it's that the postapocalypse is incredibly dirty. The unfortunate few who roam this dank, ash-choked world bundle up in layers of mud-caked clothing on their endless march toward something better.
Columbus and his friends have a pretty laissez-faire philosophy when it comes to fashion in this zombie-infested world. As long as your outfit is loose, comfortable and doesn't weigh you down when running from the undead, you're good to go.
The Book of Eli (2010)
America in this postapocalyptic Western is little more than dust and sun. As such, it's important to wear plenty of layers to shield your body from the elements and always keep a pair of sunglasses handy.
The Hunger Games (2012)
Your fashion options in the land of Panem depend largely on your social strata. Residents of the 12 districts dress like it's the 19th century all over again, while those lucky few in the Capitol are decked out in the most ostentatious outfits money can buy. And if you're “lucky” enough to be selected to compete in the Hunger Games, you'll get to die a horrible death while clad in sleek, functional spandex.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
The X-Men faced a grim future in this sequel, with the relentless, adaptable Sentinels ruling the wasteland. Yet somehow the mutant heroes found time to look their superhero best, with plenty of armor plating and colorful mesh that ultimately offered more form than function in their final battle against extinction.