If you’ve ever dreamed of leaving the house in a gas mask and leather trench coat, your time has come! Between the wildfires and the pandemic, gas masks should be declared the must-have accessory of 2020. Post-apocalyptic fashion has been in and out for decades, inspired by some of our favorite dystopian franchises like Mad Max and Resident Evil, and thanks to recent events it’s been revived again. Here are the top 6 items that will help you survive and slay in 2020:

6. Layers

It might not sound exciting, but the humble hoodie is a must-have for post-apocalyptic layering. It will help keep you warm during nuclear winter or a cold night on the drought-stricken plains. The built-in hood is better than a hat or beanie because you can’t lose it, and as mother always said– it’s important to keep your head warm.

You’ve got to layer something with that hoodie. ( Have you ever seen a character in a dystopian sci-fi wearing only one shirt?) Consider an almost sheer long-sleeved shirt for sun protection on hot days, or a leather tank top for extra protection against edged weapons. Arm warmers will be your friend on those days when the weather changes in a blink of an eye. Just take them off when it warms up, no need to strip off your gear and pull a shirt over your head. 

Looking for an extra layer of fashionable utility? Steel boned leather corsets can turn a blade and turn heads, and chain mail is always a respectable layer choice. 

5. Attack-Proof Outerwear

Speaking of layering, no post-apocalyptic ensemble would be complete without that extra something to keep zombie teeth at bay. Anything goes in this category. You can put together some plate armor if you’ve got the skills and don’t mind the extra weight or opt for something a little sleeker like a leather or heavy denim jacket. 

Creative options include leather fashioned into overlapping dragon scale-like plates or multiple layers of loose cloth that disguise your shape and provide some padding. Metal loops sewn onto softer fabrics are also a fun and easy option. 

Attribution: Danielle Blue share alike license via https://www.flickr.com/photos/danielleblue/9622037903

4. Accessories that Double as Weapons/Shields

You might have some pieces like this leftover from the early 2000s. During an apocalypse, everything you wear has to do double or triple duty. Spiked chokers, belts, and bracelets double as weapons while studded or plain hard-leather vambraces work to keep your arms warm and block knife thrusts. Chain mail or scale-mail gorgets are the scarves of the apocalypse– providing warmth, fashion and armor all in one.

You can’t have too many bullets in a dystopia, so try keeping them in your belts, bracelets, or even stringing them onto a necklace. Nothing says apocalyptic fashion like a bullet bracelet. In a warm-weather Mad Max type apocalypse, vambraces and other shield-like accessories are a good alternative to the outer layers described above. 

3. Anything with Pockets

Because luggage isn’t practical during an apocalypse. You’ll need somewhere to keep your weapons, food, water, walkie talkie, hair ties, etc. Cargo pants are the go-to for this. Try ones with a mix of zippered and open pockets for the height of practicality and style. 

When it comes to post-apocalyptic fashion, there’s no such thing as too many pockets, so match those cargo pants with a tactical vest and sew a pocket into your boot ( this is where you keep that knife that your enemies don’t know about when they “disarm” you). Utility kilts might show too much skin to be safe, but don’t be afraid to layer them over pants to add more pockets and get that Celtic punk rock vibe.

2. Sturdy Shoes

Forget sandals and high heels; the apocalypse is all about high boots with thick soles, think doc martens, but calf height. Buckles look awesome and are more practical than laces. (Where are you going to buy replacement laces during an apocalypse?) 

Thick soles are a good idea as long as they are evenly thick and not throwing your balance off as heels do. Leather and rubber will protect your feet and legs and keep you marching across the wasteland. Spikes on the toes are a plus if you need yet another accessory to double as a weapon, or just for the aesthetic.

1. Eye and Face Protection

 Some of the things on this list are more practical for a future scenario than for the present stage of the apocalypse, but face and eye protection are a must right now. Smoke, dust, germs, the right mask will keep it all out and make you look like a badass at the same time. 

You can purchase a full face cover, respirator style gas mask for under 40 bucks on Amazon right now. If you look around the internet, you’ll find every style from sleek and modern to WWI throwbacks and steampunk-inspired looks. 

Mask makers are having way too much fun designing stylish options. Regular face masks come in neon light up varieties, steampunk leather looks, and of course, all the Joker grin, vampire fang ones you’ve already seen. Steampunk aviator goggles with a leather face mask will make a statement on your next supply run.