9 Things To Wear In An Apocalypse, Be It A Zombie Infestation Or 'Mad Max' Type Drought

Have you ever late night pondered with friends about what to wear in an apocalypse? (I'll admit, I have.) Sometimes, it seems humans are a little obsessed with gloom and doom, but that's probably just our longing to overcome adversity, right? Right? Amid the influx of shows and films such as The Walking Dead, The Last Man on Earth, San Andreas, and Mad Max, it seems nearly everyone has spent at least a few moments debating the finer "what ifs" of an end of days scenario. Could you hack it without fast food? Where would you go and who would you bring with? Do you know how to navigate the woods or avoid being tracked by a hungry undead fellow, intent on munching upon your bwains?

It goes without saying that many of us are probably ill-equipped. Let's face it — we exist in a society that has our knowledge base tethered to electronic devices, and increasingly, our past times involve more and more screens or time spent indoors, and much less in the way of camping, hiking, and healthy adventures in the wilderness. But that doesn't mean we can't up our game with a little foresight. You can amp up your survival rate at home by starting a survival garden or community garden, protecting your skin with natural beauty hacks, and of course, prep your closet, just in case.

Sure, if a San Andreas scenario goes down, you're not likely to run home and give your wardrobe a quick switcheroo. You'll be running, climbing, and participating in general chaos, just like everyone else. But say zombies come into play — you'll have time to pull on your big black boots and grab some suitable pants, right? So let's hash this out for a moment or two, and get down to the basics of what you may need in your wardrobe to survive an apocalyptic scenario, even if it is just hypothetical (although I hear it snowed in Australia last week, so you never know).

Image: AMC

Big Black (Or Brown) Boots

If you invest in nothing else for crazy survival situations, at least consider a pair of big black (or brown) boots. I’m not talking about the thin soled, faux leather boots you find in low end boutique stores at the mall. You want durability, water resistance, and most importantly, thick soles with considerable tread. You may even want to consider a custom made pair, with a hidden pocket or two.

Sure, Claire Dearing running through the jungle in pumps in Jurassic World was kind of inspiring, but in real life, you’re going to want boots. They’ll help you climb, protect you from countless ankle twists (or bites), and make running through debris a non-issue. Plus, they signal your preparedness and general badass nature. Just be sure to break ‘em in so they’re comfortable for those long treks through… well, who knows?

Harley-Davidson Women’s Savannah Black Leather 14-Inch Motorcycle Boots, $181, Wisconsin Harley

Keep A Utility Belt

So, while jeans can be great for reducing entanglements and providing a durable layer of protection, they don’t always offer the best pocket space (when it comes to women’s jeans, at least). The trouble is, when you’re on the go, uncertain where or when you’ll be stopping next, you need to have your essentials on hand, and you may not want to be bogged down by a purse or a backpack. For all of those small goods that you need to have on the ready (snacks, first aid, tampons, etc.), a utility belt means prime carrying real estate.

You’re going to need somewhere to keep that emergency MacGyver stick of gum, right?

The Hipster, Cotton Utility Belt, $38, Etsy


Socks are of the utmost importance if you’re going to be hiking about in combat boots. And these bamboo socks are not only cute (you can still enjoy cute socks in the midst of chaos), but they’re odor resistant, cooler than cotton, and they wick moisture away from your skin.

Women’s Bamboo Boot Sock, $15, Cariloha

Fitted Tank Top

When you don’t know what to expect, it’s always best to have layers on your side. With a fitted tank top in breathable fabric, like bamboo or cotton, you’ll be prepared for heat, and additionally insulated in case of the cold. The fitted tank eliminates the worries that come from trying to escape from treacherous situations in baggy apparel. Because you never know when the tail of your flowing blouse might get caught on an exposed wire, or grabbed by an overzealous zombie. Do you really want to take that chance?

Women’s Plus Size Activewear — Always For Me Eco-Friendly Active Bindu Tank, $10, Always For Me

Fitted Or Boot Cut Jeans

Denim is durable. In fact, if you’re familiar with the history of denim jeans, you know they were working class apparel, made to withstand the rigors of mining and ranch life. All of that time tested durability makes denim jeans a perfect match for survival situations. Sure, they’re on the warm side, but wouldn’t you rather be warm than covered in cuts and scratches, or bug bites (or worse)?

Whether skinny jeans are your jam, or if you prefer semi-fitted and slightly loose boot cut jeans (in order to avoid a skinny jean scenario that would call for hospitalization when there may not be any active hospitals), be sure to opt for well made pants that will easily accommodate your natural range of motion. Want to add to your stealth quota? Opt for a dark wash, or black jeans.

Torrid Relaxed Boot Jean, $65, Torrid

Safety Scarf

Scarves are so multi-purpose. They’re more or less the equivalent of carrying a towel with you for intergalactic travel.

Sandstorm preparedness? Check.

Frostbite coverage? Check.

Tourniquet in times of trauma? Check.

Flag for communication and marking territory? Check.

Shade from the sun? Check.

Rag for rinsing and gathering water? Check.

Convinced yet? I hope so.

Ins and Outside Circle Scarf, $25, Modcloth

UV Sunglasses

Since zombies, drought, earthquakes, and other mayhem tend to force people outdoors, you’ll want to protect your eyesight. Having a trusty pair of UV sunglasses on hand may just save your day.

Unisex Classic Aviator Sunglasses, $25, Amazon


That’s right, nothing like the end times to drive a person to embracing their steam punk side. Not only are goggles a sweet accessory, but they make good sense. With variable lenses to adapt to certain situations, and greater coverage than sunglasses, goggles are superior eye wear.

Machined Aluminum Goggles, $73, Etsy

A Holster Hoodie

Again, some jeans leave you in need of more storage. To remedy the situation, consider a holster hoodie. A twist between stylish and practical, this garment comes equipped with multiple pockets, and the added benefits of a hood. Shade yourself from the sun, keep warm on chilly evenings, and quickly shed your hoodie if something snags your hood from behind.

Olive Steampunk Holster Hoodie, $185, Etsy