Inside The Dystopian Fashion Looks Trending For 2023

Failing to keep up with fashion trends isn't the end of the world, but if you hop on this latest bandwagon, people might think it is. Dystopian fashion has been taking over red carpets, runways, and TikTok's algorithm for quite some time now. A partial return to the goth aesthetic with pessimistic motifs, this major 2023 fashion trend came as a response to the often discouraging state of the modern world. 

Also dubbed "Avant Apocalypse," this latest trend relies on wearers appearing as though they're fresh from battle (or are prepared for one at any time). In clothing, this can manifest through dark colors, disheveled or distressed textures, unusual pairings, or a fondness for combat-style pieces. Some have even expanded the aesthetic into their make-up. Doja Cat even attended Paris Fashion Week with a fake black eye. 

Some may believe that the world is ending, but this fashion trend certainly is not. Here's how to rock the apocalypse. 

Opt for neutral and dark tones

Reaching for darker tones in your closet can help to convey your mood, but it also serves as a natural camouflage! Dark and neutral colors convey a sense of toughness and bravery that a dystopian future demands. Channel your inner Katniss Everdeen and don't be afraid to venture into straight-up camo patterns. 

Subvert seasonal expectations

Climate change is a huge concern for the future. To send a message and make the most of your closet year-round, some fashionistas have taken to wearing skimpier outfits in the winter, while bundling up for the summer. Layer a tank top over a winter fit or tie a warm jacket around the waist of a summer get-up. 

Rebel through mending

In an age of constant consumerism, mending your clothes as opposed to buying new ones is an act of rebellion. Instead of contributing to clothing waste and production pollution, attach patches or stitches to your old favorites. The more imperfect your handiwork is, the better. With this skill under your belt, you can lean into the trend and ensure that your denim purchases are more sustainable.  

Play with layers and contrast

Despite what the movies may have you believe, the apocalypse won't allow time for careful outfit planning. You don't have a wardrobe department on your side, so you have every excuse to try out funky layers or contrasting pieces. Clashing outfits present as a kind of carefree rebellion, with an emphasis on convenience and comfort over traditional style expectations. 

Work with what you have

One of the best parts about this disheartening fashion trend is that anyone can participate. With an emphasis on reuse and thrifted styles, any old piece from the back of your closet will do. Repurpose old favorites and embrace the aesthetic of living in a post-online shopping world. After all, we don't want to contribute to harming the earth by participating in a trend that serves to call that damage out.