2020 is proving to be the kind of year that sets up a cyberpunk movie in a prologue text card—for numerous reasons. Considering the fact that 2020 may also set up the rest of our lives as a cyberpunk narrative, what better time than now to discuss which cyberpunk fashion trends we should see more of in real life? Especially since these designs deliver stealthiness, autonomy, and symbiosis with technology. Those elements are all essential for surviving the cyberpunk landscapes.
To that end, here are seven cyberpunk fashion items that could help us survive whatever extinction-level event is going to turn humanity into a bunch of cybernetically enhanced beings. And they’ll help you look good while doing it.
CD Projekt Red
While big coats and jackets are peak cyberpunk, the ones we’ll want to popularize in real life should light up like V’s bomber in Cyberpunk 2077. It’s not just for the gimmick. Because there’s a lot of darkness in cyberpunk worlds (including IRL ones), you want to stand out so you don’t get run over.
Utility belts may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cyberpunk, but they’re going to be so helpful. Designs like the one Terry McGinnis wears in Batman Beyond (see above) are stylish and functional. You could carry around lasers, batteries, hair gel, snacks—everything you’d need to survive and remain stylin’ for days at a time.
Combat boots, like Motoko Kusanagi’s from Ghost in the Shell, are the go-to footwear in many cyberpunk worlds. A lot of people own and wear sturdy combat boots already, and they’re on the right track. The cyberpunk outfits that will be most useful in real life will be durable and comfortable. And nothing says durable, comfortable, and badass like combat boots.
AR (augmented reality) glasses, like Adam Jensen’s “smart vision” shades in Deus Ex, should be a quintessential part of real-life cyberpunk fashion culture. You’ll want to keep track of a lot of bodily stats as a cybernetically enhanced human. And you’ll also need profile read-outs on any sketchy characters coming your way.
The Gravity Gloves from Half-Life: Alyx may have some powers we’ll never have in real life, but they’re still the kind of cyberpunk gloves we should popularize. They keep your hands warm, provide crucial health stats, and allow your fingers to remain naked for quick hacking at keyboards.
Face coverings, which show up in worlds like Blade Runner 2049, should be an essential cyberpunk accessory. Right now, face masks are commonplace due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But we should keep embracing them. Face coverings will not only help people remain anonymous and stealthy, but also avoid identification by facial recognition cameras.
Finally, everybody assembling their real-life cyberpunk look should consider a backpack. Yes, something like Takeshi Lev Kovacs’ “Hello Unicorn” backpack from Altered Carbon is probably too conspicuous, but the utility function is undeniable.
Featured Image: CD Projekt Red