Fashion would be just about the last thing on anyone’s mind should a disease that makes the dead rise and feed on the living infect the earth. But, as you may know from my previous posts, when I become interested in a book or show, it will likely affect the way I dress. For this reason, this post presents the unlikely combination of fashion and The Walking Dead.
I haven’t been this into a franchise since Harry Potter—and that’s saying something. The Walking Dead (both Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels and AMC’s television show) tells the story of a group of survivors fighting to stay alive in the wake of a zombie apocalypse. What’s so fascinating about the story is that the “walkers” actually become the backdrop, while the survivors take center stage.
After catching up on three seasons in about seven weeks, I found myself having to correct a slight southern accent on some words and also discovered a bit of southern flair sneaking into my wardrobe. I’ve been especially partial to these fake snake-skin boots I got at Marshalls a while back, and my chambray shirt has been making more appearances than usual.
This got me thinking about the characters’ individual styles—especially in the TV show. Although they only have a few outfits, you can still see the sort of clothes each person likes and catch glimpses of how he or she must have dressed before the whole walker fiasco started. Based on this idea, I’ve put together a few outfits inspired by some of the characters. These aren’t outfits the characters themselves would wear (especially because one of my favorite things to explore is making womenswear outfits inspired by male characters); they’re just style ideas that we could wear in our walker-free world inspired by some of the most interesting characters on television.
One of the most frustrating characters in the series, Shane is there to protect Lori and Carl, no matter what the cost. Impulsive, erratic, seductive and confrontational, Shane causes a good deal of the drama in the first two seasons. While his khaki or camouflage cargo pants may be a bit of a fashion faux-pas, you can make the look fashionable with camo skinny jeans paired with black heels. A loose, comfortable shirt keeps the look casual. The necklace is a shout-out to the gold chain Shane usually wears and, of course, no former cop would be complete without aviators.
Lori is a figure of both guilt and strength; she and Rick fight to keep their family together and, in many ways, Lori acts as Rick’s conscience (especially in season 3). She has a very casual, simple style—usually involving ripped boyfriend jeans and a plaid shirt—often made more feminine by the color scheme and dainty earrings. While Lori has to stay practical and ready to fight at any minute, you could add bangles or a summery bandeau to mix up this look.
One of the more mysterious characters and one of the group’s best warriors, Michonne has developed strategies to not only survive in this world, but to thrive. When I think of Michonne…well, first I think samurai sword, but then I think purple. For an everyday look, I’ve replaced Michonne’s purple tank top with a dress and her leather vest with a jacket and matching shoes. Again, not practical for fighting zombies, but this is something I could definitely see Michonne wearing before the apocalypse. I’ve picked a scarf that’s reminiscent of her iconic headband and earrings to finish off the look.
Everyone’s favorite crossbow-wielding redneck, Daryl has surprised everyone with his character development through the seasons and while he still has trouble talking about anything involving emotions, we all know he’s a sweetheart under all those scowls and noncommittal shrugs. Here, I’ve put together a feminine version of Daryl’s typical wardrobe: shredded pants, a sleeveless shirt in a neutral color, and a motorcycle vest to top it off (sadly, this one does not have wings on the back). I’ve added an arrow necklace as an ode to his weapon of choice and a geometric clutch as a reference to the poncho he occasionally wears when he decides it’s too cold to show off his arms (Liz…your fangirl is showing). A pair of edgy boots to match the vest complete the look.