Aesthetics Wiki

The Desert aesthetic is based off and around the desert and desert styled motifs, such as dismal, muted earthy colours and themes of the desert. Animals or things that may be strongly associated with this aesthetic are: cactuses, camels, sand, sandstone, leather and more.


American Desert[]

Further information: Western

American Desert is an aesthetic that focuses primarily on the Western portion of the United States and Northern Mexico. It is often based around the Wild West era of the 1800s and includes fashion elements what most people thought of that particular area of the country at the time (lots of vests, sun-protecting hats, ponchos, and light, airy clothing that won't cause you to overheat due to the immense heat that deserts tend to have during the day). It can also include buildings from the time period such as saloons, ranches, and oil rigs.

American Desert also occasionally carries a strong connection to the environmental movements of the time. This is because many american environmentalists were enamored with the beauty of the desert, and wrote extensively about its merits as a location and the lifestyle it proposed. The most famous example of this is Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang, famous for also advocating domestic terrorism as a key component of the aesthetic.

Notable motifs include Mexican blankets, reptiles (primarily iguanas), fire, the Southwestern US & Mexico, Mexican pirate radio, human skeletons, and imagery inspired by Dia de los Muertos. This subgenre was created by user Mixingitall.

(Unrelated) Cryptid Desert[]

Cryptid Desert incorporates Cryptid Academia/Cryptidcore and the main focus is around Areas 51 and Roswell, New Mexico. This also includes regular desert visuals, as well as visuals that include UFOs, aliens, mini-vans, government facilities, and more.

(Related) Australian Desert[]

Australian Desert is focused on the outback deserts of Australia. Visuals associated with this aesthetic are Aboriginal tribes/Kangaroos/Kuala's/snakes/thorny devil's. Typical fashion associated with the Australian outback Akubra hats etc as seen in Crocodile Dundee.

(Related) Arabian Desert[]

Arabian Desert is focused on typical middle eastern clothing such as Fez hats, shemagh etc. It is often seen alongside the Arabian Nights aesthetic.


  • Sand
  • Stone
  • Cacti
  • Earth-based homes
  • Camels
  • Succulents
  • Leather
  • Night
  • Vintage trailers/Airstreams

The colour palette encompasses colours like muted green, brown, darker yellow, cream, and black.


Baseline fashion for desertwave should include comfortable, breathable, light clothing that protects from the sun. This can include:

  • Hats
  • Ponchos
  • Cargo shorts/pants
  • Hiking shoes and desert boots
  • Tank tops
  • Backpacks
  • Canteens
  • Bandanas
  • Turbans
  • Scarves


  • Hiking
  • Sleeping in a tent/under the stars
  • Sunbathing
  • Herping
  • Caring for cacti
  • Researching desert life
  • Rock Climbing
  • Canyoneering
  • Off-Roading
  • Playing the harmonica
  • Sandboarding
  • Festivals such as Burning Man.



  • Krazy Kat (1913-1944)
  • The monkey Wrench Gang (1975) (look for the R. Crumb illustrated edition!)
  • Angle of repose (1971)
  • Dune (1965)(1969)(1976)
  • The emerald mile (2013)
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 7: Steel Ball Run (2004-2011)


  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
  • Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
  • The Searchers (1956)
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Cheyenne Autumn (1963)
  • The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966)
  • Easy Rider (1969)
  • Zabriskie Point (1970)
  • Vanishing Point (1971)
  • Diamonds are Forever (1971)
  • Duel (1971)
  • Wake in Fright (1971)
  • Walkabout (1971)
  • Convoy (1978)
  • Dune (1984)
  • Razorback (1985)
  • The Doors (1991)
  • Ravenhawk (1996)
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
  • Holes (2003)
  • Wolf Creek (2005)
  • No Country for Old Men (2007)
  • There Will Be Blood (2007)
  • Paul (2011)
  • Rango (2011)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  • El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
  • Dune (2021)
  • Dune Part 2 (2023)

Video games[]

  • Fallout (1997)
  • Fallout 2 (1998)
  • Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (2004)
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)
  • Red Dead Redemption (2010)
  • Fallout: New Vegas (2010)
  • Hitman: Absolution (2012)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018)


  • Breaking Bad (2008 - 2013)
  • Better Call Saul (2015 - 2022)


Music includes 80s new wave rock groups, such as Oingo Boingo, Talking Heads, and Wall of Voodoo