I am trying to hint at in a story I write that the story takes place in a dystopian society. To be more specific I am talking about a technological kind of dystopian society that would be subtly totalitarian.
I would like to only hint at the fact via the clothing people are wearing. Is there any subtle way how clothing in a dystopian futuristic society would differ from clothing in other societies?
My original idea was to say that everyone dresses in uniform fashion. This what we can see in dystopian societies such as the one shown in Equilibrium movie for example. However, in many sci-fi worlds such as Star Trek people dress all the same even though the society is portrayed as utopia. Is there any way how choice of attire would develop differently in dystopian society?
My criteria for the best answer is that the visual clue should be inconspicuous, more the better, but there should be some logic behind it. An example of suggestion that I am looking for is the excellent suggestion in one of the answers that "Everybody except for the uppermost classes carries a shopping bag whenever they leave the home, in case scarce goods are available for once. " A shopping bag is inconspicuous. Its an ordinary day to day item. Yet if its an ubiquitous item and everyone is worried about always having their shopping bag with them it is a visual clue even if the limited availability of the items is not explicitly mentioned or protagonist of the story might not experience it (at least not at the start).