Friday, October 26, 2012


At civilization's end, style begins.

You only have days to go before the company Halloween party. It's too late to order a costume online. And if you don't pull off a killer look in front of the boss, you're screwed. What. Do. You. Do?

Yes, the countdown to Hallow's Eve zero hour has begun. Fortunately, from The Hunger Games and The Walking Dead to NBC's Revolution, the recent popularity of survivalist situations in pop culture pretty much ensures that post-apocalyptic costumes will be all the rage at the employee Halloween observance this year. Which is good news for you, because it makes costuming super easy. Just follow these simple tips to save your DIY day and score some last-minute, candy-coated props in the process.

STEP 1: Locate your nearest Army-Navy Surplus Store.

(Live in a forsaken wasteland or a liberal-leaning New England enclave? Your local purveyor or discount sporting goods will do, but only in a pinch.)

STEP 2: Buy these things:

Between the sandstorms, the noxious fumes, the blinding sun and all the other nasty wasteland surprises, I want to see goggles, people. Consider this a pre-requisite.

A gas mask.
From simple dust masks to full-face World War I contraptions, nothing scares or intrigues like a gas mask. For the money, you won't find a better price-to-effectiveness costume accessory anywhere.

A helmet.
As a functional design touch, a well-chosen helmet protects your skull, alters your silhouette and looks hella awesome.

A vietnam-era flak jacket, football pads, BMX gear or paintball armor.
Amp up the badassery and toss some protective gear in the mix. Just remember, A little body armor goes a long way. Use it sparingly as an accent, not a focal point. Overdo it and you'll go from badass to 70's glam band in no time flat. (Bonus point for well-placed spikes.)

Worn-out utility stuff. Leather belts, bags, ratty cotton cloth, whatever.
Survivors are always prepared. That means, whether you go with a simple utility belt or a full-on ALICE field pack, you're going to need both accessories and a place to stash 'em. The more distressed, the better. (Quadruple points for bandoleers.)

Hardware is always a touchy subject. If you must carry, survival in the halloween circuit is earned at the barrel of a Nerf gun. Keep it light. Keep it fun. Keep it from getting you arrested. (I know, I know. Weaponry is fun! It's cool! Just keep in mind, the more props you have to carry, the less hands you have for drinking. 'nuff said.)

Try an eyepatch.
Dashing, sexy and mysterious. Eyepatches are all three.

STEP 3: Don't forget to...

Aim for neutrals and earth tones.
You know why they called the British "Red Coats?" They wore bright red coats. An eye-catching affliction that made them tasty targets for well-camouflaged Colonials. And we all know how that turned out for the Brits. Same goes for the Wasteland. Match your surroundings. If you must toss in a dash of color, keep it muted. Peacocking gets you dead. Or, at the very least, makes you the company Hallow-douche; doomed to an evening of creeping the punch bowl alone.

Customize. Customize. Customize.
Own it by making it your own. Spray-painted stencils, hand-stitched patches and comedic accessories add personality and start conversations. Try it.

And above all, Keep it sexy.
Ladies, you know what we're talking about. No longer the kiddie holiday of old, Halloween is now an adult bacchanalia of debauchery, so dress appropriately. Cutoff shorts. Torn fishnets or tights. Midriff bearing shirts. High-heel boots. Hell, even a well-cut bikini. If you got it, flaunt it conspicuously. (I won't hold it against you.)

STEP 4: Kick it with a tasty groove. Your bosses won't know what - or who - hit on 'em.

How'd we do? We we nail it, or did we fail it? Post your favorite Post-Apocalyptic Costume tips below, biznitches.

Image reference: 1) Warvan on Used under Creative Commons.


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