From Lost to Castaway to Survivor to Gilligan’s Island, I’d say our culture has a bit of an obsession with the idea of being stranded on a desert island. I’m personally guilty of being inexplicably fascinated by the (not very possible) possibility of being washed ashore on an uncharted isle and having to fight for survival: What are the 5 things I’d want with me? Who would I want by my side? What album would I choose to listen to on loop for the rest of my life? They’re weighty questions, I know.
Not only does the “shipwrecked” trope make for some amazing television and movies, but it couldn’t be an easier costume to put together for this year’s Halloween. Keep reading for the simple instructions on how to recreate this look for you and a partner…
Yep, it’s as easy as you think. Dig through your old, faded clothes for any items you’re ready to say goodbye to, or head out to your local thrift store in search of pieces that are perfect for a shipwrecked look. Look for materials that wrinkle easily and fit loosely.
To give your costume that perfectly worn and tattered look, avoid going overboard (no pun intended!) when distressing. I ripped the hem off the bottom of my pants, then tore one or two strategic holes in the fabric by poking a hole with scissors and tearing with my fingers. Distress in places where clothes actually come apart: along the seams, pockets and buttons. And if you really want to nail the look? Put on your costume and rub your knees and elbows in dirt outside.
Natural materials like rope, twine and burlap go a long way in creating that cast-away look. Source a few yards of each from from your local craft store, then use it to create headbands, belts, a canteen strap, or anything else you think of.
Next, think of a few small details that’ll really help bring your costume to life. A compass, coconut, toy knife, or lifesaver are just a few that could work, but the possibilities are endless! Lastly, smudge brown eyeshadow on your faces for a “dirty” look.
*photographed by jessica attie