Uniformly Dressed Zombies YKTTW Discussion

Uniformly Dressed Zombies
Zombie Hordes always wear grayed out, uniformly drab and torn clothing.
Better Name Needs Examples Tropeworthy?
(permanent link) added: 2012-10-07 06:39:49 sponsor: Earnest (last reply: 2013-09-16 08:57:57)

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Alternate title: Zombie Casual Dress.
Formerly Zombie Pageant.

Zombies in rags, or the newest clothing fad? You decide.

When the heroes run into a zombie horde it will almost surely be a generically dressed mass of zombies with no discernible individual or collective features. Specifically, they're probably dressed in filthy, torn clothes that have gone grey and brown and lost all former color and vibrancy. Blood stains not withstanding.

This trope comes in a couple of flavors:
  • In its extreme form, every zombie will be dressed in such ragged clothes that it'd take a forensic team to even guess at who they were or what they did in life. This is probably done either for budget or practicality reasons (easier to costume the actors this way) but also reinforces the "faceless horde" aspect of the Zombie Apocalypse.
  • In a less extreme form, the zombies may be wearing semi-identifiable clothes: torn jeans and shirt, a suit jacket, a ripped dress, etc. but never to the point of having individually identifiable former people/professions. So no zombies in (ironically) police or army uniforms, clown suits, or wedding dresses.

In both cases the clothes are homogenized or made uniform by a combination of sun-bleaching, blood stains, mud stains, filth and a weird kind of graying/browning.

This trope can be very, very subtle. So much so that it's a Trope In Aggregate unique to the Zombie Apocalypse Genre rather than an individual design choice (though it can be consciosly chosen or averted). It's also a great source of Conservation of Detail; the director probably doesn't want the audience getting distracted by so many Incongruously Dressed Zombies bearing down on the heroes it's practically a blizzard of unique snowflakes.

Averting this trope doesn't require the above blizzard of incongruously dressed zombies (that's more of an inversion) but a midpoint where individuals can be distinguished and even be picked apart from the horde without seeming out of place. Much like a crowd of regular people.

Because this is an Omnipresent Trope, examples will either be aversions or subversions.


  • Land of the Dead opens with a shot of the zombies in a small town, all dressed in their Sunday finest, mimicing their routines. A marching band played (badly) and a wife and groom walked about.

Live-Action TV
  • The Walking Dead is usually pretty good about this, having city zombies be very diverse, while rural zombies might be all soldiers and some civilians.

Video Games
  • Armor Games' Web Games The Last Stand and The Last Stand 2 have zombies wearing costumes trhat identify their former occupation, including soldiers, police officers and yes, clowns.
  • Though State of Decay has a fairly limited set of zombie models, it enforces this trope two ways. Zombie diner waitresses tend to spawn in cities and near diners, and armored SWAT zombies appear once you start a police themed mission. As do armored Army zombies once an army enclave collapses.
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