Military surplus items are often called milsurp by the fashion world. Creative dressers find many ways to incorporate the well-made clothes and accessories available from surplus stores into chic outfits and ensembles. When it comes to creative applications there's one item in a military surplus store that beats all of the wool blankets, pea coats and BDU pants by a mile, though. That item would be the humble but often substantial parachute.
Most parachutes you find at army-navy surplus stores can't ever be safely used for jumping out of planes again. There are some fun and amazing uses for used parachutes, though. Here are 3 of them:
While parachute fabric isn't fully rainproof it does supply some shade depending on its color. A large parachute also helps define a space like a group dining spot when you're camping or entertaining outdoors.
White and off-white chutes have a silky, elegant appearance, and when they're suspended the right way from trees or other supports they create an exotic and graceful backdrop for relaxing and socializing.
Use a tarp above the parachute for rain protection, and the bright parachute will make the space under the shelter seem less dark and more inviting. Chutes can also be used as wall and ceiling décor or room dividers inside barns and garages.
Dress up the area above and behind your bed with a parachute hung over the mattress like a canopy. Use the bed posts as parachute attachment points or attach the chute to the ceiling and walls with sturdy bolts designed for hanging light fixtures and heavy artwork.
Add LED string lights under the parachute to make your own little twinkling oasis, or place them over the parachute to send diffused colored light down on your sleep space. Bedding with a Moroccan or Ottoman patterns looks awesome under a parachute especially when you add lots of plush and richly hued pillows made of velvet and woven fabrics.
Proving without a doubt that parachutes make great shelter and look chic a woman in 1947 used the parachute that saved her beloved's life to create the bridal gown she wore when she married the fortunate WWII B-29 pilot.
Her groom had been forced to bail from a burning plane, but his nylon parachute saved him from harm when he jumped. Then the parachute provided the pilot with ample shelter until he was rescued.
His grateful bride-to-be turned his lucky parachute into her lucky bridal gown, and it is indeed a fancy sight to behold. The dress is now at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to be preserved for future generations. Perhaps it will inspire many more chic parachute weddings.
Put more milsurp into your life and go grab a used chute or two from your local military surplus store, There's no telling what new uses you might discover for the versatile and awesome parachute.