Somewhere over the rainbow

Since Halloween is around the corner I thought I'd share a costume I wore a few weeks ago in case it inspires you to get thrifty. I was going to a housewarming party and because I've been so busy writing my thesis I completely forgot it was a Wizard of Oz fancy dress. About an hour before leaving though, I rifled through my wardrobe and realised I had everything I needed for Judy Garland as Dorothy in the 1939 Wizard of Oz. As you can see I was in such a hurry that I forgot to take off my anachronistic bangles, oops:

DIY Halloween fancy dress costume ideas: Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale from Wizard of Oz

While researching the Dorothy outfit I learnt that in 2012 the actual dress that Judy Garland wore in the film fetched $480 000 dollars at auction. Since I didn't need to buy anything new for this outfit, that's a total saving of $480 000 thanks to my thriftiness and burgeoning dress collection.

DIY Halloween fancy dress costume ideas: Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale from Wizard of Oz

My dress with a thin blue pin-stripe (I just learnt it's called "seersucker") is from a shop in Durban, South Africa, called Mooi, which to be honest I don't wear that often because it does make me look like an overgrown child (perfect for this look). The frilly vintage shirt underneath is actually a vintage nightie I bought for the equivalent of £0.20 from a car-parts dealership also in a suburb of Durban.

This look wouldn't have come together without suitably shiny red shoes, so I was glad to own these sweet-smelling plastic Melissa ones. I actually bought them because they are very practical on a rainy day in London.

DIY Halloween fancy dress costume ideas: Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale's red shoes from Wizard of Oz
Essential shiny red shoes

I happened to have a brownish wig which I tied into side plaits with a blue ribbon from my jar of gift-wrap ribbons I keep. I kept the makeup on my eyes quite plain and went for red lips and rosy cheeks, and exaggerated my eyebrows a bit to get that permanently forlorn look. The one thing I was really missing was a little toy Toto the dog to carry under my arm. Imagine!

DIY Halloween fancy dress costume ideas: Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale's from Wizard of Oz

If you need more inspiration then check out my three outfits from last year's Halloween. If you're looking for a cheap and easy Halloween costume for this year then consider what I'm doing: as a starting point look for something unusual, remarkable or distinctive from your wardrobe and work from there. It may not be something you wear often because it's quite bold perhaps? Maybe it's a red cape that looks a bit like Little Red Riding Hood, a red and white striped shirt like Where's Wally, red shorts like Mickey Mouse, or a blue rain coat that looks like Paddington Bear for example. Once you have that you can look out for the few remaining things you need to complete the look in charity stores or on Ebay if you plan ahead.


  1. Wow, even before I read the description, I thought "oh, a Dorothy costume!" Amazing, especially for a last-minute one.

    1. Thanks so much, it's evidence of how I have far too many clothes

  2. You look lovely and so good to see you blogging again! Ann x

  3. Dorothy Gale awww <3 You look so adorable! x


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