Dorothy and Toto from The Wizard of Oz - easy fancy dress idea for Halloween

Halloween Costume Idea | Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy Wizard of Oz fancy dress

Dorothy and Toto from The Wizard of Oz - easy fancy dress idea for Halloween

Dorothy's red slippers - Wizard of Oz fancy dressI know you wouldn’t think it to look at it, but this costume was actually about two years in the planning. No, seriously.

It all started with the shoes. I found them on Kurt Geiger’s discount site, Shoeaholics, a couple of years ago. They were £15 on sale, and they were all kinds of fabulous, but I hesitated to buy them because, well, they’re total “Dorothy” shoes, and when in the world would I ever get the opportunity to wear such a thing, I wondered? As it happens, I actually know a couple of other bloggers who own these shoes, and they wear them to work and look amazing in them. I, however, just can’t pull that kind of thing of off: people think I’m over-dressed enough around here without adding red glitter shoes into the mix, so my thought process went a bit like this:

GOOD AMBER: I shouldn’t buy the shoes. I will never wear them and it’ll be a waste of money. I mean, the only way I could really ever wear them would be as part of a Dorothy-from-the-Wizard-of-Oz costume, and…


GOOD AMBER: £15 is more than I normally spend on a Halloween costume, though.


And then Bad Amber kidnapped Good Amber and locked her in the attic. She hasn’t been seen since. Shame.

Having ordered the shoes, however, I found myself with a problem on my hands, because if you’ve ever tried to buy a “Dorothy” costume, you’ll know that you basically have one option there, and that option is one I affectionately think of as “Sexy Dorothy”. You know: micro-mini, suspenders, low cut top, that kind of thing? Just like how, if you wanted to dress as a nurse, say, you’d have to be a “Sexy Nurse”. And if you wanted to go as an astronaut, you’d have to be a “Sexy Astronaut”. And if you wanted to go as the first female president of the United States, you’d have to go as the first SEXY female president of the United States. Now, if that’s how you want to dress for Halloween, then more power to you, but my problem was that I DIDN’T want to go as Sexy Dorothy. I wanted to go as Retro Dorothy, a.k.a. “What Dorothy Would Have Looked Like If Dorothy Had Been Quite a Bit Older And Had Really Liked Petticoats and Circle Skirts.”

So I started a hunt for a blue gingham dress that would look vaguely like the dress Dorothy wears in The Wizard of Oxz, but not SO much like it that I wouldn’t be able to wear it afterwards. And did I find it? Well, given the fact that I’m not actually WEARING a gingham dress in these photos, you can probably guess that the answer to that would be “NO, I DID NOT.” I mean, I did find SOME gingham dresses, but they all cost more than I was willing to pay, and as you all know, I am painfully cheap when it comes to Halloween, so, on the first year of my “I will totally dress as Dorothy” plan, I ended up going as Samara from The Ring instead. No gingham required for that one. Then, in the second year of my “dress as Dorothy, otherwise I’ll have bought these shoes for nothing,” plan, I went as Mia Wallance from Pulp Fiction. No gingham in that one either.

Which brings us to Year Three, or “This Year”. This year we moved house, and as I was packing up my shoe collection, I came across the Dorothy shoes. “I should really give these away or something,” I thought to myself. “Because I’ve been searching for that  perfect blue gingham dress for years now, and I haven’t ever found it, so I bet I never will. Or, I could just keep them, and view them as a pretty ornament for my new dressing room.”

So I kept them. And they DID look nice in my dressing room, it’s true.

Last month, I found TWO blue gingham dresses on eBay. And I forgot to bid on either one of them. I resigned myself to never getting to wear the shoes: at least, not as part of a Wizard of Oz costume. Then, one day a couple of weeks ago, my mum was having a look at my dressing room, and she spotted this blue dress hanging on the rail. You know, the one I said totally looked like it belonged on Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz the last time I wore it? I mean, I even called the post “Not in Kansas Any More”, for God’s sake!

“Why don’t you just wear that?” said my mum. “It’s the right colour, and as long as you have the shoes…”

“No,” said I, “Not a chance. I HAVE to have a gingham dress, or I’ll die.”

“Go and try it on, anyway,” said my mum.

So I went upstairs and I tried it on with the Zara top I’d bought on eBay back in Year 1 of my Dorothy mission, and, of course the shoes.

“Meh,” I said, “It’s close enough.” And then I went and spent the money I WOULD have spent on that stupid blue gingham dress on something else. THANK GOD I don’t have to think about that freaking blue gingham dress any more, is all I can say.

With that sorted, all I needed was the socks (eBay), some hair ribbons (my mum), a basket (also my mum) and a small dog. Rubin is playing the role of Toto in these photos, obviously, but he had someplace else to be on Saturday night, so I took one of his stuffed dog toys with me instead (I washed it first, naturally.) And there you have it: the longest-drawn-out Halloween costume in the history of Halloween costumes, and also the one that made me feel most awkward. I KNOW. I mean, you’d think the costume involving my own hair, red stilettos and a 50s-style dress would be the ONE COSTUME I would feel at home in (And there’s no place like home, as we know…), but the fact is, adults dressed like children totally freak me out, so dressing as Dorothy ended up being a little scarier (for me) than I had actually intended

Terry, meanwhile, reprised last week’s ‘Redfoo’ costume, but this time with added “Shufflebot”:


He made it himself, naturally. He even learned to Shuffle, such was his dedication to his character:

every day I'm shuffling

EVERYONE was shuffling by the end of the night. The light-up eyes of the Shufflebot were particularly effective in a darkened room, with everyone up dancing, and a giant, cardboard head floating above it all…

Anyway, we had another great night, and are extremely lucky to have such awesome friends, who give us the opportunity to dress like this a couple of times per year.

Now to start thinking about NEXT year’s costumes…

Dorothy and Shufflebot


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  • Me dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz:

    November 4, 2013
  • Brilliant Amber, that’s one way of wearing those amaaaazing shoes. Hey, at least you found a good excuse to buy them, I would have just grabbed them and never thought of dressing up as Dorothy! But I see your point, some women will totally pull them off on an every day basis, in my case they would end up as ornaments

    PS. Rubin is waaaaay better than the stuffed toy. He is so fierce, he makes Dorothy look like an action hero! 😛

    November 4, 2013
  • Lindsay


    In hindsight you should have been given the best costume trophy. Maybe there should be more than one. Also totally forgot about Keith’s giant face as I was wearing it at the time!

    November 4, 2013
  • KC


    Awesome x I would have added a small gingham apron 😉 can you sew?

    November 4, 2013
  • Adorable! We all want to be Dorothy no matter our age and you pulled it off well.

    November 4, 2013
  • wow, those shoes! Yep I think they make a nice ornament if not worn 😀
    Not gingham, but still a perfectly polished Dorothy! The pigtails make you look super young, almost as a child – hey, even Judy Garland was a teen plaing a child character, after all.
    The top underneath is just an amazingly perfect match.
    Loving this costume – and Ruby-Toto 😉

    November 4, 2013
  • The costume turned out great! Oh those shoes, so fabulous! And I actually like that it’s not a gingham dress, you still get the effect and it’s more you!

    November 4, 2013
  • Caitlín


    I was Dorothy too! Less effort than you put in though. Wound up with a great one strap gingham Oleg Cassini dress, and already had the ‘ruby slippers’ from JCrew. I put on some socks and put my hair up in pigtails. That was my effort haha

    November 4, 2013
  • I think you looked amazing in this costume! You really reminded me of Dorothy, and I didn’t even remember that her dress was gingham so when I first looked at your costume, I thought you looked exactly like her. Rubin makes a great Toto as well! And Terry once more chose a great costume.
    It must have been a really fun night.

    November 4, 2013
  • You are always so fab!

    I did a deadly Dorothy a couple of years ago (I have the Irregular Choice sparkly shoes) and I ended up wearing a pale blue and white spot skirt and made a “bib” bit to make it look pinafore like. I think most people don’t really notice that it’s not gingham.

    I plan to wear my sparkly shoes again soon for an Xmas party, that’ll be two wears then! LOL!

    November 4, 2013
  • You look so sweet, I adore those shoes. X

    November 4, 2013
  • Marje


    Totally cute!

    November 4, 2013
  • It´s funny! Good job!

    November 5, 2013
  • Lovely inspiration and nicely executed…I’m in love with socks with high heels…

    Have a goodnight dear…


    November 5, 2013
  • Fran


    Those shoes are so pretty! Awesome costume

    November 6, 2013
  • @foreveramber Want: this Halloween outfit: Half-Assed Halloween Costume: Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz

    November 6, 2013
  • I love the shoes, and would totally wear them to work if I had some – why don’t I, I’m now asking myself. I think you look just like Dorothy in this costume! 🙂

    December 4, 2013