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I had a brilliantly cheap costume last year: I went as a zombie edwardian maid who died whilst having her throat slashed with a blunt knife (apparently tis compulsory to have a story attached to your zombie state and the means by which you died should be obvious... )
I wore long sleeve black tee, black opaques, black boots and a long white nightie from TK Maxx I back-combed my hair and used a mixture of face paints and regular make up to make me look suitably dead.
I dressed up as a zombie schoolgirl last year. I had a kilt skirt worn with toen black tights. I shredded a cheap shirt and a tie from claires accessories and brought some zombie contact lenses which really finished the outfit off.
Things my daughters or I have done in the past include:
Bellatrix Lestrange; Little Dead Riding Hood - wearing a tattered cape and with a huge wound across the throat made from fake scar stuff; Zombie cheer leader; Goth rag doll; Miss Havisham; Medusa; Corpse Bride; Vampire attack school girl - similar to Dead Riding Hood but school uniform.
Last year I was corpse bride (not the Tim Burton one). I wore my wedding dress, got some oddments of cream lace (to look dirty/old) and made a veil.Bought a tiara from Primark £3 and dangly earrings. White face, black/red round eyes and talcum in hair. I bought black roses for my bouquet.
I didn't even look that good on my wedding day <<preen>>
Me and another mum have both purchased corpse bride costumes plus stockings and some accessories - i cheekily emailed them and asked if i could have a discount for multiple purchases and they very kindly emailed me a 10% coupon code discount voucher to use on their website - made quite a difference with what we spent - much better selection than the high street and good to know that with the costumes we have bought it wont be likely that everybody else at the fancy dress party will be wearing the same thing like if you buy from supermarkets or home bargains, poundland etc.
Hope this helps - store is WD Lingerie - link above to their halloween section or home page is www.wd-lingerie.com