Halloween 2013: Undead Suffragist


Earlier this year I watched Ken Burns’ documentary Prohibition and was inspired to be a suffragist for Halloween.  I had no idea that the prohibition helped fuel the women’s suffrage movement in the US.  Thanks to some Downton Abbey obsessing I independently had bought an Edwardian blouse on Ebay so I already had part of the costume down.  Took a look in my hat and purse collection, modified my Past Queen sash, stopped by a trusty vintage shop for a black velvet skirt, and voila — Suffragist costume accomplished.



I could’ve exerted even more effort and made a sign or pennant, but I did download a couple authentic women’s suffrage leaflets and printed out a few to hand out to people.


Now, just adding zombie to a costume is pretty hacky, and I’m aware of that, but I can’t help wanting to be a bit spooky for Halloween.  And in a way I like that this costume is a direct result of some of the entertainment I’ve loved and consumed over this year; my love for Lady Sybil Crawley on Downton Abbey, finally being afraid of zombies because of The Walking Dead series, and learning history through Ken Burns’ documentaries.

Have to thank Google Images for inspiration photos, and authentic leaflets.  And makeup courtesy of Katie’s Makeup.

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Via Instagram:

Undead suffragist duck face selfie!
The Undead Suffragist duck face bathroom selfie!

Not ready to wash my face. #zombie #halloween #makeup

Because of the placement of the holiday this year, I managed to dress up a few times and get some mileage out of the same costume.  I wore it to the Alameda Vintage Fashion Fair and won 2nd place in their costume contest!

@tina_vines and I at @alamedafaires tonight. I dressed up as a suffragist who came back from the dead to hand people pamphlets and demonstrate. Won second place! Drinking the wine I won right now!

I plan on trick-or-treating with my niece and nephew tonight in the same costume, minus the makeup.  Just a suffragist for All Hollow’s Eve!  What are you dressing up as and what are you doing?


  1. Elisa

    That is a great documentary! So glad I got to see this in person when I met you and Tina at the Vintage Fashion Faire. Such a fabulous costume and I am loving the leaflet about why they oppose votes for men. Hope you had a great Halloween!

  2. Jessica Cangiano

    This is one of the best and most original costumes I’ve seen in years. Excellent idea, styling and execution, dear Mary.

    ♥ Jessica

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