Your Halloween Guide

Dress up with little effort, lotsa imagination and without losing your job

By Hugh Upsher

Halloween is a socially acceptable time to dress up as something you are not, in the hopes of having the perfect icebreaker for a party. The biggest challenge you’ll ever face in this excuse for fantastical debauchery is trying to find the perfect balance between originality and functionality. You want someone to be amazed by your look, but still be able to effectively make out with them in the back of a car. So with no further introduction needed, I present the ultimate list of Halloween dress up Do’s and Don’ts:

DO: C-list celebrities

A common misconception is that people should easily be able to identify your dress-up subject. As long as you look like someone vaguely familiar, you’ll have the privilege explaining who they are and why you find them amazing over and over again. There is also the obvious bonus that if someone does recognise your obscure reference, you’ve got yourself a new soulmate.

DON’T: Controversy

People guilty of this are a special type of personality that thrive on making others uncomfortable. If your costume gets the wrong kind of attention, you need to backtrack fast. The list of definite no's include recently dead celebrities, infamous criminals, and I shouldn’t have to spell this out to anyone, but blackface is not an option. It doesn’t matter how much hip hop you listen to or how many black friends you have.

DO: Androgyny

If you’re a woman, try a moustache and a loose-fitting shirt. If you’re a guy, borrow a dress and wear an alice band. There is nothing more attractive than someone who is comfortable enough with their sexuality to disrupt some of society’s basic gender binaries. It might just give you some fresh perspective.

DON’T: Be basic

The last thing you want is to show up and have two other people at the party rocking ‘your’ flavour. Originality is key, which means no devil, angel, pirate, sailor, vampire or nurse costumes. No Joker, Elvis, Ninja Turtles or Amy Winehouses either.

DO: Badger nose

Just speaking from personal experience, this is the gift that keeps on giving. What it loses in effort it makes up for in commitment (if you use a permanent marker, at least). The best part is obvously forgetting about it when you decide to hit Long Street for the after party.

DON’T: Sexist bullshit

Throwing parties with themes like ‘Priests & Prostitutes’ or ‘Golf Pros and Tennis Hoes’ is just tacky and outdated. You may as well cut the crap and make the theme ‘predatory jocks & sex workers’. If people want to dress seductively, they should be allowed the freedom to do it on their own terms, not through a Tiger Tiger dress code policy.

DO: Inanimate objects

This is something that I personally feel is a real untapped reserve of fun. I can just name a bunch of things and you’ll start to catch my drift. A jar of mayonnaise, a stapler, a gluten-free pizza, a lamp, an old parking ticket, a Walkman. The list goes on and on.

DON’T: An eccentric pop star

DON’T: An eccentric pop star

It may seem fun and topical to try go as Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga, but unless you have weeks of planning and a large budget you’ll most likely look like a confused clown. The reason these pop stars look great in ridiculous attire is due to very well paid stylists whose full-time job it is to make them not look ridiculous wearing nothing but prop candy or meat.

I truly hope this list has given you some solid guidance and inspiration, but if you still want to go as a Minion from Despicable Me then you can’t be helped. Oh, one last thing. Stay far away from glitter if possible, that stuff is the gonorrhea of party supplies.