We know how you boys and girls are. You're all tense and bored from your dreary jobs as security guards at the DMV or hairdressers in the strip mall. Halloween is your night to cut loose and be the star of the show in your rich fantasy life. But one moment of heedlessness can cause a lifetime of holiday regrets. That's why we're here to help.
DON'T: Don't stuff the cat as an accessory to your outfit like Clara Bow did.
DO: Wear as little clothing as possible if you are in tip-top shape.
DO: Consider dressing in drag as your mother. A touching homage to the woman who sacrificed everything for you.
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DO: Consider a theme outfit based on your nationality.
DON'T: Don't be scared, it's only Joan Crawford.
DON'T: Don't feel you have top spend a lot of money. Use your imagination, like this clever young man dressed as 50 Shades of Grey.
DO: Encourage costumes at the office. Have some frivolity in your cubicle.
DO: Reveal your secret wishes like Rock Hudson and Vera-Ellen dressed as Oscars. (And please see above: Wear as little clothing as possible if you are in tip-top shape.)
DO: Group drag is such a strong statement, like these sailors on a steamship in 1925. What fun these swabbies must have had dressing up for the other boys.
DON'T: Don't snack on the Butterfingers. It's not "one for them, one for me." Otherwise you'll bust right out of that smart shirtwaist dress.
DON'T: Avoid wearing a costume that will rot.
DO: Go for the classics. The Village People as a group costume are always correct, especially for straight guys and lesbians.
DO: (See above)
DO: And speaking of lesbians, what would you give to have this vintage Isis costume with a flaming Isis bursting forth from your vulva?
DO: Show it off.
DO: Did we mention that thing about wearing as little clothing as possible?
DO: Consider a group theme like Stephen Tennant, William Walton, Georgia Sitwell, Zita Jungman, Rex Whistler, and Cecil Beaton above.
DON'T: Don't overload the small ones on sugary treats. If they still have any teeth, try fresh fruit.
DO: Make your husband participate too.
DO: Consider dressing as your favorite city. For example, how would you dress as Trenton, N.J.?
DO: Get a date, like Marlene Dietrich did. And a chaperone if need be. (Clifton Webb, Marlene Dietrich, and Elizabeth Allan at Basil Rathbone's Halloween party, 1935.)
DON'T: Don't do mushrooms for the first time on Halloween. Yes, it seems like a great idea, but trust us, just don't.
DON'T: Kids don't want cereal at Halloween. What kind of freak are you? DO: Give them candy bars as big as their heads.