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5 Halloween costume tips

Some folks have their idea locked-away for the better part of a year while others may simply scramble through closets and attics looking for spare items to cobble together. Regardless of what camp you might fall into, Halloween costume selection is a big deal. Think about it, there's a lot riding on the selection and execution of a good Halloween costume: from the creativity of your concept to simply the risk of embarrassment that might come with #HalloweenCostumeFail. So, we want to make sure you're as prepared as you can be, and sure to walk tall and proud in anything from a timeless princess costume to a classic Gumby outfit to even a Fedora-toting 30s gangster. Here are five key considerations you should keep in mind when selecting your Halloween alter-ego... 1. Planning Ok, so this one's pretty basic - and yet - every year you'll find droves of people scavenging through stores only to have arrived late to the game and greeted with merely leftover costume accessories. (And who really wants to end up going as a caped-crusader in camo pants sporting a top hat and a presidential mask? Good luck explaining that ensemble to your friends!) So, you've been warned! Shop early to ensure that you get a great selection and plenty of sizes that make finding the right fit easy as can be.

2. Format Consider your options here. It's more and more popular to go as part of a group in a certain theme, so don't forget to consider that option as well. Remember, you don't have to be in this alone if you don't want to be. Gather up some friends, brainstorm on group ideas...and , yes, make sure you leave plenty of time to research, make or buy your coordinated costumes!

3. Comfort Depending on whether you're accompanying your wee ones or out on-the-town with friends for a more adult-oriented evening, Halloween can turn into a long night. So, while I respect those that go with historical accuracy or maintain an utmost eye to detail with costumes, don't overcommit. If at all possible, make sure that you're wearing shoes that can take an entire night of tricking, treating and Halloween reveling. Also, be sure that you've got the right clothing to keep you comfy, based on...

4. Weather Yep, there's no worse way to spend a Halloween evening than getting bogged-down in slush, sleet or snow. Trust me, water-logged feet and goosebumps, though convincing additions to the right costume are no fun to have to bear. My days living in Colorado and Minnesota trained me well to expect the unexpected and be prepared with layers. (Difficult to manage if you're going as a belly-dancer, yes; but, necessary. I'll leave it up to you as to how dedicated you are to your costume craft. Remember, there are no bonus points awarded for withstanding frostbite!)

5. Safety This may be appearing here last, but is by no means least on the list of priorities. Especially if you're a parent or accompanying children, wherever possible be sure to select costumes with bright colors that will help avoid any treacherous crosswalk navigating or visibility issues for nearby drivers. Also, be sure that you look into the fabrics that are being used. Make sure you buy costumes and pieces that are fire resistant and avoid spray-on glitters, whose adhesive elements have been shown to be flammable. Lastly, whether it's for you or your child, beware of overly flowy garments that might pose choking or tripping hazards. Again, we want you celebrating the bounties of candy at the end of the night, not getting to know the staff at your local emergency room!

Those are just a few tips that we've learned to use. What tips do you recommend to help with selecting a Halloween costume?

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Top scary movies: Boo!

Halloween planning!