Halloween has come a long way since the binbag-wearing, refreshers-scoffing days of our youth. Sophie White has devised the definitive guide to Halloween as a supposed adult person.
When I was a child I loved Halloween, the mere rustling of a bin liner can transport me instantly to those Halloweens past with the smell of bonfire in my hair and that furry teeth feeling that comes with too many Drumsticks, but my all-time favourite thing was the costume, the chance to be someone else for a few hours.
In my 20s, I still savoured this playing-someone-else element, though the character I embodied year after year was less inventive. It was a character I like to call, 'lady who just wants to wear underwear to the party'. I did the usual over-reliance on sticking the word 'dead' in front of various nouns in order to justify my Ann Summers-purchased Halloween costumes. 'Dead' cheerleader. 'Dead' stripper. In time I added a 'sexy' in brackets to expand my remit. 'Dead (Sexy)' witch, 'Dead (Sexy)' cat, 'Dead (Sexy)' puppy... (ick).
It was a pathetic bid to mastermind a costume that would aid in my stalking the face off whatever unsuspecting male I was currently obsessed with and then devouring him like a bag of funsize Mars bars, monkey nuts and refreshers.
Over the years I have failed in my pursuit of 'spooky sexy' so many times that I have generously compiled a list of Dos and Don'ts so that others might learn from the mistakes of my Halloweens past.
Do Face Paint
Don't Accidentally Do Black Face (true story)
I was supposed to be a cute, fluffy, 'dead (sexy) sheep'. Sadly, the end result was more like a coal miner. Or a racist. And not even a ruggedly attractive one.
Do Think Things Through
A little consideration is, of course, essential but...
Don't OVER-think It
It was 2005, the theme was Bond. Everyone else at this party wore tuxes and their old debs' dresses and looked like complete rides, while I, on the other hand, looked bonkers having completely over-thought the costume and gone as a dry martini. I had fashioned a 'martini glass' from some perspex and filled it with green balloons purporting to be olives, thus creating an actual physical barrier between myself and anyone I might've wanted to shift.
Don't Just Stick The Word 'Sexy' In Front Of A Noun
As you may have gathered, I floated this rule for a decade. It was ten years of 'sexy ghosts' and 'sexy pirates', before I finally accepted, it's time to ditch the 'sexy'. Why not try saucy instead? 'Saucy witch'... on second thoughts is that even worse?
Do Avoid Unfavourable Comparisons
Cute (sexy) Dog costume, 2009. The sad fact is that I was frequently called a 'dog' by the boys in school for most of my teenage years, so why would I choose to return to this painful memory by dressing up as one?
Don't Go As A Duo
Never agree to go together as ANYTHING with your hotter friend. See my point above re unfavourable comparisons. Also, side-note: don't go as a couple either, this means you'll have to stand beside your other half for the whole night and unless you're in the first three months of the relationship, the last thing you want is to hang around together, the very purpose of going out is to get away from the other person.
Do Know Your Limitations
NEVER draw undue attention to you WORST attribute, I learned this the hard way when I dressed as a Village People member – the chaps can be cruel to the fuller-bottomed among us.
Don't Develop An Over-reliance on Duct Tape
Duct tape and your flatmate's tighty whities do not a Halloween costume make, as I found out during my extremely low-fi attempt to dress up as the 60s space vixen, Barbarella.
Don't Take It Too Far
Or you WILL DIE ALONE: Nobody wants the shift with anything TRULY terrifying (see below).