Halloween Costumes

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I don't feel pressured into buying the best Christmas gifts during Secret Santa and I don't have to explain to my Aunt Whatever-Her-Name-Is at Thanksgiving dinner why I don't have a boyfriend. It's just a time where you can dress up with your friends and buy a ton of really cheap candy on Nov. 1. Now I know what you're thinking. "Woah. Halloween? It's like Oct. 10?" I get it, it's early for Halloween advice. But this is Carnegie Mellon, remember? You close your eyes for two minutes and all of a sudden you've got am exam to study for and two diseases to cure by noon. So it's never too early to start planning. Plus, Target is already selling pumpkin-shaped candy corn, which officially ushers in the Halloween season. So without further ado, here are my Halloween 2016 costume tips.

Ditch the Store-Bought Costumes
If you haven't already, it's time to ditch the store-bought costumes. These costumes are cheaply made yet stupidly expensive. Plus, there are going to be hundreds of scream masks and pirate costumes, and nobody wants to run into themselves at a party. You don't need fancy sewing skills and you really don't even need to be crafty. There are plenty of tutorials online. Give it a try!

Think Outside the Box
There have already been a million and one superman costumes. The world has seen enough. And I know, Hotline Bling was great, but we've seen enough Drakes too. Get creative and think of something new! It's time to step your game up, people. I'm always the most impressed by costumes that I never thought of myself!

Wear a Costume, Not a Culture
While frantically searching for the perfect costume this year, it's going to be easy to get caught up in trying to imitate someone. But let's circumvent any tragically-portrayed Native American "costumes." And definitely try to avoid any "Sexy Geishas" or "Sexy Gypsies." It's best to dress up in a costume, not a culture. Trust me on this one.

Avoid Clowns
A solid go-to costume is usually a clown or, for those who prefer scarier options, killer clowns. But after the mass amounts of yet-to-be-explained clown sightings, it might be best to steer clear of clowns this Halloween. Unless you want to be Ronald McDonald, in which case I personally approve.

Coordinate with Your Friends
If you're having trouble coming up with a solo costume, grab your best friend and coordinate outfits! The number of two person costume options are literally endless. Think of all the iconic duos out there: Ash and Pikachu, Popeye and Olive, Bacon and Eggs, or my personal favorite, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. The list goes on and on. And this is arguably the perfect time to nail one last Brangelina costume. Once you get a group together, your costume possibilities increase dramatically, so coordinate with your entire squad! A sure-fire group costume idea is dressing up as the cast of your favorite movie or TV show (cough, cough, Bob's Burgers). But feel free to get creative — I once saw a group of friends dress up as Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde, and chase their PacMan friend around.

Oh, I almost forgot. No minions. And limit one Harley Quinn costume per friend group.