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Foods Classic food pairings are a cute idea for couple costumes: carrot + celery, salt + pepper, peanut butter + jelly. Or get a little wacky and come dressed as your favorite Asian snacks (complete with funny broken english text on package, of course.)

The ever-versatile box If you’re really short on materials to use for a costume, there are an infinite number of costumes you can create with little more than a big cardboard box and some paint. Come dressed as an appliance (fridge, washing machine, dryer); wrap the box in gift wrap and pop a bow on your head … and you’re a present!

Classic boardgames Another idea that’s perfect for those big group costumes. Come dressed as the characters from Clue, complete with candlestick, rope, wrench, pistol … you get the picture. Pay an homage to Life by dressing as blue and pink people; arrive in a cardboard monotone car. Dress as playing cards, or Scrabble letters (have fun rearranging yourselves in different formations all nights – just be sure to pick letters that are full of anagram possibilities).

: Yup, my honey and I actually did this one year. You can buy big styrofoam jack-o-lanterns at Target, K-Mart, and other cheap department stores.  Get the largest pumpkin you can stand to hold up on your shoulders – my boy bought one that was probably two and half feet in diameter, and it was absolutely hilarious. Cut out a hole in the bottom, large enough to fit your noggin of course. Dress in the silliest clothes you can dig up, because eventually, you’ll get tired of walking around with a big piece of styrofoam on your head, and you’ll still want to look somewhat dressed in costume after you remove the pumpkin.

Mime: Black pants, striped b+w shirt, red suspenders, white facepaint, black hair or hat, white gloves

Incognito 50s/60s starlet: blonde wig, head scarf or neck kerchief, capris, flats, big sunglasses, red lipstick

Beauty pageant queen: The perfect way to make use of that ugly prom dress or bridesmaid gown that’s lurking in your closet. The basic idea: evening gown, the cheesier the better, or bathing suit if you’re daring, stilettos, big teased hair, heaps of eye-makeup, fake lashes and glossy lipstick, tiara, sash, red roses

And as I’m always trying to remind myself, when it comes right down to it, dressing up is silly. So quit worrying about whether you’re going to look dumb this Halloween … embrace the absurdity, and have a blast!

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