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Once a year, we get to leave our everyday selves behind and become someone, or something, else. We can be superheroes. Or ghouls. Or clowns. We can even become inanimate objects. The sky's the limit on Halloween. With the chance to have so much fun, a lot of consideration should go into picking the perfect costume. Who is dressing up? What kind of activities will be happening? When will they begin and end? Where will they be? How am I going to make it happen? These are all things to decide before we make our Halloween costume choice.

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Going Solo

Choosing a Halloween costume that is just right for you starts with whether you are flying solo. If so, consider your interests and hobbies, and go from there. For instance, if you can’t wait for the next Marvel movie to come out, try dressing like your favorite superhero. If your library is full of Stephen King books, dress like something scary. For the outdoor lover, think about going as your favorite animal. You can even mix it up. If you're a nature lover who never misses an episode of The Walking Dead, be a zombie bear. The fun of this great holiday is that you are only limited by your imagination.

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Costumes for the Couple

With two people involved, how to pick a Halloween costume depends on if you are dressing to compliment each other. If so, think of famous pairs you want to replicate. This can include people, like Bonnie and Clyde or Popeye and Olive Oyl. It can also include objects, like salt and pepper shakers or a bowling ball and pin. Alternatively, you may choose costumes that are unrelated. The point is to have as much fun as you can, so whatever that looks like to you, go for it.

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A Family Affair

There are several options for picking a Halloween costume that’s just right for multiple people. Think of groups - of things, people, animals. Maybe you all want to dress as characters from a movie or show. For example, you can each be a different Power Ranger or Ninja Turtle. You can be a group of zombies, witches or vampires. Or how about dressing like a bowl of fruit, with each person being a different one? Again, your options are limitless. Just make sure to pick something that works for everyone.

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Halloween is For the Dogs

Choosing a Halloween costume for your pets can be a lot of fun! First, make sure only to dress up Fido if he is comfortable with the idea of wearing clothes. Otherwise, costumes for pets can be scary. They feel confining for an animal who is used to being naked. They sometimes have moving parts or fabric that look threatening, especially up close. If your four-legged baby is cool with the idea, though, there are some awesome costumes out there for him. Just check out the Internet for some great ideas, you could even find one to compliment your own costume!

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Halloween Costumes When You’re Staying Home

There is usually at least one person left behind at home, to hand out candy to all the trick-or-treaters who come by. Or maybe you don’t have a plan, but you still want to celebrate the holiday. Whatever the case, picking a Halloween costume to wear at home has its own considerations. Do you want to scare or humor people? Consider the desired result you want. Also, since you don’t have to walk around as much, think about being comfortable. You are at home, after all. There’s no reason why you can’t wear house slippers under that ghost sheet you have on, right?

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Party Costumes

Going to a party comes with its own set of considerations when choosing a Halloween costume. Try not to choose something that is going to get stepped on or damaged if you are in a crowd. Furthermore, keep in mind the safety of others around you, as well. Choose a costume that lets you dance, hug and move around - all the things you usually do at a party.

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Costumes to Wear While Trick-or-Treating

Choosing the right Halloween costume to wear while trick-or-treating is important. Safety should really be your main concern here. Regardless of whether you are going in the day or at night, make sure everyone can see you! The best trick-or-treating is done in busy neighborhoods. Unfortunately, that means higher auto traffic. Wearing shiny, bright or reflective costumes will help. Also, make sure you can see clearly in all directions while wearing your costume.

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By Day or By Night

What time you are donning your costume matters. If your Halloween celebration is during daylight hours, consider the weather. You don’t want to wear a woolly mammoth costume, for instance, in 90-degree heat. Likewise, make sure your nighttime costume will be seen. Lighten dark costumes with eerie streaks of gray or glow sticks, for example. Also, it’s a good idea to protect yourself from biting bugs at night. Long sleeved or caped costumes work well for that. Most importantly, make sure you can be seen by everyone, included distracted drivers.

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Types of Costumes

So you’ve addressed the who, when and where, but you're still having difficulty choosing a Halloween costume. You’ve weighed your interests and so many things come to mind that it’s hard to pick just one. This is when you consider what effect you are trying to create. Consider if you want people to laugh when they see you. Go with something outrageous. Maybe you want to scare everyone. In that case, think blood, gore, and scary surprises. Perhaps you want to show off your creativity. If so, be your most creative best and strut that costume in style! Think about the look you want to see on people’s faces when they see you. Use that to guide your choices.

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Store-bought or Homemade

Finally, you’ve given this a lot of thought and feel comfortable in your choice. You know how many, for what purpose and when you will be wearing the costume. Now, it is time to decide if you will make it at home or buy it from a store. There are so many creative ways to make a costume from things around your home. Cost is usually cheaper, putting it together is easy and you probably already have what you need at home. Let your creative juices flow! The Internet is an amazing source for costume ideas you can make at home. If you are running low on creativity or just don’t want to bother, costume stores pop up everywhere a couple of months before Halloween. Or, surf the Internet until you find exactly what you have in mind.

halloween costume homemade SolStock / Getty Images

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