Halloween is the time of year where people can spend a night getting creative and being whoever they want to be. However, with the freedom of creativity comes people who go too far while trying to be funny, and they can end up offending certain groups of people or individuals. To help everyone avoid that and have a fun and offense-free Halloween, here are the do’s and don'ts of Halloween costumes:

Do: Dress up as your favorite celebrity or character

Celebrities and characters are some of the best go-to costumes for Halloween. Celebrities are prominent in the media, so there’s lots of photos of them to go off of, and obviously characters in film or television are easy to view and imitate. These costumes can give you a chance to spend the night portraying someone who you greatly admire or just think has a cool look.

Don’t: Dress up like a celebrity or character you can’t appropriately portray

Here’s the deal: if you’re white, you cannot dress up like a black, a Hispanic, or Asian person. Basically, any other race that isn’t white. If it’s a character in a film where the race doesn’t matter, that’s a different story, but portraying an actor while utilizing cultural stereotypes is completely inappropriate for Halloween attire. 

That includes specific coloring of your skin to portray someone, culturally stereotypical clothing to portray someone or anything else that is specifically pertinent to a race or culture that isn’t yours. Truly, it’s better to stay safe than to be sorry, so just think about what you wear or who you portray before you do it. 

Do: Dress comfortably and warmly

October is a cold month, people. Going out in little clothing may seem like a fun and sexy idea at the time, but the second you walk outside you’ll immediately regret it. Try finding costumes where you have layers for indoors and outdoors, or if you’ll be outside the entire time, try finding a costume where you can dress for the weather conditions. There are still ways to completely rock a cold-weather costume, so don’t think your night is ruined if the weather requires you to wear a little more clothing than you’d planned. 

Don’t: Wear uncomfortable and weather-inappropriate clothing

The point stands, if you’re itchy and cold all night it’s likely that you won’t have any fun at your respective Halloween party. To avoid a costume crisis, just plan ahead for the weather conditions, and try to find fabrics and costumes that are designed to be more comfortable, especially if you’re going to be out for a long period of time. Comfort is always better than a lack thereof. 

Do: Dress up like action heroes or cool warrior figures

Some of the most empowering costumes can be hero figures and warriors. Marvel’s Avengers characters, Katniss from The Hunger Games or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are great costume ideas for Halloween. Putting on the suit of a superhero or strong warrior figure that you look up to can really boost your confidence for Halloween, so that’s always a great route to go.

Don’t: Carry fake weapons or impersonate police officers or military personnel

However, if you’re going to dress up like a warrior, make sure it’s sans the weapons or the real life portrayal of police officers or military personnel. Carrying fake weapons can be a cause for serious alarm because in the wake of mass shootings you never know what weapons could be real or fake, so it’s better to avoid them altogether. 

Dressing up like a police officer can be cause for arrest as well, because of all of the real police officers out to monitor the parties. It can also be considered disrespectful to dress up as a member of the military or any armed forces, so again, it’s better to be safe than sorry with your costume choice. 

Do: Wear a pair or group costumes

Group costumes or a couple's costumes can be such a creative task. With all of the funny couples characters and friend group characters in real life with celebrities or from film and television, there are endless options to choose from. It doesn’t even have to be group or couples characters, you could also dress as something like peanut butter and jelly, or rock, paper and scissors. 

Going with a group or couples costume can not only prove to be insanely creative but can also be a great way to get people together for a fun night of parties and showing off your creativity. 

Don’t: Go out without a buddy

Group and couples costumes can also inspire safety. Going out during Halloween parties or festivities can be overwhelming with all of the people, so having a buddy system or a group of people you can rely on is arguably the best thing you can do. 

Even if you don’t coordinate your costumes, make sure you stay safe this Halloween by enlisting a friend or two to go out with you. However, if they’re already going out with you, you might as well get creative with your coordination.