It is easy to pick up some polyester nightmare of a costume at your local supermarket. But putting a little thought and creativity into your Halloween ensemble will transform your average holiday festivities.

*Twist the classics: Classic Halloween staples, such as witches, pumpkins, vampires, skeletons, and black cats never go out of fashion. Halloween has a nasty habit of allowing whatever pop culture icons are in vogue during a given year to become costumes. Sadly, these costumes are full of cheese and lack cool. Stick with a classic and then make it your own. Instead of being a wicked witch, be the good witch. Instead of being a pumpkin, be a half-carved pumpkin. Think creatively, and there are endless possibilities.

*Add ‘dead’: There are always two options to costumes, the live version and the dead version. Dead is always better. Take for instance being a nerd with flooded pants, half-tucked dress shirt and crooked bowtie. Make it dead — your costume is even better.

*Use stuff you already have: Avoid buying packaged costumes. They are lame and make you look seven years old. Take jabs at those hipsters by wearing that hot pink beanie lying around, wear your little sister’s jeans, and grow out your mustache for a week. Just don’t make the mistake of wearing that on a daily basis.

*Less is more: There is no need to wear caked on make-up or fake teeth this Halloween. Simplicity speaks volumes. However, less is not more if you use Halloween to dismiss your Sunday school lessons on modesty. Cover your ass and nipples, please. Stomachs are also preferable covered.

Hopefully these tips on costumes has enlightened you on how you can make this year’s Halloween costume high on the creativity and low on the lame.