How To Win At Halloween

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Credit: Lisa Brewster/Flickr

Halloween was once your favorite day of the year: An excuse to dress up as your favorite superhero, ghoul or member of Nickelback, and eat yourself into a candy-induced coma. But now that you’re all grown up, Halloween brings constant stress, with competing theme parties and jealous friends vying for “pun-iest” costume. Quit the rat race and follow these simple rules in order to win the holiday as an adult…

1. Dress To Impress

Scary, gory costumes were great a long time ago, but now that you’re actually trying to get laid at your Halloween party, it’s better to look like someone a woman wouldn’t be terrified of. Masks are also a huge mistake — no lady wants to swap spit with an overheated, sweaty unicorn with potato chip crumbs hanging from its mystical horse mouth. Play up your chiseled jawline and manly features, don’t cover ‘em up.

2. Keep It Comfortable

Forget trying to be witty — your “cereal killer” costume will be funny for five minutes, but you’ll be juggling and re-taping bloody Raisin Bran boxes to your chest for the entire night. Instead, take advantage of the holiday to get nice and comfy. Dress in sweats as an “athlete in training,” “high school gym teacher” or “unemployed guy who can’t afford a real costume.”

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3. Keep It Timeless

How many people would you guess still think back fondly on your Grumpy Cat outfit from last year? Not only will a costume celebrating a pop-culture reference fade into oblivion, along with the fleeting meme it relies upon, but 400 other people will be twerking in a Miley Cyrus outfit this year. If you must dress as a celebrity, choose a timeless figure, such as Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine.

4. Stick To A Budget

As a general rule, spending anything over $20 is too much for a costume you’ll wear once. That screen-accurate Iron Man suit may seem like a great investment today, but on November 1st, you’ll be wishing you had saved that $4,200 for a lifetime supply of burritos and Blu-rays. Plus, if you make your own costume, women will be impressed by your craftiness.

5. Eat Wisely

As a kid, you may have been able to put away 15 candy bars and snort lines of Pixy Stix like there was no tomorrow, but there certainly is now, ’cause you’ve got work in the morning. Limit your candy intake and stay away from the ones that only include “dextrose” as their sole ingredient. Your pancreas will thank you.

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Ethan Fixell (@EthanFixell) is a writer and comedian from New York.