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Planning what to wear for Halloween events conjures up chilling questions. Dress as a sexy(ish) nurse, or an asexual M&M? Circa-2000 Britney Spears, or circa-2012 Britney Spears? In other words, how can you keep your cool, and have fun with an edgy costume without going over the, well, edge?

The following guidelines will help you keep things festive, not frightening:

DO save the over-the-top stuff for the kids. The fastest way to get branded as “that Mom who wore Britney booty shorts to the class Halloween party” is to throw caution to the wind. Times have changed since the costume parties of your youth — and so has your booty, friend.

DON’T be too sexy for your shirt. By that we mean, you should wear a shirt, or at least make sure the girls are adequately covered up and strapped in. Give yourself ample time to make sure your vampire isn’t too vampy to avoid nip slips and other unwanted wardrobe malfunctions.

DO make an effort. Your kids will love it if you go nuts with the scary witch outfit. Spending a little time planning your costume will ensure you can pick something both appropriate and flattering. (Marie Antoinette, anyone?)

DON’T be overly political or religious, unless you know your audience very well. The conservative golf club might not think your “binder full of women” costume is as genius as you do. As for religion, do we really even need to say it?

DO bring a camera to capture trick or treating and other Halloween events, and create fun memories for your family. The cliché about time going by so fast is true — you’ll be happy you documented the event.

DON’T be afraid to get a little goofy. Big Bird might not be sexy, but it’s of-the-moment, festive, and definitely memorable. Own those feathers, the giant orange feet, and work it, girl! (Just don’t pick one of those naughty Big Bird costumes, as if that needed to be said.)

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