Halloween is basically another high school prom: People dress up and look completely different than how they do during the day, in hopes of getting laid. Why else do you think so many scary movies have to do with prom? It can be stressful and annoying to find the perfect costume and grab tickets to a fun spot for the spooky night, but if you heed the following expert advice, the spookiness will remain in the spirit and not in your heart.

1. Don’t go costume shopping after work.

If you’ve waited till the last minute, hit the costume shop up in the morning. Carmen Pizarro, manager of Flatiron shop Abracadabra, said that’s when things are the least busy.

2. Tight costumes can be for anyone, but you’ve got to find the right fit.

Anybody can wear latex, it just takes the right kind. For tight costumes, Persephone Kautz (head of production at Baroness, a latex shop in the East Village) recommends getting separate tops and bottoms to ensure they fit well. For plus-sized women, she said A-line skirts look great because the shape goes diagonally down from the waist, which avoids problem areas like stomachs. For pear shapes, skater skirts work well because of the waistband and circle skirt for which they’re made. And for those with hourglass figures, Kautz said the store caters to the curvy, so anything in house will emphasize the curves.

3. Accessorize like you’re Rihanna circa 2008.

A lot of people come to stores and look for specific items like corsets, but the employees at Gothic Renaissance, in the East Village, say it’s all about the accessories. They recommend buying chains or harnesses to take a plain look to something worthy of the night. Pizarro said customers have been able to take something simple, like a 1920s swimwear costume, and use, say, a blowup barbell prop to turn it into something great, like “The World’s Strongest Man.”

4. If you’re trying to stand out, don’t dress as Michael Myers.

According to Pizarro, the iconic Michael Myers costume is by far the most popular item this year, even though the movie was basically reviewed as a flop. The Purge, meanwhile, is the most sought-after costume at Village Party Store (and the most popular costume at frat parties across the country). Listen, we get it. You take a mask and a white shirt and splatter some red paint and boom, it’s a ~lewk~. But it’s overdone.

6. Remember: The ’80s never end.

If you’re feeling 30, flirty and fabulous, consider looks like an ’80s dancer, Egyptian princess, Diamond diva, or a dead disco partier. Laura Willis, the manager of Screaming Mimi’s Vintage, said these are the looks her customers love.   

7. Find the freakshows.

Ditch the usual bars and pubs for some freaky festivals like the BangOn! Warehouse of Horrors. It’s a combination of music, art installations, performers like fire breathers, and partying. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the massive warehouse party. Likewise, thousands are expected to take the ferry to Governors Island tonight and tomorrow for How Did Our Dreams End Up Like This, an interactive, indoor-outdoor party featuring some 150 performers, “hidden dance floors,” and “Turkish delicacies.” It’s being produced by the folks behind the You Are So Lucky parties that have, in the past, taken over a 72-room Gilded Age mansion in Yonkers. If all of that sounds a little too intense, there are plenty of smaller, performance-driven events and a slew of cover-band shows

6. Don’t be racist. Don’t be handsy.

It should go without saying, but if you need a costume expert to say it, here it is: “Don’t be insensitive to race or gender,” Pizarro said.

“Bring great vibes, be open-minded to things,” Alworth said. “Embrace difference and creativity.”

And heed the anti-creep posters you’ll see around town: “Consent is mandatory.”

7. Rewatch SNL’s David S. Pumpkins sketch and have a damn good Halloween.