Trap or Treat? YOU decide which one to be!

In today’s post we welcome Mary David who is joining Mens Life DC as a monthly columnist! Mary will be providing a much needed woman’s perspective on what it means to be a man in DC. Check her bio out on the About Us page. She’s an accomplished, professional, and beautiful DC woman, so you better listen up fellas!

It is an unspoken rule that many women use Halloween as an excuse to wear the most scandalous outfit possible in public without being judged. It is also well known that many people do in fact judge the women who take a costume one step too far, cross the line a little too much, and wander into unforgiving territory. The same holds true for men: guys may not follow some contrived societal pattern, but they will  be mocked, avoided, and unlucky in meeting sane and sexy women if they aren’t careful. It’s one thing to be original; it’s another to be so inappropriate and freakish that people wonder if you should be thrown in jail. Or so over the top that standing next to you feels like a fire hazard. Follow some of these simple rules to avoid being the talk of the evening… and every Halloween for the rest of your life:

1. Do not wear a costume that makes it impossible to carry on a real conversation.

Although it might be a fun or cool idea in theory, if you can’t actually communicate easily, people who don’t know you aren’t going to know how to interact with you. Last year a guy with a hockey mask came up to me and wrote his name on a piece of paper, followed by a request for my phone number. I went running in the opposite direction.

2. Do not wear a costume that makes it uncomfortable to share a close space with you or might otherwise hurt people.

The last thing a woman (or man) wants after painstakingly putting together a costume with lots of detail or splurging for something fabulous is to have their threads ripped, smeared, or otherwise damaged. Trust me, if you are responsible for this,  you are not getting a call back. You are not getting anything except probably dirty looks and nudges from friends directing the crowd away from you. Let’s assume the party involves music or dancing. If someone you’d like to impress wants to dance, chances are they won’t want to do it in middle school fashion, standing three feet away from you without any real contact. Avoid sharp edges/claws, boxy, or unwieldy costumes. If your goal is to socialize, you can only get so far when you put large distances between you and other people. I “met” another guy at a Halloween party one year who was Bender from Futurama in a very elaborate fashion. Another year at a college party, some guy came with an actual toilet seat somehow fastened to his body (how he managed to keep this in place baffles me to this day). I didn’t know and I didn’t want to know where that toilet seat had been. I also didn’t want any of its potentially lingering germs near me… therefore I wanted nothing to do with this guy. Not smart fellas, just not smart.

3. Do not dress up like a penis, a condom, or anything along these lines.

This may seem like an obvious rule, yet time and time again there is someone who does it. Don’t let that someone be you. No woman wants to be caught talking to a guy dressed this way for MANY reasons. The same holds true of costumes that make women think of painful situations such as, oh, you know… CHILDBIRTH

4. Stray from anything too offensive to religion.

This may sound like a lame suggestion, but there was nothing more appalling to me than a man dressed as a priest with a plastic baby taped to the front of his pants – and no, I’m not Catholic. Dressing up as a derogatory version of a religious icon, or Hitler, or even someone like Joseph Kony will not get you any points.

By now you may be wondering what might count as a WIN in the Halloween category.  If my suggestions have left you empty handed this year, we have much work to do in general, so please bookmark this blog and check back constantly for updates. (Kidding) There are still many costume ideas that will work, and here are just a few:

1. A ninja

There are few things hotter than a sleek martial artist who moves with agility: Not only is he smooth, but he can protect you too.  Even if this isn’t you on a typical day, linking yourself with the image of a skilled warrior will not hurt your likability.

2. Are you the kind of guy who never dresses up?

Throw on a nice suit and play gangster or vampire (think Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows or some other variation, both pictured below). It’s not a secret that men tend to look good in suits. Who do you think a girl is more likely to talk to: the man who is well put together, or the one dressed up as trash can? You get the idea.


3. Lastly, guys aren’t the only ones who can admire some skin.

If you’ve been working on those those abs, doing double duty at the gym, or recently lost a lot of weight, why not show it off? The ladies don’t have to steal all the glory here, gentlemen: Muscles are always appreciated.

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