Here it comes again, the best holiday of the year. Oh yeah, you know Halloween is your favorite – even above Christmas. The biggest and best parties of the year happen at Halloween and you get the chance to dress up and be someone else for a bit. You don't get to do that at Christmas. As summer starts to wind down, you know it's time to start planning for Halloween – great parties and costumes to match. It only comes around once a year, so make sure you don't blow it. Follow these next seven costume tips and you can avoid the common Halloween costume blunders people make every year, and instead, have a costume that rocks.

Bullseye – Before you pick your costume, you've got to know what sort of Halloween party you are heading to and what your goals are. You might wear a super-sexy or raunchy-funny costume to the party of the year with your buds, but you wouldn't dare show up to a work party that way. Next you need to know what you are after with your costume. What's your goal? Do you want to make ?em laugh? Or are you looking to make someone want you? Maybe you've just gotta dance the night away. Or maybe you want a costume that will have you living out our fantasies. These are all good and fine. It's just important for you to know what you are after and choose the costume that works.

Keep it FUNctional – The two big questions here are – what sort of party is it and what sort of partier are you? Are you going to want to eat or drink a lot? Forget any costume that requires a full face mask. If there's eating or drinking going on, you're going to want your mouth available for easy access. Hoping to get into close body contact with someone? Then you've got to forget the big boxy, bulky costume ideas (like anything where you are inside a cardboard box or anything that has sharp spikes or corners). If it's human contact you want, make your costume easy to cuddle with. Already got a someone? Coordinate your costumes and look like a couple. Looking to score? Go sexy. Do you intend to party hard and get totally faded? If so, then remember you just might end up passed out on some lawn or floor? Think ahead – how is this costume going to hold up to spills, barf, and lying in the wet grass for hours. And most importantly how will it look in photos – cuz' you know some friend of yours is going to use their cell phone to get a picture of you all passed out, or maybe your photo will end up on the front page, or there's always the mugshot to think of.

Have a Fit – Wishful sizing just doesn't work. Don't buy a costume that is a size you "wish you were." If taking a deep breath is going to split your seams, it's a sign – get the next size up. If you have to hold your breath, lie on your back, or have your friends squeeze and squish you into an outfit, face it, it just doesn't fit. A costume that fits you right, will make you look great. Then you'll have folks checking you out for all the right reasons. You want that "Oh yeah" look not the "What the hell was she thinking" look.

No Encores – Don't hit the big party in the same outfit as last year, no matter how big a hit it was. Go ahead re-use some of the costume pieces, if you want, but come up with a unique fun look for each year. If you'll be hitting multiple Halloween parties over a few days, you don't want to show up in the same outfit night after night. You have two choices here – have multiple costumes or, at least, change up your costume for each party by adding some twist or variation to it each time.

All Eyes Here – Everyone has some attribute that really works for them – whether it be their hair or eyes or legs or arms or chest or abs. Think about it for a second. What is your best feature? Wear a costume that puts the spotlight right on that area. Use your costume to draw attention to your strengths and downplay the areas you'd rather not have folks notice so much. So, if you've got great legs but a bit of a muffin top, don't pick a costume that covers the legs and lets the belly hang out. Go with the short skirt or something that shows off those sexy legs, and choose a top that covers the pooch.

Sexy vs Skanky. It seems to me that quite a few folks nowadays are pretty unclear about difference between skanky and sexy. Don't turn Halloween into National Skank Day. Showing a little skin is good and fun – tease and tempt a bit, make ?em wonder, even provoking a wee bit of fantasizing is okay. You can be little revealing without looking like a total slut. If you have all sorts of T&A exposed all over the place, you ain't sexy – you're skanky. Butt cracks for all to see, butt cheeks hanging out, or any bit of nipple showing and your are entering skankville, for sure. We could go on and on about this point, but here's a good rule of thumb to follow: if Brittany Spears would wear it, it's probably skanky not sexy.

Attack of the Clones – A hot, new costume is out, so you buy one and are all excited, only to walk into the party and discover you are one of 50 people wearing the exact same outfit. Not exactly the way you wanted that to go, huh? It's just no good being one a gazillion Batmans at the party. Add a personal touch to the costume or really tweak it and make it totally unique. How you accessorize makes all the difference in the world. Think wigs, shoes, boots, boas, glasses, and stockings for starters. Be creative and put together an outfit that's totally you and only you.

There you have it, seven simple tips that can save you all sorts of pain, frustration, and embarrassment. Seven simple tips that will set you up for a great Halloween – at least as far as the costume goes. The rest – all that stuff about how to act and what to do – is up to you. We've done our part.