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The Rules of the Masquerade


H alloween is full of hazards: costume breakdowns, overheating, booby-trapped candy. But none is as painful as walking into a party and seeing somebody else in your outfit. We turned to celebrity stylist and unofficial costume guru Joe Zee for help. After all, he’s Halloweened with Kate Moss and dressed up as a Party Monster club kid complete with custom platform sneakers and an outfit designed by the film’s costumer, Richie Rich of Heatherette. Herewith, Zee’s rules.

Unique is better than sexy.
Instead of just being Paris Hilton, be Paris Hilton with a black eye fresh from a catfight. That adds a social commentary.

Commit to your costume.
Do not wear a winter coat. For one day a year, you’re going to have to withstand the weather.

No captions allowed.
People should understand what you are right away. If you have to explain it, it’s not a costume.

A word about wigs.
Buying a rainbow Afro and throwing it on your head isn’t a costume. That’s just lazy.

Shop right.
There are few places I would recommend. Wigs & Plus (212-675-4129) sells everything: mustaches, toupees, Marge Simpson wigs. I go there to buy lamb-chop sideburns and mustache glue. Alcone (212-633-0551) is where special-effects people go. I get my scar makeup there, instead of going to Ricky’s for cheap blood. Trash and Vaudeville (212-982-3590) has great nonpermanent hair dye.

Don’t recycle.
Wearing the same thing is like not wearing a costume at all. We’re not the same person we were years ago.

Walk (but don’t cross) the line.
A Senate page and Mark Foley would be funny right now. But I would definitely not dress up as an Amish-killing milkman this year.

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