As the all-knowing Cady Heron so aptly notes in Mean Girls, “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like total sluts and no other girls can say anything about it.” She ain’t wrong. Come Halloween, young folks everywhere undress in order to dress up. However, getting naked is (sort of) overrated. Why not think outside of the proverbial box? Be creative, be crazy and remember — it will probably be raining (oh, New Haven!) so plan accordingly. Think Scuba Steve or the Little Mermaid. Or have an umbrella handy.

In an effort to encourage a break from the less-is-more approach to Halloween costumes, consider the following ideas. Whether dressing for one, pairing off with a pal, or rolling with a sweet posse, here are a couple of suggestions to get the mental juices flowing.

Flying Solo

Who wants to look like everyone else? Not you. Freedom of expression, right? And without a group to please, the options are limitless. Superhero, villain, or — a mixture of the two — a WWF wrestler. John Kaufman ’06 could not be happier with his decision to dress in spandex.

“I definitely think WWF is going to be a theme this Halloween,” Kaufman said. “I personally am going to dress up as Hulk Hogan. I think it will make people laugh.”

Indeed, many Yalies tend to trade the spooky for the kooky come October 31. And, if you think about it, trying to scare your friends is just cruel. Especially if it brings you pleasure. What’s wrong with you?

So if big groups make you queasy, and you’re not one for the mushy-gushy couple costumes, carpe the diem and step out on your own. No one can accuse you of being unoriginal.

Guaranteed hits: King/Queen, Mummy, Ghoul, and, of course, Figure Skater (nude tights are so hot right now).

Dynamic Duo

Why wait until Valentine’s Day to rub your love life in your friends’ faces? Take every opportunity. And, besides, couple costumes are totally precious. Even unattached Yalies can appreciate a good tag-team getup, Laura Aronsson ’08 said when describing her friend’s (and her friend’s boyfriend) planned ensemble.

“I think couples have really cute ideas. One of my friends is being Pocahontas and her boyfriend is being John Smith.”

Historic and sexy. Only at Yale.

Aronsson continued, quick to point out that couple costumes need not be for lovers only.

“Here, at Yale, a lot of girls like to dress up together in more revealing costumes,” Aronsson said, “like cops or Victoria’s Secret Angels.” Oh, nudity — no one can escape it.

Go-to numbers: Doctor and Nurse, Two Peas in a Pod (romantic or platonic peas), Bert and Ernie (friends or lovers? — you decide) and, the couple who started it all, Adam and Eve. Apparently they partied naked, too.

Group Effort

Suites, sports, science class — Yalies come together for all sorts of reasons. Why not trick-or-treat in a pack, too? A big group can be tough to organize, but it is well worth the effort. Nothing brings people together like a night out in the same ridiculous outfit. The planning, the shopping, the “oohs” and “aahs” from envious onlookers — group costumes make for a fun-filled bonding experience. Lindsey Weening ’06 remembered the year the women’s soccer team decided to go as various high school cliques.

“The Freshmen were nerds, the Sophomores were Goths and the Juniors were cheerleaders,” Weening said. “There were only two seniors on the team — one was the head cheerleader, the other was a teacher. We like to dress as classes within our team, so we can battle each other.”

Crew classics: The Wizard of Oz posse (don’t forget Toto), Jem and the Holograms, Ninjas, Gangsters (past or present), and, because it never gets old, a synchronized swim team. Don’t forget the swim caps!

In preparation for Halloween, take the time to plan a truly memorable costume. Though you might ditch the disguise the next day, the pictures — and there will certainly be lots of pictures — will haunt you for the rest of the year. Now that’s scary.