Halloween costumes you can get away with

Story highlights

  • There's no need to offend with Halloween costumes
  • Clever costumes for the pop culture or politics fan are all possible

(CNN)We know, we know. It's hard to come up with an original idea, especially when it comes to Halloween costumes.

You're not feeling all that sexy this year. You've done "cereal killer" to death, thought about re-using your "dancing emoji" tights and leotard, even considered outfits you knew would be downright offensive.
But before ordering that Caitlyn Jenner wig or ISIS headscarf, why not consider tasteful alternatives more likely to earn respect than a reputation as the jerk at the party?
We went through some compelling arguments for avoiding insensitive costumes last year. This Halloween, we're focusing on creative topical choices that will delight instead of offend.
Like what? Generally, humor and ideas that make people pause and think for a second.
Some exceptions notwithstanding, you can't go wrong with recent newsmakers or cultural touchstones that most people will get. Broadly reviled individuals such as shooting suspects and mass murderers should be off limits, along with their victims and survivors. And, stay far away from any costume that leads you to believe you need to go blackface or whiteface, because there's never a good reason for that.
Politicians, celebrities and public figures are fair game, especially if you infuse the costume with wit, elevating it to conversation piece. Amusing memes and emojis will make you look hip and with it.
To recap:
Dylann Roof? No.
Syrian refugees? No.
Pizza rat? Yes, but only if you bring some for everybody.
Donald Trump? Yes. Zombie Donald Trump? Even better.
Ariana Grande Latte? Perfezione.
Or, speaking of the pop star, you could seize on her recent mishap by putting your hair in a high ponytail and carrying around a doughnut.
Just be gentle. Feel free to borrow inspiration from the gallery above. Or, as a last resort, choose a different emoji.