A few weeks ago, my daughter’s teacher reminded me of her class ハロウィーン (harowīn, Halloween) parade and suggested her 衣装 (ishō, costume) should be やりすぎなくらいで丁度いい (yarisugina kurai de chōdo ii), meaning going overboard would be preferable to playing it safe.

I began to stress. I’d already prepared her costume, and it was quite the opposite of やりすぎ (yarisugi, too much/overdoing). I rushed to some shops to find anything that could make her costume a little more 派手 (hade, flashy).

派手 is a general adjective that can convey both a positive or negative nuance. If you want to praise a friend’s costume, for example, you can’t go wrong with words like 豪華 (gōka, extravagant), 華やか (hanayaka, showy) and the always dependable すごい (sugoi, great).