The ONLY Guide To Office Halloween Costumes You’ll EVER Need

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Should You Wear A Costume To Work For Halloween?

If there’s been any kind of official messaging advising against dressing up for Halloween… stop here. You’re probably better off showing up tomorrow in your blue blazer or pencil skirt. Sorry chump – no Halloween for you.

If dressing up will in some way prevent or hinder your ability to do your job effectively, stick to the corporate uniform. This also includes those of you who technically could wear a costume but almost everyone in the cube farm would be judging you. You probably don’t want to be that guy or gal.

Otherwise — the answer is YES, you SHOULD wear something festive.

NEXT UP: Will You Wear A Costume To Work For Halloween?

We’ve already addressed those for whom costumes are imprudent at best. The rest of you out there have the option to go for it – but whether or not you will is another question entirely.

First, let’s address the most common phrases used by Halloween naysayers and fence-sitters:

  1. I’m not creative.” Weak. Have you heard of “the Google?”
  2. “I don’t have time.” Poppycock. Grab yourself some silly cat ears at your local dollar store and bob’s your uncle. No one said you had to go elaborate.
  3. “I’m just not feeling it this year.” Quit your belly-aching and weimerheimering. Where’s your joy? And don’t tell me you’re too jaded and lost your childlike sense of wonder years ago. If that’s the case, you’ve officially reached scrooge status, and that’s just unfortunate.

Now that we’ve taken care of that- you’ve got some decisions to make.

DECISION TIME: Dos and Don’ts for Selecting Your Office-Appropriate Halloween Costume

DON’T sport a racially themed costumes. If your costume includes any kind of black/red/etc. face, go back to the drawing board immediately if not sooner. A) Stereotypes are wack. Don’t perpeuate them even if you’re sure everyone will think it’s funny or you think it’s a stereotype based on reality. Just dont. B) Their culture is not your costume.

DO wear something that’s relevant to the times or popculture. These are always a hit and sure to get a chuckle or a nod of respect.

DON’T go too abstract. Less you want to spend your entire day explaining what you’re dressed as and why it’s cool/funny/cute/relevant. HINT: if it takes that much explaining, it’s not that good.

DO consider your audience. This goes along with the last 2 items on this list. If you’re the only one that’s really into cats in the office… AND you’re in HR… you’re just going to be the butt of all the jokes told when your back is turned. Unless you’re cool with that. Then – wave your freak flag high — we’ve all got one.

DON’T do sexy. This is work gosh darn it. Tim Sackett said it best today: “Anything with ‘naughty’ in the title isn’t work appropriate. Naughty Teacher, Naughty Nurse, Naughty Witch — you get the idea.  The only time this would work is when taking the opposite stance — Naughty Human Resource Manager is totally appropriate.  This costume consists of a cat sweater, hair in bun, long skirt (pants or skort), old lady panty hose and 6 inch pumps. Sexy!” AND “Don’t be the ‘guy’ offering “tricks” all day. That’s just creepy.  Also, don’t be the ‘gal’ offering “tricks” all day. That’s just slutty.”


 DO Remember What’s On Your Schedule For Tomorrow. Check out how this woman on the left (subscribers – pictured above) turned herself into Scar from The Lion King. I give it an A++. Mad props to anyone who shows up to work like this. However, since I’ll be co-hosting a private webinar for a client… probably best if I don’t show up as a vindictive lion villain. That might result in an official reprimand from @Kris_Dunn.

Now it’s time for some ideas…

People Who Are Winning At Office Halloween:



  1. JAK

    In answer to the question “Where’s your joy?” posed to those adults who don’t want to dress up for a silly, age-inappropriate, overly- commercialized “holiday”: Seriously? Since when is dressing up in a costume a joy for everyone? What Halloween “joy” I have is derived from children’s fun and excitement. Adults who have to manufacture fun through this kind of organized jolly are trying too hard. Get out of my office and let me get to my work.

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