Halloween Dress-Up In The Workplace

  • October 08, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

When it comes to wearing Halloween costumes, if there aren’t officially mandated rules in your office or workplace, perhaps there should be.  We’ve all heard of those rather awkward moments where someone wears something completely inappropriate or even takes their characterization a little bit too far, thus weirding everyone in the entire office out.  Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, so it’s likely that many of you out there will be faced with having to make some decisions regarding dressing up in a costume.  You want your costume to be fun (that’s the point, right?) but it still needs to be appropriate for a work environment. Here are some basic ground rules and guidelines you may want to keep in mind as you make your workplace costume plans!

Who dresses up?  Yes, it’s sort of like going back to high school when you asked all your friends what they were going to wear to an upcoming event.  The reality is, you do not want to be the only person in a costume on Halloween.  Nor do you want to be the only person that is dressed up at your employment level.  If the lower level employees dress up but the management never does, this is a fact you may want to know in advance and be aware of.

What does this costume say about me?  Original costume ideas are often very fun and exciting and you may be tempted to really go out on a limb when it comes to your office costume choice.  Be careful not to go too far, however.   If your co-workers are likely to question, “What are you supposed to be, anyway?” you may have crossed over the line of originality into the way-too-obscure (or bizarre) zone.  You may want to stick with something more obvious that people can understand and relate to.

Avoid too sexy.  The workplace is not likely the best place to bring out the super sexy costume.  If your get up has a plunging neckline, a short skirt, or super sexy accessories like thigh high stockings, you will need to make a few alterations or adjustments to your look to make it office-appropriate.  If you can do so without ruining the look, add a jacket or sweater over it if necessary.  For example, a sexy nurse costume could have a lab coat added over it to make it less sexy and then it might work better to wear in the office.  Instead of thigh high stockings or fishnets, opaque tights can be worn which will create a more modest look.  This is especially handy if you are attending a party after work--a quick change of stockings, ditching a sweater and you are set for an after work party!

Comfort and Workability:  Think about your costume and the accessories that go with it and decide if you are going to be able to properly function at work while wearing them.  Things like large fairy wings, giant hats, masks, etc. can be very annoying to wear after a long period of time at work so take these factors into consideration when making your office costume game plan.  It may be easier to minimize accessories and wear makeup instead of wearing a mask to complete your costume look.

Listen to Your Mother:  You know how mom used to say you should avoid talking about religion and politics?  Well, when it comes to work environments and costumes, this holds doubly true.  Avoid costumes that are religious, political, potentially offensive, risqué or even too violent like some of these costumes from last year.  Sounds like mainstream classic style?  Exactly…now you are getting the point.

Plan ahead!  Don’t procrastinate your costume buying too long so that you are forced to throw something together the morning of Halloween in order to not look like the office dud.  Costumes come in a wide range of characters, styles, price ranges and genres, so getting the perfect look that you will feel great and comfortable in is really easy when you are prepared!

Don’t let Halloween falling on a workday cramp your costume style.  By following a few basic rules you can have a successful dress up day that is not only fun, but it can also give you a chance to show off a little more of your own personal style.