Costume Faux Pas: Halloween Dress Up Gaffes You Should Always Avoid

  • October 17, 2013
  • Jenna Maxwell

Halloween is supposed to be fun; that is the point.  Making a smart costume choice to wear for your Halloween celebrating is a huge part of that fun.  There are pitfalls, however, that you costume fans out there will always want to try and avoid.  Having been around costume land for many years, we are here of course to help you out, ensuring that you survive the Halloween experience completely unscathed, without either scandal or remorse.  Avoiding terrible costume blunders will help you to have an absolute blast on Halloween and may very well also keep you from being the topic of conversation at the work water cooler.  Take heed.


Lack of Effort:  If you are heading to a Halloween party or dressing up for Halloween for a work party, you have to have something cool to wear.  Think of it as an opportunity to express a bit of your personality. Your costume does not have to be store bought, expensive or even super elaborate--but please, put some effort into your get up.  This obviously requires some thought, planning and…some effort.  Don’t be that person that wears Mickey Mouse ears to a party and calls it a costume---or worse yet, the one that wears the truly pathetic “this is my costume” t-shirt. 

Too Sexy:  Sexy costumes have taken over the costume universe and with good reason.  Halloween has become an accepted time for even good girls to dress up a little vampy and playful--all in the name of good clean fun.  Be aware however, of where you are wearing your sexy costume and how sexy it is.  Showing too much skin at a family event where a lot of kids are present might not be very cool and wearing an overly sexy costume in the workplace is probably a very bad idea as well.  Save your sexy look for a grown up Halloween party.

Completely Inappropriate: Funny and very hilarious costumes are extremely popular these days.  Be careful when making your costume choice and be forever mindful of where you are wearing the supposedly funny look and who is going to see it.  Sexually graphic costumes with saggy, droopy or overly exaggerated body parts might be truly funny with your buddies, but your boss might not find the humor in them as much as you do. 

Insensitive or Offensive:  Political correctness is the new buzz word when it comes to costuming, so be aware of who you might offend if you are walking a bit of a fine line with your chosen costume look.  Costumes depicting various ethnic groups or religions may be something you want to avoid wearing in certain situations, particularly at the workplace. 

Just Plain Questionable:  What could be worse than spending your entire Halloween event trying to explain what you are supposed to be?  If your costume message is that vague, perhaps you need to rethink it and go for something that is a little more obvious to the more feebleminded amongst us. 

Playing it Too Safe:  Didn’t you wear that last year?  <yawn> And the year before?  Wearing the same old costume year after year is just plain boring.  Unless you have a brand new workplace or new group of friends, please (oh please) come up with something new this time around so you don’t put your friends to sleep.  

Logistics:  We always love as well as applaud your creativity--but please think through the logistics of maneuvering around in your costume.  Make sure you can walk, bend over, work (if you need to), sit down, breathe, go potty…stuff like that.  A costume that completely destroys your basic functionality just will not fly. 

Underneath It All:  Sometimes it’s very easy to get so wrapped up in the costume itself that you completely forget about something very important that can have potentially serious repercussions--that is, what is going to be worn “underneath” your costume.  This little detail will have varying degrees of consequence of course, depending on the costume you have chosen, but please take a moment and give it some thought.  The right underwear or clothing you put on underneath as a base layer, can be a lot more important than you think.