Are you the type who puts weeks of planning into an outfit for Halloween, or do you put it off until the last minute, find an idea on Pinterest, and throw together a costume with stuff from your house? Maybe you don’t even like dressing up at all. Have no fear; here are some ideas fitting each of those categories for your upcoming office Halloween party.
First: Discover what to expect
Find out which colleagues attended last year's company Halloween party and ask some questions:
What was the range of costumes? What did you wear? Did anyone form groups or pairs for dressing up? Is there a costume contest? Do you know if there’s a party theme this year?
Avoid nervousness and uncertainty about dressing up by getting a good feel of how Halloween at the office was last year.
Next: Decide whether to go (tastefully) simple or all out
Costumes can be as simple as something taped to your regular work clothes, or as elaborate as a full ensemble from head to toe. Just be sure your costume is respectful, does not portray a cultural stereotype, and is work appropriate. Also, consider if your outfit will limit your physical ability to do your job. For example, taping a bunch of red balloons to your shirt to dress like a bunch of grapes isn’t really conducive for sitting at a desk.
Ladies, pick up a pair of jeans, a flannel shirt, straw hat, and make some dots on your checks for a scarecrow look. Other easy ladies' ideas vary from an ice cream cone to Wednesday Addams or Rose the Riveter.
Guys can easily recreate some famous characters’ looks such as Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future with a red vest, denim jacket, button up shirt, and white sneakers. Willie Nelson is another popular one, requiring just a plaid shirt, sunglasses, red bandana, and long hair - if you already have it!
For ladies or men, think athletic outfits/jerseys, like tennis or basketball pros. Become a bank robber with just a black and white striped shirt, black pants, and black mask, black gloves. A tourist getup is another easy classic. Or throw on a white and red striped shirt with jeans and white sneakers to dress as Waldo or Wenda.
If you want to get a few colleagues together for matching outfits, check out this fun list of costumes for the office that includes jellyfish, garden gnomes, and rock/paper/scissors. Do you like to make people laugh? Choose a fun play on tech words, such as a web server, identity theft, white space, and the cloud seen in this list of 35 work-friendly Halloween costumes.
Halloween costume stores are pretty easy to find this time of year if you want to invest in a significant theatrical outfit. There are some great online stores too, but they leave you guessing at the right size and quality of the costume.
Put together an outfit as your favorite superhero or villain. Middle age costumes are a fun flashback in time. Disney characters are another popular choice and are usually elaborate. Then there are other classics to draw from, such as Little Red Riding Hood, the Wizard of Oz. or The Chronicles of Narnia. Do you like to read? Think William Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, or Harry Potter for inspiration.
If you have the patience, wrap yourself in toilet paper like a mummy. Get out the makeup and go for full traditional Halloween makeup as a vampire, witch, or zombie – just don’t get too gory. Your coworkers do not want to be repulsed.
Watch some popular Halloween TV show episodes for ideas
Out of 10 seasons, Friends had only one Halloween episode in 2001, “The One with the Halloween Party.” Ross’s unforgettable costume was called “Sputnik” – a play on words mixing a satellite and potato.
Jim became 3-hole punch for Dunder Mifflin’s Halloween party on The Office by simply taping three black dots to his white dress shirt!
In It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s episode 6 from 2010, we see Luigi, Aragorn, peacocks, Phantom of the Opera’s Erik, an angel, and other fun costumes.
For some good laughs, see the 10 Best Halloween TV Episodes and get your creative juices flowing.
Whatever the final decision for your costume may be, remember to consider others, dress modestly, and have fun in the office on Halloween (while getting some work done, too).