Happy September! And welcome to the start of the many holidays to come beginning with Halloween.
I’ve always loved holidays and celebrations, and as I’ve grown up I’ve had to find the balance between celebrating that child-like spirit within me, and being a grown up in a professional office where not everyone may feel the same way.
I’ve worked in many offices and most offices are generally supportive of costumes on Halloween. And if you’re anything like me, I try to be more creative than the standard witch or cat costume (although there’s nothing wrong with that too!) However, there are a couple of key rules I try to stick by when creating a Halloween costume that I will wear to work. It’s important to remember that dressing up during Halloween at your office isn’t just a representation of yourself; it’s also of the company. These are my three key rules when creating a Halloween costume for work:
DIY All The Way
Avoid Something Controversial or Revealing
Create a fun, creative, and work-related costume
First off, I’m a big fan of doing Halloween costumes on the cheap. Not only is it kind of wasteful (if you’re buying a brand new costume every year, thrifted costumes woohooo) but also it’s quite expensive. I have a hard time spending $75 on anything, let alone a Halloween costume that I will literally only wear once for one day. Instead I choose to do a simple DIY costume. Nothing too intense, but I put in a night’s effort to make a great looking handmade costume. I’ve gotten so many more compliments on DIY costumes than I ever have for store-bought costume.
Next, I’m all for self-expression on Halloween and in the famous words of Cady Herring:
“In the real world, Halloween is when kids dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it.” – Mean Girls
However, remember that a workplace is at the end of the day, a professional environment. And especially if you work in a public-facing office it’s even more important to be aware of how your costume could make other people feel. While you could be working a super cool and understanding office that totally gets when you don’t mean to be offensive or your sense of humour; it’s always considerate to be aware that not everyone may. So save those sexy and snarky costumes for the Halloween party with friends that weekend.
Instead go for something fun and work-related! Lastly, remember to just have fun. If you’re stumped on what kind of Halloween costume to create for your office, here are some of my favourite Halloween costume ideas for work friendly celebration or party.
Halloween Costume Ideas For Work
When I was working for IT Helpdesk at a university, I wanted to create a costume that would be IT related. But I couldn’t think of anything that wasn’t super obvious (like a computer screen). Looking back on it now though, I keyboard could have been super cute. However, I chose to go with the browser Firefox. It was easy enough I thought, mostly just a fox holding a globe.
So I made ears and a tail following this tutorial, and purchased a globe ball off amazon (it light’s up as well!) Other than that, I pretty much just wore normal orange/black clothing and my whole office (including my COO) loved it and the creativity behind it. One of my IT managers actually had a friend who worked for the FireFox Company and sent it to his office!
I’m a big believer in those are the kinds of impressions to make and be remembered for. This really wasn’t too hard too – mostly just hot glue and fur from the fabric store.
2. A Calculator
I’ve never done this one but I think this could be super cute and simple. If you work in a finance/accounting area, it’s also something super simple and comfortable to make. All you need is a plain black dress and some orange and grey felt/foam board.
The easiest and most recognizable calculator is probably the iPhone calculator. This costume is cute, relevant/funny, and it takes little effort that can be with cheap supplies found at the dollar store. Win-win-win.
3. Monopoly Man
Again, anyone in the financial or banking industry might find this a great, more professional option if they have any meetings where they do not want to be dressed up, but still want to be celebratory for the office party. The Monopoly Man is an iconic and easily recognizable character that most people resonate with during their childhood so it’s very uncontroversial.
Bonus: It’s very versatile. This costume is basically a tuxedo with a top hat and a mustache; something super easy that you could probably find in your current wardrobe with black pants, a dress shirt, and a black blazer. You can find an old top hat and diy a quick mustache. And if you don’t want to be dressed up anymore, simply take off the mustache, top hat, and maybe the blazer. Then it’s a white dress shirt and black pants; a classic office look.
4. Team Costume
If you don’t want to dress up alone, I suggest trying to recruit other people in your office to be a part of a team costume. It’s always easier to be a part of a group, and it’s also easy to make group costumes creative while still being very simple. For example, instead of just dressing up like a mouse, you could ask 2 other people to also dress up in grey/black, get some cute ears and face paint, and all of a sudden, you are three blind mice.
Last year, my department wanted to do a group costume of emojis. I was the sparkle emoji, because if you haven’t noticed, that’s my favourite emoji.
It was super easy, as I already had a black sparkly dress. I simply went to the dollar store to get some orange and yellow foam board and some sparklers and tada! Super easy and still cute. I safety pinned the foam to my dress as I didn’t want to ruin it.
5. Care Bear
Another great costume option if you work around kids or in a healthcare related profession is a Care Bear. A Care Bear is not only super simple, cute, and appropriate for young children, it’s extremely comfortable. LaurDIY did a great tutorial on how to make a Care Bear costume by essentially just grabbing a coloured sweater and diying a simple symbol and ears. Best of all, it’s easy to take off and put back on if you work at a daycare or somewhere you are running around a lot and don’t like the discomfort that can come a long with the typical Halloween costume.
6. Rubik’s Cube
This is one of the most popular and easiest costumes I’ve ever made for Halloween. I not only got a ridiculous amounts of compliments on it, but I also won for most creative costume in my office.
I decided to be a Rubik’s Cube made out of pizza boxes. While I was searching for a tutorial, most of them used really large boxes which looks really good, but is also uncomfortable to sit in. I found that with small pizza boxes worked well for me, but obviously this could be customized for different sized pizza boxes. I went to my local pizza store, got 5 boxes for free (I only needed three but just grabbed a couple extra in case I messed one up), and then went to the craft store to buy black duct tape and card stock (I chose glitter because of course it’s me).
Then, it was pretty easy from there. I measured a good size hole to cut out of the pizza box that would big enough to go over my head and chest, but still fit snug above my hips. It took a few tries, which is why I got 2 extra boxes but eventually I got it right. Next, I just duct taped all the boxes in black (you can paint it se well but might have to do multiple quotes depending on how colourful the box is), and cut out the glittery card stock.
Finally, it was just about the assembly, which was taping on the card stock. I chose tape instead of glue because I live in Raincouver and need to things as waterproof as possible. You can arrange the card stock in whatever pattern you like but I purposefully made my Rubik’s Cube unsolvable. I told everyone “It’s unsolvable because I’m too complex to be understood.”
Also a big hit in my office and especially my company president’s partner kept saying how much she loved my costume!
So those are my Halloween costumes round up for a work-friendly environment. Hope it was helpful and provided some inspiration for your costumes! If you are dressing up or have any additional ideas I overlooked, please let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for more Halloween ideas and more ways to be creative and extra.