How to Pick an Office Appropriate Halloween Look

Work parties are always tricky dress-code wise. This post provides tips how to create an office appropriate Halloween look while avoiding to violate the work-dress, professional expectation, and safety codes.



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Office Halloween Party: The Fun Ends with the Outfit

While weird food for the Halloween potluck may be appreciated, weird costumes are not. It is still the office. Therefore, the Halloween fun ends with the outfit. With this being said:

Stylist’s advice: If your Halloween costume works for a night of Halloween bar hopping, it’s not for the office. Period.


woman dressed as Princess for the office Halloween celebration
Princess costume à la Kate Middleton: Chantal pumps, Jord shoulder bag, gown c/o Ever Pretty


How to Avoid to Go over Board with Your Costume

Halloween office parties like work picnics, work BBQs or looks for the work holiday party are a style challenge. While the latter three events are typically after end of business, office Halloween parties are often not real parties, but the boss’ permission for the employees to wear a costume and to chat a bit longer than usual at the water fountain or in the breakroom.

Consequently, there is no reason to buy a costume. Most likely there will be a Halloween office party next year, and your colleagues will remember your purchased costume from the year before. Therefore,  shop your closet for a Halloween outfit instead. Just pair pieces that together look costumery.


Keep Work Safety in Mind when Picking Your Costume

Thus, when picking your costume, you do not only have to keep the work dress code in mind, but also work place safety. Any long fringes on sleeves, for instance, could tangle up in the copy machine. A long maxi dress with tail would be a tripping risk for an employee who has to climb ladders, use the elevator or stairs frequently. Therefore, keep common sense when picking your costume and put yours and others safety first.


dressing like a zebra in pleated leather skirt, leather beret and zebra top, fall sandals
Dress as an animal. Just add a head band with ears.


fashion blogger doubling up on zebra animal print with a top and coat as a costume
Zebra outfit: Max Mara coat, Covered Perfectly top, Ugg sandals, Hipstik nude tights, Rebecca Collins necklace, LeatherCoatsEtc beret



Keep Your Role at Work and Common Sense in Mind

When you are having contact with customers/clients keep in mind that they might not expect you to wear a costume. Especially, when the work Halloween party is not on October 31. For instance, when you are a car dealer wearing a dance hall girl costume wouldn’t be work appropriate.

Apply common sense. For instance, a Frankenstein head mask that cover your face is a No-No. Most people can’t recognize a person by their motion. There is nothing more scary than to talk to someone who you don’t know who it is.


Be Aware of the Work Dress Code

Stay within the work dress code with respect to skin exposure. Avoid offensive, off-color, political, or racist costumes. Also don’t wear anything too body conscious.

Stylist’s tip: What ever great idea you have, ask yourself whether this costume could jeopardize your career. If so, skip it. Save the idea for a private party with your close friends.



Best Office Appropriate Halloween Looks

Safe options for work appropriate Halloween outfit ideas are dressing as a


Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation with my evergreen style recipe book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.


Halloween office outfit idea of dressing like a fashion blogger in plaid skirt denim jacket graphic Tee
Dress like your fav fashion blogger: Great Northwest jean jacket, Pendleton plaid skirt, Valentino studded boots, college Tee, gemstone necklace



Final Touches of a Work Appropriate Halloween Look

Now that you have picked your costume, think about what type of makeup would enhance the character or vibe of your outfit. A German waitress or Amelia Earhart, for instance, would need a natural, minimal makeup. When you dress like you fav blogger or Princess, copy her makeup style. Yes, Halloween, it’s allowed to be a copy-cat! See these tips for Halloween makeup removal.


Photos: G. Kramm

© 2013-2022 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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