We have a “Halloween themed day” at work. What is an appropriate costume to wear to the office?

We have a “Halloween themed day” at work. What is an appropriate costume to wear to the office?

150 150 Paradigm PR

Halloween was once reserved for kids to dress up, eat an abundance of sugar, and speak to strangers without getting in trouble. In recent years, however, kids aren’t the only ones throwing on that fireman outfit to celebrate the frightful day.  It’s also not just an after-hours experience – many companies like ours at Paradigm Public Relations in Toronto like to celebrate and have fun with staff, especially when Halloween falls on a weekday like it does this year.

But, before you go strutting into work dressed as Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike, we enlisted the help of our Fashion Friday crew at Paradigm PR for their guidance.  They suggest you follow these three guidelines to help avoid a professional mishap (and a trip to HR):

Don’t ignore your office culture. You know what kind of office you work in, and Halloween is not the time to defy the norm.  If your office is laid-back, take Halloween as the opportunity to showcase your creativity. On the other hand, if you typically wear a suit to work, take the more demure route and throw on a mask or a pair of cat ears that you can easily throw on and off whenever necessary.

Other suggestions:

  • Creative:  Grab some co-workers and re-create the Spice Girls circa the 1990’s.
  • Corporate: Jordan Belfort from Wolf of Wallstreet – in his innocent early career years, that is. Why not don your best 60s suit and go as the man himself – Don Draper.

Forego the costume if you have an important meeting scheduled that day. Although you may love scaring co-workers in your gory zombie bride outfit, you don’t want to scare your clients or CEO into thinking you aren’t professional. Instead, leave the face paint at home and go for a low-profile costume that you can quickly slip out of before your big meeting.

Other suggestions:

  • A Ghost: All you need is an old white sheet and some cutout eye holes. No assembly required.
  • The Joker:  Wear your business suit and a Joker mask that you can remove throughout the day.

Make sure you can actually work in your costume. You may think dressing up as Buzz Lightyear will win you Best Costume, but when you get to your desk and realize you can’t fit in your chair – Houston, we have a problem! Whether your costume is simple or out-of-this-world, make sure that it will not interfere with your work performance.

Other non-restricting options:

  • M&M:  Instead of a bulky, stuffed costume, dress in one solid candy colour and glue the logo onto your chest.
  • Navy Captain:  Leave the oversized cardboard boat at home; instead suit up in your best stripes and sail your way through the day.

Dressing up for Halloween should be fun, not a pain point for Halloween lovers.  Just don’t let it jeopardize your professional standing. Use your judgment and when in doubt, always leave your Magic Mike moves for your friend’s party and out of the workplace.

Happy Halloween from all of us at Paradigm Public Relations!