Is your office hosting a Halloween party this year? If so, consider yourself lucky in this economy and show your boss you appreciate the effort by wearing an appropriate costume.
Even if there isn't an official party, many office managers do encourage dress-up on Oct. 31, or the workday before it if it falls on a weekend. As tempting as it may be to dress as the new Sarah Palin (Christine O'Donnell in a witch costume) or as Mr. Dramatic Exit himself (Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater), it's best to avoid political statements while on the job. (You can don the witch's hat or grab the two cold beers and a slide after hours!)
Depending on where you work, keep the following helpful hints in mind:
- No short skirts.
- No crazy-high heels.
- Any kind of shirt as long as it has sleeves.
- Any kind makeup that you could wear on a normal day and not have to touch-up.
- Wear shorts of the longer variety.
- No foot-baring flip-flops.
- If your costume is of the bad-guy variety, make sure there aren't any sharp edges.
- No super-tight clothing/tights.
- Be careful with blood and makeup smears.
Here are some safe, but still fun, work-related choices for individual costumes:
- The gum under your desk. Make a little cardboard table and wear it on your head (or use doll furniture). Dress in bright pink.
- Sunglasses (Oakleys) and a hardhat. Voila! -- You are now a rescued Chilean miner.
- Work in progress. Wear white thrift store clothes, and make a few work-related marks on them. Carry skin-safe markers with you and tell coworkers you are a work in progress.
- Static Cling. Simply attach a bunch of socks and pantyhose to yourself. Don't forget the dryer sheet.
- Justin Bieber. Wear a short women's wig backwards, an oversize tee, and smile a lot.
- Harry Potter. Round glasses and a striped scarf is really all you need.
- iPad. Cardboard, cellophane, Apple logo.
- Mime. Black and white striped shirt, black pants, black beret and a little white face makeup, and you're good to go.
- Pageant contestant. Evening dress and a sash (write "Miss" then personalize the rest to name your work instead of a state).
- Nerd. Sensible shoes, high-waisted pants, white long-sleeved shirt with pocket-protector, bow-tie, glasses and greasy hair.
Ideas for work buddies
- A mouse and an orange block of cheese. If possible, carry a copy of 'Who Moved My Cheese?'.
- Barbie and Ken. Make sure you're in unison as the Malibu, or Dressy, etc., editions.
- Sherlock Holmes and clue. One finds or makes a deerstalker hat and carries a magnifying glass, while the other wears something with a giant question mark on it.
- See and Saw. Simply wear tee-shirts announcing who's who.
- Double-Rainbow. Become the viral video phenom for real, and don't forget to say, "Whoa!" a lot.
Ideas for whole departments
- Christmas carolers
- An army
- A chain gang
- Pet store puppies, kittens, hamsters, etc
- 'The Price is Right'
- 'Mad Men'
- 'Boardwalk Empire'
- 'I Love Lucy'
- 'Jersey Shore'
- 'No Ordinary Family'
- 'True Blood'
- 'The Brady Bunch'
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When it comes to Halloween spirit, it doesn't matter so much what you wear -- it's how you wear it. Stand out; otherwise you will be like a ghost in the fog (that's right... you'll be mist).
Have a clever idea for a Halloween costume fit for the office? Share in the comments below.