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All Treats and No Tricks: Your Guide to Halloween at Work


You look forward to Halloween all year and then you realize…it’s on a Monday!?


You’ll be wearing your costume to parties all weekend, but the question is: Can I dress up for work? Here are some tips to help you navigate the delicate situation of costumes at work for Halloween (or any other holiday).


Tone It Down

If you like to go all out for Halloween, you'll want to dial back for your work costume. Even if your office encourages dressing up, remember, it’s still a workday. You don’t want to show up wearing anything too distracting for yourself, or your colleagues. This means skipping the fake nails you can’t type in and the mask you can’t see out of.


Anything too provocative is definite no-no. Work appropriate policies still apply—you should be showing as much as you would any other day of the year. Costumes that fall into the last-minute category are a safe bet. A classic black top and pants, cat ears, and a whiskered face will show your participation and respect for office culture. Since transit is also a situation itself, keep it simple, you don’t want to be on the bus in an inflatable Olaf suit… unless you do.

pumpkin dance


Be a Part of the Fun

Just like not overdoing it, you also don’t want to be the company “Debbie Downer” who didn’t dress up at all. Show the office you’re fun, festive, and an ambassador for company culture. Especially if you’re the boss—it attests your management skills to your team. It’s okay if you don’t feel like going all out like your weekend dedication, but if your office is celebrating Halloween throw on a witches hat at the very least.

hocus pocus halloween


Be Politically Correct.

While your closest friends might tolerate an off-color joke, it’s important to be 100% politically correct at work. Be mindful that your costume doesn’t reference any racial or gender stereotypes. HR will not find it as funny as your college buddies do.


Might seem obvious, but every year someone inevitably ruins it by crossing the line with their costume. Simply put, be appropriate and don’t cause any controversy in the office just for a good Halloween costume. Keep it classy.

hocus pocus


Have fun with it, but be professional too. And when in doubt, throw on some animal ears!

mean girls mouse duh

Last Updated: October 28, 2016
About the author

    Alexandra Hoeflicker

    Alex is a Tucson-raised, Austin-based brunch aficionado. She enjoys a solid cup of coffee and browsing used record stores.