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How to pick an office appropriate Halloween look

mature woman in glen check skirt
mature street style blogger look
Street style inspired outfit with Pendleton glen check skirt, Great Northwest denim jacket, graphic college Tee, and Valentino studded boots (all own)

At work, the director’s office organizes a Halloween party each year. There is a competition in the potluck with the goal to provide the scariest dish. I would never have a chance to win as I would think along the lines of dying the head of mushrooms red and add white spots. However, winners are dishes like granola in a cat litter box with poop like cookies or a carved pumpkin with salsa, black beans and/or guacamole coming out of its mouth. Speaking of pumpkins, typically there is a pumpkin carving competition too.

Halloween costumes for the office

Halloween office parties like work BBQs or holiday office parties are a style challenge. While the latter two events are typically after end of business, Halloween parties at the office 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 break room.

mature street style look
Back view of Street Style look with Pendleton glen check skirt, Great Northwest medium wash denim jacket, and Valentino tall boots (all own)

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 or dress with tail would be a tripping or slipping risk for an employee who has to climb ladders, use the elevator or stairs frequently. You get the idea. Thus, keep common sense when picking your costume and put yours and others safety first.

Keep your role at work in mind

When you are having contact with customers and clients keep into mind that they may not expect to see you in a costume. I wrote a post about a car dealer wearing a dance hall girl costume a while ago.

midlife style blogger
Pendleton pleat wool skirt, Great Northwest oversize jacket, graphic T-shirt, and Valentino knee-high boots (all own)

Be aware of the work dress code

Besides staying within the work dress code with respect to skin exposure also keep in mind to avoid any offensive, off-color, political, or racist costumes. Also don’t wear anything too body conscious.  Frankenstein head masks and alike that cover your face are a no-no too. Not everyone can  recognize a person by the motion, as a matter of fact most people can’t. There is nothing more scary to talk to someone who you don’t know who it is. What ever great idea you have ask yourself whether this costume could jeopardize your career. If so, skip it and save the idea for a private party.

mature street style
Pendleton wool below-the-knee skirt, Great Northwest denim oversize jacket, printed T-shirt, and Valentino block heel tall boots (all own)

Save options are dressing as a

  • Street style blogger.
  • Your favorite fashion or style blogger.
  • German coffeehouse waitress in a black A-line skirt, white shirt and short lace apron,
  • French artist in jeans, a white paint splashed shirt and a black beret,
  • Marlene Dietrich in tuxedo shirt and suit,
  • Holly Golightly in a little black dress with lots of jewelry, up-do and hair jewelry. Here make sure that the arm coverage stays within the rules of the work dress code.
  • A retro dress styled as it was styled at the time of its prime also works well as long as it doesn’t become a safety issue and doesn’t violate the office dress code. Read a 50s style skirt with a long sleeve turtleneck and pearl embellished cardigan works, while a flapper-style 20s slip dress or a 70s style micro-mine don’t.
  • Other professions like firefighter, police officer, miner, civil engineer, etc.
  • Boat captain or sailor. A striped shirt, white pants and boats shoes are work appropriate at most offices for Casual Friday. Thus, adding a fisherman’s or sailor’s hat does the trick. The same recipe works with military inspired clothes.
  • Amelia Earhart: Skirt, aviator jacket, sturdy shoes, aviator hat optional.
  • Or wear a Casual Friday look with a DIY emoticon painted T-shirt.

Do you have a Halloween office party or are you allowed to wear a costume at work? If so what costume did you pick?

Have fun at the office Halloween party and stay safe.

Happy Halloween

You may also like Halloween costume ideas and Halloween costumes on a budget.

When you liked this post let your friends know by tweeting them to have a look at these low-cost Halloween costume inspirations!

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When you like outfit recipes, you may also want to get my style recipe book How to Dress for Success in Midlife that has great style recipes for all kind of dressing situations in midlife. Buy the paper copy now or go for the Buy it now.

Photos: G. Kramm

Copyright 2013-2017 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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