How to pick an office appropriate  Halloween look
Pendleton glen check skirt, Great Northwest denim jacket, graphic college Tee, and Valentino studded boots (all own)

Office Halloween party fun ends with the outfit

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.

While weird food for the Halloween potluck may be appreciated, weird costumes are not. It is still the office, for which the Halloween fun ends with the outfit. If your Halloween costume works for a night of Halloween bar hopping, it’s not for the office. Period.

#Halloween Halloween costumes for the office

Go over board with your costume

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. Thus, there is no reason to break the bank. Instead, you want to shop your closet for some Halloween costume ideas by just adding pieces that together may look like a costume, and you want to have a Halloween costumes on a budget.  Most likely there will a party next year again and you don’t want to show up in the same look every year. Thus, you have to be creative.

fashion blogger looking posh in a 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.

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

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 fashion blogger in trendy plaid skirt and denim jacket
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 with your close friends.

over 50 years old woman in plaid skirt and Valentino studded boots street chic look
Pendleton wool below-the-knee skirt, Great Northwest denim oversize jacket, printed T-shirt, and Valentino block heel tall boots (all own)

Save options for work Halloween outfits are dressing as a

  • Street style blogger like in the outfit photos of today’s post.
  • 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?

Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.

Have fun at the office Halloween party and stay safe.

Happy Halloween

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Photos: G. Kramm

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