Frightening Faux-Pas; What Not to Wear to the Office on Halloween

What not to wear to the office

Halloween is a fun opportunity to showcase your personality and creativity at work among your co-workers, and a fun way to bring everyone together. You’re either one of two people – the type who knows exactly what they want to wear, or the other who is left scratching their head nearly up to the last minute. Wherever you are in your costume planning stages, there are some things to consider when putting together your masterpiece. You certainly want to avoid looking unprofessional, so we’ve compiled some tips for dressing up at work below.

POW #1 – Ask Your Executive

Make sure to ask supervisors about what is expected of employees, especially if you are new to the office. Your workplace might either have strict rules or be completely relaxed – but you don’t want to be the last one to know.

Similarly, make sure to ask your co-workers what the culture of your company is like on Halloween. Fellow employees are probably the only ones who will warn you if people tend to opt out.

 

POW #2 Keep it Practical

If you can’t sit down, walk comfortably, or perform any of the basic functions needed to do your job, you should pick a new look. You’ll also want to stick with your company’s dress code and avoid unsafe clothing. For example, if you’re generally not allowed to wear open-toed shoes to work for safety reasons, follow that rule when choosing your costume. 

And it’s not just your personal safety that you should look out for. Avoid wearing costumes that include excess body paint, fake blood, or any other transferable coloring. You should have fun on Halloween, but not at the expense of staining office furniture.

 

POW #3 Check the Agenda

Once you know what’s acceptable to wear, take a look at your calendar. If you have a big meeting, have a customer coming in or have any other major work plans the day of Halloween, you’re better off skipping a costume. If you must be festive, try a fun accessory or bold makeup look instead.

 

POW #4 Bring a Change of Clothes

You might not have any appointments scheduled on Halloween, but that doesn’t mean that something won’t come up. Just in case, bring a change of clothes with you to work. After all, you don’t want to get an unexpected office visit while wearing a clown costume, or something equally absurd. To really err on the safe side, you could create a DIY costume using your regular work clothes.

 

 

POW #5 Be Sensitive to Others

Fake blood might highly disturb some employees. A joke that seems funny to you might come across as insensitive to a co-worker. Any costumes that include crude jokes, foul language, harsh political views, or are meant to imitate or mock fellow employees should be avoided as a result. Besides, they’re generally not acceptable in work settings to begin with.

Most importantly, you should remain sensitive to all cultures, even if you don’t think they’re represented in your office. Even if the costumes are soldat major retailers, that doesn’t mean they’re acceptable to wear. If you’re questioning whether or not your costume portrays a cultural stereotype, you’re better off not wearing it at all.

POW #6 No Fake Weapons

A wide range of costumes — from arrow-slinging superheroes to baseball bat-carrying characters of “The Walking Dead” — require weapon-like props. 

In today’s society, workplace violence is all too common and makes carrying realistic props into work a bad idea. People should be able to figure out what your costume is without a fake weapon. If they can’t, it’s worth picking a new costume entirely.

 

 

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer