Career Advice

Guide to Appropriate Halloween Costumes in the Workplace

Jobatron October 11, 2022

One subject that continues to stump even the savviest career expert is what, if any, role Halloween costumes should play in the workplace. Should you wear one at all? Is there a limit to how much skin should be shown? Do certain types of costumes come across as more offensive than others? To help clear things up, we've put together a quick guide to appropriate workplace Halloween costumes. Read on for everything you need to know!

Types of costumes that are generally appropriate...

Professional athletes

Showing support for your hometown team is always a win in our book. Just avoid getting too messy with face paint or body paint (we're looking at you, Eagles fans). And if you're feeling ambitious, try out one of these creative takes on traditional uniforms.

Movie or TV characters

A homage to your all-time favorite show is always a safe bet. And if done well, it can also be a great conversation starter during an interview. Just make sure your costume doesn't send the wrong message about your work ethic (we're looking at you, sloths from "Zootopia").

Another way to go is to dress up as a character from a currently popular show or movie. This can be a great way to show that you keep up with current events and trends. But beware – some costumes from shows with mature content (like "Game of Thrones" or "The Walking Dead") might not be suitable for a professional setting. Use your best judgment and err on the side of caution.

Types of costumes that are generally NOT appropriate...


This may seem like an obvious one, but you'd be surprised how many people think it's okay to show up to work dressed as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. It's not. Save those costumes for parties with friends and family.

Your boss

We get it – you want to kiss up to the boss to get ahead. But trust us, dressing up like your superior is not the way to do it. You'll just end up making them feel uncomfortable – and yourself look foolish.

Anything sexy

You might think that dressing up like a sexy nurse or police officer will score you some points with your coworkers (or future coworkers). But in reality, it'll probably just make them think you're try-hard and immature. If you want to show some skin, opt for a more subtle approach – like wearing a low-cut top or short skirt.

Overly political

In today's charged political climate, it can be tempting to use your costume as an opportunity to make a statement about your beliefs. But resist the urge! Unless you know for sure that everyone at your workplace shares your views, it's best to steer clear of hot-button topics like religion and politics altogether.

No matter what industry you're in or what stage of your career you're at, odds are good that you'll have the occasion to attend at least one work-related Halloween party (if not more). The key to nailing your costume is to strike the perfect balance between funny, creative and professional. In other words, easy on-the-skin-tight latex bodysuits, and full masks. With our guidelines in mind, you can rest assured that you'll be able to find a costume that's both spooky and seasonally appropriate!