Halloween is one of those holidays that just doesn't quite translate to the working world. In a professional environment, it simply isn't possible to push the envelope like you could at a party in a bar or basement--in other words, that werewolf nurse costume you've been working on for the office bash had better be pretty toothless (maybe literally).
To give you some general guidelines, we've assembled a few basic do's and dont's for your workplace's Halloween party. Click through below to take a look. In the end, though, it's all about knowing your office's culture and having a firm understanding of what is or isn't appropriate. But in virtually all cases, we'll say that if it involves severed heads, it's probably inappropriate.
Halloween Do's and Don'ts
8 Do's and Don'ts for Your Office's Halloween Party
Got a pair of plastic fangs, a blazer, and some white makeup? You're officially vampire-ready! Sure, it may not be the most original costume in the world, and zombies may have supplanted vampires in terms of pop cultural prevalence. But if you're too busy scrutinizing spreadsheets to come up with something more creative, it's still better than cutting eyeholes in a white sheet and yelling "boo!"
Okay, so the whole appeal of vampires is that they're sexy. We get that. But as far as office parties are concerned, you need to make sure your costume is less True Blood, more Dracula: Dead and Loving It. This isn't a college Halloween bash; it's a festive gathering with your peers. You don't want to scar any of them for life.
History-themed costumes are office party-friendly as long as they're executed in a mild, politically inoffensive manner. You know that saying "too soon?" When you dress up as a political figure, there's inevitably a certain amount of satire involved, so try to keep your references pre-2000s--or better yet, pre-1900s.
This would be an example of "too soon."
Friends are fun! Yay friends! If you and your office bestie have distinct personal styles, why not try trading places for the day? Just make sure you get your pal's permission before you take the "walk a mile in their shoes" (or their pants) thing literally.
Don't dress up as your boss for Halloween. Just don't. Even if you and your boss get along swimmingly, the power dynamic in any worker-manager relationship can be easily upset with a jokey or insensitive costume choice. Fun tip: do not mess with power dynamics.
Halloween is all about creativity and having fun with familiar horror tropes, like zombies (of which any office party worth its salt has a handful). The emphasis should be on the "fun" part, though, so it's probably a good idea to keep the severed limbs to a minimum.
We get it: you have a friend who's really good at horror makeup, and you spent twelve hours getting a plaster cast of your own face made (which you wear over your actual face, while sneaking up behind people and whispering "I know what you did"). Go make a short film. Don't bring it to department potluck.