Halloween is that great time of the year when you can dress as eccentrically as you want and nobody asks any questions.  

Choosing a costume is half the struggle when it comes to Halloween. But for many of us, deciding what to wear for the party isn’t your biggest problem; it’s figuring out a way to celebrate the holiday at work without getting fired.

Unfortunately, some professional workplaces still frown upon the idea of an employee walking into the office dressed as Darth Vader.

So instead of going full Joker and terrifying your boss this Halloween, why not opt for a costume that is both work-appropriate and fun?  

Office Jobs (The “I’m Not Wearing a Costume” Costume)

The key to mastering Hallowe’en at the office is subtlety. Refrain from going all out (unless you work at a costume shop) and try to mix and match some of your existing wardrobe into your costume to create a look that’s cool but doesn’t scream “I tried really hard.”

Where’s Waldo

Illustration by Jake Benaim.

Illustration by Jake Benaim.

Dressing up as everyone’s favourite perpetually-lost friend is actually quite simple. Chances are, you probably have most of the clothes for the costume in your closet already.

A red striped shirt should be an easy find at the mall, but it’s not a big deal if you can’t find one.  Or, if you’re into DIY, add stripes to a plain white shirt by applying rows of red duct tape onto it.

You can use the same technique for Waldo’s signature striped hat by adding white tape strips to an old winter beanie.

The rest of the costume is super easy – just throw on a pair of glasses, some blue cut-off jeans, a camera, and you’ll find yourself blending into the office like never before.  

Superman in Disguise

If a suit is required at your job, this is the perfect costume. Wear a black blazer and dress pants over a white collared shirt half-undone to reveal a Superman logo T-shirt underneath. Bonus points for thick-rimmed glasses.

Ice Cream Cone

Illustration by Jake Benaim.

Illustration by Jake Benaim.

Not only is this costume creative, it’s also surprisingly easy to put together.  All you really need is a t-shirt (in white, brown, or pink depending on the flavour you want to be) and some waffle-cone-coloured khakis.

Here’s the DIY part: cut out small, sprinkle shapes from coloured construction paper and hot glue them onto a plain t-shirt.  Cut out little scallops at the bottom of the t-shirt with scissors, to resemble an ice cream scoop shape.

Retail and Service Jobs

Dressing up for Halloween in a more hands-on environment can be trickier (catch my drift?), particularly if you have a dress code or uniform.  That doesn’t mean you have to stick to wearing cat ears or a wizard hat; have a little fun with your look!

The Black-Accessory Look

If your workplace has a “black only” policy, this is a clever way to dress up without following the basic witch/sorcerer/vampire route. In addition to your witch hat or vampy teeth, bring something new to your uniform by adding a choker, bow tie, some lace, or some modern makeup/facepaint.

Illustration by Jake Benaim.

Illustration by Jake Benaim.

A Wordplay Cliché

For a last-minute, low-budget laugh, embody an idiom with a cheap t-shirt and a marker. For example: “when life gives you lemons,” all you need to turn it into a costume is a bag of lemons and a t-shirt that says “life.”

Not only do you get points for wit, you can also probably throw this outfit together in the fifteen minutes you have before leaving for work – no effort required whatsoever.

An Emoji

Illustration by Jake Benaim

Illustration by Jake Benaim

Whether you’re dressing up as the flamenco dancer, the hair-chopping pink t-shirt, girl, or plain old poop, this costume is perhaps the most recognizable of them all.  All you need to do is mimic the facial expression and the accompanying hand gesture, and you’ll be the most-photographed for sure.