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Office Halloween Costume from HR’s Perspective

You know the Marlboro Man will come home with a full bag of treats!

Office Halloween costumes

Some things never change in the workplace. Getting drunk at the company holiday party, getting drunk at the summer picnic, and inappropriate office Halloween costumes. All classics and just like Santa is busiest on Christmas Eve, HR is usually busiest on Halloween and the day after the Company Holiday party. If a company doesn’t have a problem every once in a while, I am out of a job, so keep my life interesting, and keep em coming.

Don’t get me wrong; I am all for team building, and costumes can do that very effectively. I love it when a department dresses up in a theme because it shows they banded together, worked together and came to a decision together. It can be as simple as the Men in Black theme where the team comes dressed in black suits, white shirt with a black tie.  It can be as elaborate as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I personally struggle internally when an entire department comes to work dressed in a “Pimps and Hoes” theme. I don’t have kids but it is fun seeing (I won’t admit it publicly) the little crumb snatchers come to their parents work in their kiddy costumes. Call me the Grinch who Stole Halloween, but to HR, it is a great indication that the parents likes their workplace when they bring the little kiddies to work.  If they hated the place, they would treat the office like the home of a sexual offender.

Every year, the HR department has a betting pool on Office Halloween costumes and this year is no different. This year, my money is on whatever costume Hot Jenny in our accounting department is going to throw down.  Usually, too much cleavage, too much leg, and heels that are too high. She has won me a lot of money the last couple of years. Like every year inappropriate Office Halloween costumes that will cause pause, whispers and raised eyebrows:

Snookie 3:4

Ghadafi: 2:1

Anything Jenny in Accounting wears:  7:4

Jenny in Accounting as Snookie  7:2

Sexy Occupy Wall Street protester 1:15

Amanda Knox 2:3  (I work in Seattle)

Lance Armstrong on steroids 3:2  (Lot of bikers here)

There is always the dumb ass that comes to work sporting the inappropriate costume. You know them, you have seen them, and although I won’t admit it publicly, yes, even I can appreciate them behind closed doors when done well. A few come to mind:

I worked at an Insurance company and someone came dressed as a hurricane survivor. Although done well, it was an inappropriate office Halloween costume. Our guy was an adjuster and just come from the field.  He looked more like he was a businessman that went through a windstorm with hair moussed back and tie flying behind him via a coat hanger inserted into the tie to help keep its shape and palm leaves stuck into his suit. . . . . you get the idea.

The old Pizza Box around the guy’s waist trick. Yes, a classic, but that pizza box still had last week’s pepperoni in it and isn’t very sanitary.

Modern Elvira sporting cleavage with a capital “C” and the slit up the dress. She might be able to get some work done, but the productivity of the folks around her will be like her costume, minimal.

Lastly, there is always someone who comes to work in their grubbiest, most unprofessional clothing treating this day as if it is “Casual Day”.  This is the worst form of abuse in my opinion. It isn’t really a costume, it is just being lazy.  Most of all, it gives everyone the impression that outside of work, this person is a slob.

Halloween Costumes come in all shapes and forms. Just like your behavior when drunk can reflect the real you (think: mean drunks and friendly drunks) costumes can be interpreted as a reflection of how much respect one has for their company, customers, and co-workers.

Me, house lights turned off at 5 to give the appearance that no one is home and my office Halloween costume is business casual as usual. Homage to the iPod is great, but if ANYONE makes fun of Steve Jobs with their office Halloween Costume in an inappropriate way, you are dead to me.

See you at the after party,


nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

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