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Candy corn, jack-o’-lanterns, spiderwebs, cauldrons, ghosts… And a black cat waltzing across a shattered mirror. Under a full moon. Halloween is upon us, and we could not be happier!
Also known as All Hallows’ Eve, the celebration is thought to have been around for some 2,000 years. Traditionally, the day was dedicated to remembering the dead on the eve of All Saint’s Day. Today, of course, it’s commonly used as a reason to carve creepy faces into pumpkins, eat scary amounts of sweets, and — our favorite part — dress up!
Are you ready for some live, laugh, scare at the office with a spooktacular costume? Read on for 50 work-appropriate costume ideas that will make this Halloween office party one to remember.
Perhaps you’re asking yourself “What should I wear if I’m lazy?” Well, not to worry! You can always opt for a classic ghost outfit that requires minimum effort. Just wear it over your regular work clothes and you’re done.
Want an easy yet effective costume? Purchase a skeleton onesie, and you’re good to go! To make this outfit extra effective, go into work with your usual sleep-deprived look so you have the natural panda-eye effect. Or, you know, get some sleep and use a bit of makeup.
You can’t have Halloween without pumpkins. Obviously. So, why not wear this inflatable pumpkin costume that also blocks unwanted hugs from your coworkers? If they can’t respect your personal space, make them.
Another costume that requires little effort! The bat hoodie can be worn over your usual work outfit and keep you cozy in the miserable late-October weather.
5. Mona Lisa
Did you know that 10 million people visit the Mona Lisa each year? Why don’t you get a taste of that fame with this Mona Lisa costume?
Pointy teeth, a bit of fake blood running down your mouth, and an elaborate vampire outfit will make you a strong contender in this year’s Halloween costume competition. With a few simple props, like a cane and cape, you can spook your coworkers all day long!
Time to put on this gorgeous sorceress costume, cast a spell on your boss and get them to proceed with that raise you were promised three months ago. How does that sound?
Are you looking for a classic, spooky Halloween look? Get your zombie outfit on, practice walking with a limp and making growling noises, and you’re good to go. If you have time to put on some makeup and fake blood for pale, ghoulish skin, even better.
Create an aura of mystery around you with this warlock outfit. Some dark eye makeup, rings or pendants, and a book of spells could easily complete the look. Just make sure to stare intensely at your coworkers over your cubicle divider or the coffee machine — without saying a word.
10. Headless horseman
Okay, so this headless horseman costume might not be super comfortable at work during the day. But it’s still a good choice for the evening party the company’s organizing! The best part is you can be pulling faces at all your annoying coworkers, and they’ll never know.
Perhaps the most popular female costume of the season! You can never go wrong with a classic witch costume for Halloween. Some black clothes, a witch’s hat, a broomstick… and a wicked laugh to go with it!
12. Hooded knight
Are you one of those employees who have their instant messaging status set permanently to “Do Not Disturb”? Why don’t you embody that very notion with this hooded knight outfit? We can guarantee your coworkers will think twice before asking anything of you.
There are two types of “ghost” people on Halloween: those who cut holes through their old bedsheets and run around saying “boo!”, and those who pick elaborate outfits and makeup to almost become spirits themselves. If it’s a realistic ghost outfit you want, this ghostly gal costume will be right for you.
From reheating fish in the office microwave to bossing others around, there are many kinds of workplace offences a person can commit. As a soul-taker, it will be your duty to haunt the people on your floor who show complete disregard to office etiquette. Tell them they’ve been warned!
You could waste several toilet rolls “becoming” a mummy this Halloween, or you could go for a costume like this one. A bit of undead-inspired makeup and an exaggerated limp, and you’ll have your coworkers running away from you faster than you can say “mummy”.
16. Jack Skellington
Is it really Halloween without some sort of tribute to Tim Burton? If you’ve answered “no”, you might want to consider dressing up as Jack Skellington from The Nightmare before Christmas. The costume comes with a pinstripe suit, a bat-shaped bowtie and a mask.
Another main character from The Nightmare before Christmas! To achieve the full Sally (or Pumpkin Queen) effect, you’ll need to invest a bit of time in getting your makeup right.
18. Wednesday Addams
Who doesn’t want to be Wednesday Addams for Halloween? All you need to do besides the costume is one, not hug anyone; two, not show any emotion; and three, mention precisely zero positive things. Don’t you already act like her at work, anyway?
For the full Addams Family effect, pair the dress with black tights and black shoes. Finish off with two simple, braided pigtails.
19. Cousin Itt
Cousin Itt from Addams Family could be a great choice for you if you need a break from talking to your coworkers. After all, the character only speaks gibberish. The wig comes down to the wearer’s chest in length and is bundled up with a hat and glasses.
20. Morticia Addams
How about channeling some of that Morticia Addams confidence this Halloween? Put on this dress and walk up and down the floor, communicating only with quotes from the movie. For example: “Don't torture yourself; that's my job,” when a coworker is beating themselves up for making a mistake.
The general consensus is that clowns are, at the very least, mildly disturbing. Pennywise from the movie It takes that one step further by preying on and manifesting little children’s deepest fears.
Chucky’s first appearance was in the 1988 film Child’s Play. If that’s the sort of energy you’d like to bring to the office on Halloween morning, go for this outfit that comes with a jumpsuit, shirt and wig.
This one’s for the Scooby-Doo fans. Get your Velma outfit on and uncover every office mystery this spooky season, like who keeps stealing people’s reusable mugs and who never cleans the espresso maker after using it.
Scream: one of the most classic Halloween outfits ever. It requires little effort to put together and even less effort to spook your coworkers. Just try to refrain from giving them jump-scares when they’re sipping on their pumpkin-spiced lattes. If they spill their Starbucks, they’ll give you something to run for!
25. Michael Myers
Michael Myers (aka the very embodiment of pure evil) has been around since 1978, when John Carpenter’s first Halloween movie came out. So, if you want a killer outfit (get it?) this season, pick this three-piece costume, complete with a toy knife and realistic latex mask.
Let’s face it: sometimes the office feels like where dreams go to die. So, if it’s full of ghosts of hopes and dreams, put on your Ghostbuster outfit and get searching. You might find some of that motivation of yours that seems to have escaped your body as of late.
27. Edward Scissorhands
Here is yet another Tim Burton character on our list, but from a live action film this time. Edward Scissorhands, the strange man next door who just wants to love and be loved.
If you wear this outfit, how can anyone in the office expect you to make phone calls or answer emails with scissors for hands? (Hint: they can’t!)
Have you been growing tired of your job? Why not put on this Beetlejuice outfit and become a freelance bio-exorcist for the day? That’s bound to be a little more exciting.
29. Winifred Sanderson
You can have a lot of fun dressing up as one of the mad witches from Hocus Pocus. Just complete the look with a sweeping broom (or vacuum cleaner), and off you go! And why not stay in character by memorizing some lines from the movie? For example: “Oh, look. Another glorious morning. Makes me sick!”
30. Sarah Sanderson
The youngest of the three Sanderson sisters in Hocus Pocus, Sarah’s magical ability is her hypnotic siren call. Care to try it out on your coworkers? It could be fun! We doubt your employee code of conduct says anything about hypnosis.
31. Gumball machine
You’re known in the office for being a goofball and having a sweet tooth. What better outfit, then, than this gumball machine costume?
32. Rooster rider
Everyone knows about your strange bird obsession. Now you can own it with this inflatable rooster costume! Remember: no one can really laugh at you when you’re laughing at yourself first. Plus, it’s not any rooster; it’s a rooster with attitude.
33. Dinosaur rider
Perhaps you dreamt of becoming a paleontologist as a child. And perhaps you’ve ended up working as an accountant instead. Why not relive your childhood fantasy with this inflatable T-rex rider costume?
34. Alien abduction victim
If you’re searching for a funny Halloween do that’s out of this world, why not go for this alien abduction scene-inspired outfit? Just don’t tell anyone that your job has been making you so miserable lately that you’re actually dreaming of aliens taking you far, far away.
Are you one of those people that adds pickles to every meal or eats them straight out of the jar? If you are what you eat, then you’re a living, breathing pickle.
36. Unicorn princess
Do you dream of a handsome princess or prince to ride into the sunset with, yet they’re nowhere to be seen? Perhaps you should take matters into your own hands and ride into that sunset alone. Pick this inflatable unicorn outfit!
37. Tube man
Originally called the Tall Boy, the tube man was first developed in 1996 for the Summer Olympics. If you’re planning on spending the day at the office flailing around and getting no work done, why not turn up as a tube man?
Congratulations: you’ve eaten so much Halloween candy that if someone were to hit you with a stick, it would practically come pouring out of your ears. Why not dress the part and go as a piñata?
We couldn’t not have at least one Barbie-inspired outfit on this year’s Halloween costumes list. If you’re the kind who could use a confidence boost at the office, remind yourself you are “Kenough” with this Ken doll box.
Everyone will be expecting to see pumpkins, vampires and skeletons. You, however, have a secret ace up your sleeve. You’re going to dress up as your hypochondriac coworker’s worst nightmare: a virus!
41. Purge masks
This set of Halloween LED masks might not turn as many heads during the day, but it will be an instant hit at the office party at night. Go on: tell your work bestie that you just stumbled upon the best idea for a joint costume!
42. King and Queen of Hearts
Do you happen to work with your sweetheart? Why not wear these King and Queen of Hearts outfits together? They’re not just matching; they’ve also got skeleton illustrations on. Perfect for the day of remembering all the faithful departed!
43. Rum and cola
Rum and cola, a classic! If you and your work bestie are known for going a little overboard with your alcohol consumption at office events, you could make everyone laugh with this costume for two.
44. Tequila and lime
Another idea for you and your work BFF: a tequila bottle and lime slice costume for two. This one requires next to no preparation, so if you’ve procrastinated finding an outfit, it could be a great option for you. Just try to work on your time management a little bit…
45. Fred and Wilma Flintstone
Yabba dabba doo! If you loved The Flintstones growing up, why not turn up to the office as Fred and Wilma Flintstone? No one’s going to blame you for arriving late this time; not when your car requires you to push with your feet.
46. Blood necklace
Perhaps the nature of your job doesn’t allow you to turn up to work in a ridiculous inflatable outfit. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Halloween in a subtler way! How about a bloody choker necklace, for example, to accompany your work clothes?
47. Zombie bite sleeves
If you’re not big on getting dressed up, these zombie bite sleeves can make for a simple yet effective solution for work on Halloween. Wear them under your shirt or T-shirt, ruffle up your hair a little and finish with some makeup if you’ve got the time (and can be bothered enough).
48. Vampire fangs
Vampire fangs are a great solution when you’re unable to turn up to work in fancy dress. Just remember to smile (threateningly) to your coworkers and clients often! And, if you can get away with a bit of fake blood on your skin, why not use some for more of an eerie look?
49. Chain set
Another great solution for those whose jobs won’t allow them to put on a full-body outfit. Plus, it will bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “my hands are tied” when your coworkers try and assign extra tasks to you.
50. Customizable LED mask
If you’re after an unusual look, you’ll probably want to check out this LED mask. Wear it over any outfit you want, download the app that lets you program it, and pick the face you want to put on. It has dozens of dynamic and static display modes — all of which are guaranteed to dazzle your coworkers!
Halloween costumes for adults are often very, very office-inappropriate — that is: they cover way less skin than your boss and coworkers care to see. At the same time, some Halloween outfits are inappropriate period. We’re referring to the ones that poke fun at different cultures, reducing entire peoples to stereotypes and caricatures. So, before you throw your outfit on, have a think about the cultures and religions shared in your workplace to ensure no offence is caused.
Right, now it’s time to spill the beans! Which of these costumes will you be taking inspiration from this year? Let us know in the comments section below.
Originally published on October 11, 2019. Contains contributions by Joanna Zambas.