Halloween is a time for family and friends to gather and dress up as the latest celebrity couple, social media trend or, for the kids, whatever is hot on the Disney Channel. CNN reported that in 2018, more than 175 million Americans celebrated Halloween and spent an average of $86.79 per consumer. That equals almost $9 billion. So, we get it, you want to show off your creativity.
In addition to getting your home prepared for spooky celebrations, most working adults will participate in a work celebration. Whether it is a costume contest, having the children of the office in to trick or treat or just someone showing up to work in a full mutant ninja turtle outfit, you will probably see some Halloween participation. But remember, your costume choice for work will probably be different than your costume when you are out with your girlfriends.
To play it safe, here are some costume ideas you cross off your list. They are never workplace safe.
1. Political or religious costumes.
Although what is happening within politics at the current moment might seem comical to some, to others, it is not. Showing up to work dressed as your favorite politician or sporting a campaign slogan is not a great idea. Everyone remembers the golden rule for the workplace: never discuss politics and religion. That rule still stands on Halloween. This is a guaranteed way to make employees and onlookers extremely uncomfortable. Save this outfit for the comfort of your home.
2. Costumes that imitate another culture.
Another big no-no is to dress up to mimic or celebrate another culture. There are several ways you can pay tribute to another culture besides dressing up like a famous public figure of that culture or wearing clothing that is specific to certain demographics. Do NOT do it!
If you do not specifically identify with that community, forget it. It's a sure way to get the office talking about you — and not in a good way.
3. Anything racy.
Halloween is the time where most let loose and have a little fun. People dress up and imitate animals, celebrities, food, and so much more. But the office is not the place to reveal the sexy kitten outfit you have been dying to wear. Ditch the ensemble and wear the ears if you must be a cat for the office Halloween party.
4. Costumes that require props that look like weapons.
Want to be a Ninja turtle? Ditch the nun-chucks. Is your group going as knights? Leave the swords at home. The last thing anyone needs is building security to think someone is armed. A suggestion would be to pick an outfit that doesn't require any props; this helps eliminate the issue.
Halloween is a fun time. Especially in the workplace. Don't ruin the experience for you or your peers by selecting something that makes people do a double or triple take. If you have to think about your outfit choice, chances are it is not the right selection for the workplace.
Jemia is a certified Diversity & Inclusion Practitioner from Georgetown University. Her passions lie in research around equity, gender & diversity and blogging about her experiences as a woman of color. Oh and let's not forget Brunch! You can find Jemia on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.