Offices are a bit funny when it comes to Halloween; they are one of the only places where it is really appropriate for a group of adults to dress as mythical creatures without there being any alcohol involved. Dressing up for the office is a pretty deeply held tradition, and while some dial it in with a Scream mask (who still watches Scream anyway?) others take it upon themselves to be the most celebratory person in their office. But if you’re someone caught in the middle, and not quite sure what the heck you are going to do in a week, here are a few tips.

This guy is REALLY into Halloween in his office.

Try and think Office Space, not The Office.

We love The Office. Really, it’s a great TV series and a lot of good episodes came out of it. But it is also eight years old, and dressing up like Jim is getting to be just as stale as some of the later story lines. Besides, how hard is it to put on a white shirt, slacks and a tie? Most people dress like that anyway, so if you go the Jim route, brace yourself for questions as to why you didn’t dress up.

If you want to keep with an office theme, might we suggest Office Space instead? I know we push that wonderful little movie hard, but we promise we aren’t being paid by Mike Judge under the table. It’s just a really awesome movie, and one that has had a bit more of a cultural impact than The Office. Plus the costumes are pretty easy – Lumbergh’s iconic suspenders and French Cuff shirt, Joanna’s own… iconic suspenders and uniform. A quick trip down to the mall will probably yield all you need for an awesome costume from a cult classic. It’s easy, it’s office themed, and you don’t have to have a dorky expression on your face all day in an attempt to pull the perfect Jim.

Comfort is key!

Halloween kind of bites when you’re a woman. All you really have to work with is sexy; sexy Alice in Wonderland, sexy Nurse, sexy Big Bird. Girls can order costumes online that are a little bit more suitable for an office environment, but honestly they will probably be better off just making their own. It’s cheaper, and you aren’t stuck with a Snow White dress taking up space in your closet.

The problem is that making your own costume will probably mean a little bit more makeup to complete the look. So, before you condemn yourself to eight hours of itchiness followed by a week of breaking out, put on some of the makeup you want to wear and keep it on around the house. Make sure you can handle having something like that stuck to your face for an extended period of time. If you can, awesome! If you cannot, well we don’t blame you. Everyone has their own story about accidentally scratching their face and having a huge chunk of their make up clump off. Suddenly you can’t be a Zombie anymore, you have to be a Zombie that has a magical patch of skin on your face that’s immune to the virus.

The same thing is applicable to whatever clothes you put on that morning. Make sure you can move around, you’re comfortable in them and that whatever you are wearing is appropriate for the office you work in. Depending on your job you may not have face to face contact with a single customer or client at all, which means you can go a little overboard. But if you are actually required to connect and talk to people you will need to be able to maintain some semblance of business decorum, and that is really hard when you are dressed like a clown.

If nothing else, use it as an excuse to wear jeans and a T-Shirt.

Maybe you don’t like dressing up and really you’d rather just do your work and be left alone. Okay, we can respect that. Just don’t expect us to share any candy.

If you don’t want to dress up, but you also don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb and be the only person in business wear, just throw on something comfortable. A t-shirt and jeans, some sweats, a track suit; whatever you lounge around in normally will work just fine. Then, if anyone asks, say you’re unemployed. It’s sly, it’s easy, it’s… a bit of a cop out honestly, but in a recession people may just find it witty instead of lazy.

You have all week to figure out what you are going to be, so remember not to waste it and to have fun with your costume. It isn’t everyday that you get to dress up, and there is a kid in all of us that every year looks forward to Mini Snickers bars and the smell of cheap rubber masks.

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