21 Office-Appropriate Halloween Costume Ideas

by Dasha Fayvinova

If you're like me, you're tired of Brenda from accounting always coming into work on Halloween and upstaging everyone. This Halloween is going to be different. This time you're going to be the one winning the office costume prize and TGI Friday's gift certificate. 2016 is the year of you, and this list of office Halloween costume ideas for 2016 will get you through the door of success.

One of my favorite places I ever worked at was a production company on the Universal lot. Every Halloween there was a competition for a pretty sweet prize. Executive assistants, office managers, and interns like me would go all out. Why? Well — money. But also pride! Being a winner of an office competition made you someone special for a moment. I might have been an insignificant intern clawing my way to the top, but I was an insignificant intern clawing my way to the top who won an office Halloween costume competition. I spent hours thinking of cool ideas. And now, others can benefit from my brain power.

All that you have to really do is decide how seriously you want to take this office Halloween costume thing. Are you the type of person who likes a humorous costume or will you go for a costume that will make people think? Whatever you pick, will be great. But you'll want to nail it down beforehand, because you know Brenda has been planning her outfit for months. And you will not loose to Brenda again. So here are some Halloween office ideas:

Holiday Card

Now you can be the thing no one signs for your boss!

Santa Hat, $8, Amazon | Cardboard Box, $2, Home Depot

What You'll Need: You will need to bust out those Christmas goodies. First a huge Christmas sweater and Santa hat. Then you will need to breakdown a cardboard box and make it into two panels that resemble a card. Carry them around with funny messages about your co-workers.

Images: Polyvore


This is something everyone at the office kind of hates getting, but still enjoys for the typos.

Notebook Paper, $17, Cymax | Sharpie Marker, $1, JetPens

What You'll Need: You will need a white t-shirt that you do not care about. Then you will have to either carry around paper with the words "memo" written on it, OR write "memo" on the shirt using black marker

Images: Polyvore

Nudist On Strike

Why not go with something funny and clever? This way you don't even need to dress up to beat out Brenda.

Cardboard Box, $2, Home Depot | Black Sharpie, $1, JetPens | String Choker, $20, Humble Chic

What You'll Need: Just wear your normal everyday clothes — maybe a white t-shirt or just jeans. Then you will want to make a little sign out of a cardboard box and write 'nudist on strike' on the front with a black sharpie. Used a whole puncher to make two small holes where you can place string that will go around your neck.

Images: Polyvore


Most of us already feel like minions during our day jobs, so this is just playing into that idea.

Yellow T-Shirt, $16, ThreadUp | Suspenders, $4, New Chic | Steam Punk Goggles, $10, Amazon

What You'll Need: The creatures you are trying to look like have soft yellow bodies that you can mimic by wearing a yellow t-shirt. Then click your black suspenders onto a pair of high-waisted jean shorts and put on a pair of goggles.

Images: Polyvore


If you're thinking of a group office costume, this can be your answer! There are so many colors of these delicious candies that you will never have a shortage of people you can include.

Red M&M Costume, $39, Buy Costumes | Green M&M Costume, $39, Buy Costumes | Blue M&M Costume, $39, Buy Costumes

What You'll Need: You can either all color-match the assigned M&M or just buy a pre-made costume. The only think you'll need to do is decide if you want to be the red, green or blue M&M.

Images: Polyvore

Starbucks Coffee

How could you even get to work if you didn't have the delicious cup of coffee at your disposal?

Metallic Pleated Skirt, $23, New Chic | Starbucks Logo Shirt, $26, Amazon | Construction Paper, $15, Cymax

What You'll Need: Turn yourself in to a Starbucks coffee by wearing a green skirt and Logo Shirt. Then you will need to roll a piece of green construction paper into a roll and glue it to a white headband. It will look like a straw!

Image: Polyvore

8. Windows Error

We all hate the dreaded Windows Error message, but it's especially cumbersome when you are at work. Now you can make fun of it by making it your Halloween office costume.

Black Sharpie Marker, $1, JetPens

What You'll Need: The error message is usually grey with blue. You can achieve that by wearing a gray dress with a blue shirt on top. Then you can either draw a black 'x' directly on your right shoulder with a sharpie or pin a letter 'x' to it instead.

Image: Polyvore

Your Boss

This is a bold move on your part. You can dress up like your boss or just a generic version of a boss.

Black Pencil Skirt, $13, Amazon | "Worlds Best Boss" Mug, $14, Etsy

What You'll Need: You will need a great black pencil skirt and a white blouse. Those are two staples of a lady boss. Complete the look with a "World's Best Boss" mug.

Image: Polyvore

Office Trash

An office trash can is a perfect source of costume ideas.

Tear Off Notepad, $8, Rifle Paper Co.

What You'll Need: Any black shirt or sweater will do. You will just need to crumble pieces of used lined paper and glue them to your top. You will look like all the notes the office came up with that week and tossed out.

Image: Polyvore

Dwight Schrute

What better office costume can you think of other than the actual character from The Office?

Button Down Shirt, $24, Rent The Runway | Thick Rimmed Glasses, $25, Spit Fire

What You'll Need: Dwight also wore some pretty snazzy button down shirts and neck tie combos. Just make sure to go for the wider tie. Also, thick rimmed glasses will complete the look.

Image: Polyvore

Soy Sauce

You and your coworkers can dress up like the condiment that makes everything taste better.

Black Jeans, $27, Amazon | Slouchy Beanie, $45, Nordstrom

What You'll Need: The soy sauce packaging is usually all black with some red accents. Thus you will need a black shirt and black jeans to start. Then you will add a splash of red color with a red belt and wear a read hat as the bottle top.

Image: Polyvore

Rosie The Riveter

Strong, beautiful, and badass. Who better to emulate this Halloween?

Red Paisley Bandana, $5, Amazon | Denim Shirt, $23, Amazon

What You'll Need: This look is all about a bold cat eye and attitude. You'll need to tie a red bandana around your head and pair that with a jean shirt that you already own.

Image: Polyvore

Mail Chain

By now you've been on the receiving end of like 50 mail chains.

What You'll Need: You'll need to glue envelopes to your shirt, and add a really thick chain around your neck.

Image: Polyvore

French Person/Mime

This is a very easy to source costume. You'll look cultured and cool!

Wool Beret, $9, Amazon | Striped Sweater, $22, Etsy | Black Slacks, $30, Amazon

What You'll Need: You'll want to bust out that beret you got on your Euro trip. Then pair it with a stripped sweater and black slacks. Et voilà!

Image: Polyvore

Images: Polyvore; Courtesy of Brands; NBC