Starting around mid-October every year, the costume conversation inevitably infiltrates the breakroom. You and your coworkers are likely starting to ask each other the following questions in preparation for the 31st:

“Are you dressing up for Halloween?”

“What are you going to dress up as?”

“What do you think about my costume idea?”

While the answers to these questions should be kept in mind while you are scouring Pinterest for the perfect costume idea, you should also be mindful of the checklist below to avoid a cringe worthy moment upon entering the office on Halloween morning.

Office Halloween Costume Checklist:

  • Does your costume adhere to company culture?

If this is your first year celebrating Halloween with your company, the best way to gauge if your costume will adhere to the company’s culture is through conversations with your coworkers. There are typically three levels of costume participation:

  • Little to no participation: If your company’s culture does not encourage dressing up for Halloween, don’t push it. You may even want to steer clear of any costume at work and save the mad scientist costume for a party or distributing candy to trick-or-treaters instead.
  • Slight participation: If your company acknowledges the holiday, but just barely, stick to something simple like a pumpkin shirt or festive headwear.
  • Full participation: If you are working for a Halloween-centric company, go all out (after taking the following into consideration).
  • Will your costume physically interfere with your work?

Although a full gorilla suit or fairy wings is sure to make your costume epic, those physically limiting costumes aren’t going to make the cut for Halloween office attire. A good rule to follow is that if you can’t easily get in and out of your car wearing your costume, chances are that navigating around the office or even sitting in your chair will also be difficult. Afterall, you still have work to do.

  • Does your costume have the potential to offend?

There are many costumes out there with the potential to offend- especially the costumes that are geared towards a humorous response. Remember that not everyone has the same sense of humor and anything that relates to politics, religion, or dressing up as another culture should be avoided.

  • Can you do a quick costume change if needed?

Even if you feel that you have a grasp on what is an acceptable Halloween costume, there is always the potential for a costume to go wrong. As a result, make sure that whichever costume you choose can be quickly transformed into something that can be considered appropriate workplace attire (or bring a change of clothes).

  • Is there a group costume that you can join in on?

There is safety in numbers, and Halloween costumes are no exception. If you can, try to join in on a workplace appropriate group costume with your work bestie or even your whole department. Better yet, suggest a costume contest to get everyone in the spirit!

  • Is your costume a clown costume?

The only acceptable answer to this question is “no”.