Halloween is a fun holiday, and it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Halloween doesn’t have recognizable songs or vacation days associated with it, and it falls on a busy time of year for most people in the workforce. (For example, here at HubSpot, we’re currently gearing up for INBOUND 2016.)
We want you to have fun this Halloween, so we’re taking the work out if it for you. We’ve compiled a list of DIY Halloween costume ideas that are easy to put together, inexpensive, and work appropriate. As a bonus, many are marketing and technology-themed, so even if your family and friends don’t get your costume, your colleagues definitely will.
26 Last-Minute Office Halloween Costumes for Marketers & Tech Geeks
Evergreen Office Costumes
1) Alt Text
This was our Director of Content Corey Wainwright‘s office Halloween costume a couple of years ago. It’s great because you don’t even look dressed up if you have a casual office dress code, so you can just blend in.
All you need is to dress in 90s alternative garb — she went with black jeans, combat boots, and a flannel — and tape a piece of paper to yourself that says something like img2017.jpg. Or if you want to follow best practice for good alt text, you can put something more descriptive, like “alt_text.” Your choice, you SEO rebel you.
2) SEO Ninja
Speaking of dorking out on SEO, you could be everyone’s favorite LinkedIn title — the SEO ninja. Dress in all black, put on a black ski mask (kinda creepy if you already have one, but we don’t judge here), and tape keywords all over yourself.
3) Mobile App
Wander around holding an appetizer — candy, cheese and crackers, chips and dip … whatever you have on hand. Boom. You’re a mobile “app.”
This costume also doubles as a great way to introduce yourself and make friends at a party.
Source: Opportunity Max
Another way to turn handing out food into a costume: Dress up like a hipster and hand out graham crackers.
Grab a white sheet and cut a hole for your head and arms. Dob some black ink spots on the sheet, get a book and one of those feather quills (or just get a feather, I suppose), and you’re a ghostwriter.
6) White Space
Dress in all white — add white face paint and a white wig if you’re ultra-committed. Then add a hint of color somewhere on the outfit, like a colored tie or scarf, or even a paint splotch. That color splotch will make the white space more prominent, transforming you into “white space.”
7) Error 404 Page
You’ve most likely encountered a funny error 404 page before, and you can make it a funny costume, too. Grab a sheet of paper, write “Error 404: Costume Not Found,” and tape it to your outfit.
8) (Monty) Python
If you’re into programming code, British comedy, and low-effort costumes, being (Monty) Python is perfect. Dress up in anything remotely snakelike in your closet: olive green clothing, snakeskin accessories, and fake vampire teeth that can serve as your fangs.
Then, to amp up the dork factor on this costume, add two coconuts or a gold chalice to embody Monty Python on his quest for the Holy Grail.
Grab face paint or eyeliner and write “book” across your cheeks. Just like that, you’re the world’s biggest social network for Halloween.
And for your sake, we hope your colleagues actually get it:
Here’s another tech-friendly, double-entendre costume: Be your own version of a tech unicorn. Here at HubSpot, we love this tech icon, and you can easily make your own version of a unicorn horn with help from this article.
11) Phishing Emails
Phishing emails are nothing to joke about — they can seriously threaten your technology and data security. But on Halloween, you can dress up as a play on phishing emails for an easy DIY costume. All you need are a stick, a piece of string, and an envelope. Bonus points if you own a bucket hat and vest to complete the ensemble.
Here’s a technology spin on a classic Halloween costume. All you’ll need are cat ears, eyeliner-drawn whiskers, and a sheet of paper. Write “Control + C” on the paper, tape it to your outfit, and you’re a copycat.
13) Fully Vested
If you work in a company where people would get the joke, put on a bunch of vests (at least three, but even more is encouraged) and that’s about it. You’re fully vested.
What I love about the nerd costume is that it’s effortless and always unique — there are many ways to be a nerd in this day and age. Are you a tech nerd, a video game nerd, or a book nerd? The sky is the limit with this costume. Show up wearing glasses with your favorite accessory, such as a magic wand, book, or lightsaber, to complete the effect.
Topical Office Costumes
15) Pokémon GO Trainer
Pokémon GO had roughly 45 million people walking around in cities glued to their phones in summer 2016 (and I was among them). To pay homage to the explosion of this tech trend, you’ll need a t-shirt that’s red, yellow, or blue. Using fabric paint or permanent marker, write Valor (for red), Instinct (for yellow), or Mystic (for blue) on your shirt. Spend Halloween walking around pointing your phone at objects, and you’re the spitting image of a Pokémon GO trainer. Gotta catch em all, right?
16) Beyoncé Singing “Hold Up”
If you work in content or social media marketing, you’ve probably read by now that video is growing in popularity among your audience. Beyoncé knows it too — she released her second visual album, Lemonade, earlier this year. Channel Queen Bey in her video featuring the song “Hold Up” by wearing an all-yellow outfit and carrying a toy baseball bat around.
Peach was introduced in early 2016 and never really took off. Pay tribute to the social networking app that experienced the circle of life more quickly than some others by dressing up as a peach. If you don’t have an all-orange outfit on hand, print out this picture of a peach emoji that served as their logo, and you’re done.
Source: The Next Web
18) Barb from Stranger Things
Here’s another Netflix costume idea. Barb from Netflix’s hit new series Stranger Things is universally beloved, and it’s a bonus that her signature look is a comfortable and easy-to-assemble costume. Rock your best Barb with your finest plaid tucked into high-waisted jeans, glasses, pinned-up hair, and a notebook.
Group Office Costumes
19) Google Algorithm Update
Find a couple of office buddies for this one — one panda, one penguin, and one pigeon. You might be thinking, “what the heck is the pigeon algorithm update?” 1) It’s a thing, and 2) we checked Amazon for hummingbird costumes and there aren’t any cheap ones available.
Source: Opportunity Max
20) Black and White Hat SEO (aka Westworld‘s Man in Black and William)
This is another SEO-related costume, and I think you can figure this one out on your own. I recommend an all black outfit for one, and all white for the other — but the hat’s the most important part.
If you’re a TV nerd like me and want to make this costume work on two levels, make sure your black and white hats are western hats to pay tribute to two big characters on HBO’s popular new sci-fi show, Westworld.
21) Dancing Girls Emoji
If you’re the owner of one of the nearly 600 million Apple iPhones sold worldwide, you’re probably familiar with the girls emoji:
Source: Brit + Co
The easiest version of this costume is to find a buddy and dress all in black together. If you’re committed to emoji authenticity, buy black bunny ears to complete the look.
22) Series A Round of Funding
Get a bunch of people together, write the letter “A” on your shirt, and line up. (You could do subsequent funding rounds using the same principle, too.)
23) Snapchat Filters
Here’s another group costume idea that pays tribute to Snapchat’s filters feature.
There are numerous options that you and your team can choose from to embody this costume. You could dress up as vomiting rainbows, cat and dog ears, a flower crown, or a face swap, and this could be as DIY or store-bought as you’re interested in pursuing. For example, here’s some inspiration for a couple of the dog filters:
24) BuzzFeed Reactions
Here’s an easy group costume for a big crew. Everyone dresses in yellow and writes one of the following in big black letters on their shirt.
Just be sure to sign up for a reaction fast, or you’ll be dressing up as “fail” this year.
25) Snapchat Ghosts
Snapchat has exploded in popularity this year, so put a marketing spin on a classic Halloween costume by arriving as a Snapchat ghost. You’ll all need a white sheet and to pick which ghost you like the most.
26) Instagram Filters
For this group costume, you’ll need white t-shirts and fabric markers. Draw an Instagram photo frame on the front of your shirts, and each teach member can write a different Instagram filter‘s name inside the photo frame. Or, create frame props with different filters on them like the group did below:
Source: Nails Magazine
Is your office dressing up this year? What costume will you be sporting? Share with us in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated for freshness and comprehensiveness.