Halloween is a fun holiday, but it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves — especially if it falls on a weekday when most people have to work. Fortunately, there is still a way to indulge in the spooky holiday while in the office — dress up and join your office’s Halloween festivities!
How many days of the year are you encouraged to dress up and goof around at work? Probably just one — Halloween — and even then, it can be hard to know what’s office-appropriate.
We want you to have fun this year, 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 perfect for the digital marketer or tech professional.
If your family and friends don’t get your costume, your colleagues definitely will.
40 Office Costume Ideas for Marketing Nerds & Tech Geeks
Computer or App-Related Costumes
1. Incognito Mode Costume
If you’re looking for a dash of mystery and clever internet humor, dressing up as the Incognito Mode logo is your best bet. The costume is simple and there’s a good chance you already have most of the materials you need around your home.
Here’s what you’ll need:
A black fedora or cowboy hat
Weak or fake reading glasses with a thin frame
A black suit coat and dress pants
A black mask
A white or black dress shirt
Image source: Instructables Craft
2. Web Browers
This costume is great because you can either dress up as your favorite web browser on your own, or you can have your friends join in on the fun and make it a group costume.
Either way, it’s a simple and cost-effective costume for your next office party. Just print the browser logos, cut them out, and wear them around your neck with a string or ribbon. For the rest of the outfit, you can color coordinate using the clothes you have at home.
Image source: Pinterest
3. Alt Text
Alt text isn’t just the metadata of an image published on the web — you could also say it’s an “alternative” fashion statement with the text to describe the era. 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.
To dress as alt text this Halloween, break out your best 90s alternative garb — like black jeans, combat boots, and a flannel. Then, tape hyphenated text that best describes what you’re wearing, much like an image of your outfit would do online to help search engines read the file.
We edited a sash of alt text onto the alternatively dressed girl below, just to help you picture your awesome costume.
Source: That’s Life
4. Mobile App
Wander around holding an appetizer — candy, cheese and crackers, chips and dip, or whatever you have on hand — and you can call yourself a mobile “app.”
This costume also doubles as a great way to introduce yourself and make friends at a party.
Have you ever written something for somebody else’s byline? Such is the life of a “ghostwriter.” Turn your author-less accomplishment into this year’s office Halloween costume.
To dress up as a ghostwriter, grab a white sheet and cut a hole for your head and arms. Dab some black ink spots on the sheet, get a book and one of those feather quills (or just get a feather, I suppose), and boo — you’re a ghostwriter.
Whitespace on the internet might just denote all the blank space you use to help your design stand out, but on Halloween, “whitespace” isn’t just the absence of space.
Dress in all white — add 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 “whitespace.”
7. Error 404 Code
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.
A photo posted by RachAel Klopfenstein (@theklopf) on Sep 5, 2015 at 12:33pm PDT
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:
Image Source: Sweety High
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.
Image Source: WikiHow
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. Check out an amusing version of this costume below.
Image Source: Car and Driver
“CNTRL + C” is the popular keyboard macro allowing you to copy items from one place to another on your computer. Well, 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 “CNTRL + C” on the paper, tape it to your outfit, and you’re a “copycat.”
Image Source: BuzzFeed
13. The Blue Screen of Death
You know the screen, even if you don’t know the morbid nickname the tech world has given it. This classic error screen is known for signaling the end of a computer’s useful life, and you know it when you see it. It causes so much stress on site, in fact, that the color alone is scary enough for Halloween.
Believe it or not, there are T-shirts of this ominous screen you can find online. Want to make your own? All you need is a royal blue t-shirt and a printed version of this horrifying error message to pin to it.
Image Source: Spreadshirt
14. GPS Costume
This will work best with two people. You can cut a Point A and Point B pin shape out of cardboard, paint them red, and write A and B on both pieces. From there, you can personalize the costume however you’d like. You can even get more intricate by finding a T-Shirt with a map on it.
Image Source: Pinterest
15. Dead Battery and Low Wi-Fi
Nothing is more terrifying than a dead battery or no Wi-Fi. This costume brings every techy’s fears to life. It’s also pretty simple to create. Just tape or glue images of dead Wi-Fi and low battery signals onto a black shirt. To emphasize the low-connectivity fears, put on some zombie or skeleton makeup.
Although this can work as a couple’s costume, this could also be a fun option for office colleagues. Since both costumes within the set don’t rely on each other to be understandable, an individual could also wear either the Dead Battery outfit or the No-Wi-Fi suit and still be easily recognized.
Image Source: Pinterest
16. Information Desk Girl
This genius professional found a golden (or, rather, purple) opportunity to be the information desk emoji — the many gestures that we’ve all come to know, love, and use at some point in a text conversation.
The best part about this awesome tech reference is that you don’t need to alter your regular attire to make it work. As Naomi shows us below, it’s all in the hand gestures.
A post shared by Naomi (@naomi_yyz) on Oct 30, 2015 at 3:26pm PDT
17. Dancing Girls Emoji
If you’re the owner of one of the 2.2 billion Apple iPhones sold worldwide, you’re probably familiar with the dancing girls emoji, shown below.
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.
Image Source: Brit + Co
18. Heart Eyes
Are you just in love with Halloween? Prove it with this passionate emoji face. You don’t have to paint your entire face to get the Heart Eyes Emoji just right, but it certainly helps. It’ll also disguise your stress when you’re at your most focused during the day.
“This employee just seems to love her job, I can’t put my finger on why,” your manager will think. See how to paint this emoji onto your face below — you’ll need some help with this one.
Topical Office Costumes
19. 1920s Flapper
The best part about dressing up as a flapper for Halloween is that this fun outfit can be found easily online at affordable prices, or you can assemble it using whatever you have at home or find at the craft store.
The latter is what interior designer and DIY enthusiast Mandi Johnson did last year. She found a simple black dress and managed to make all the jewelry, accessories, and fringe items from materials she bought at a crafts shop.
Image source: A Beautiful Mess
20. Minnie Mouse Costume
You can never go wrong with the classics. Minnie Mouse is a timeless, simple, and inexpensive costume that never goes out of style. And if your Halloween office party allows for a plus one, you can invite your spouse or significant other to dress up as Mickey. Who doesn’t love a cute couple’s costume?
Image source: Pinterest
21. Top Gun
Top Gun-inspired costumes will likely see a boost in popularity this Halloween thanks to the 2022 sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.” While you can find the signature green jumpsuits online for a decent price, you can also put the outfit together at home if you have jeans, a white shirt, a jacket, and sunglasses lying around.
Image source: IMP Awards
22. Formal Apology
Ever bought formal attire for a special occasion and never worn it again? Well, now you have an excuse to bring your formal pieces out of retirement. Dress up as a “formal apology,” because nothing says “quirky office party” like a good play on words. Simply dress up in your formal dress or suit, and have a sign or sash that reads “apology” or “sorry.”
Image source: Good Housekeeping
23. Men in Black
This is a great costume to pull off with your best friend at the office, especially if you already have a suit lying around.
Image source: Pinterest
24. Fully Vested
At work, “fully vested” usually refers to one’s ability to earn all matching funds of a 401(k) retirement plan. But for some, you just can’t help but picture someone wearing lots of sleeveless jackets at the same time. Now’s the time to personify that image.
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 accessories — such as a magic wand, book, or lightsaber — to complete the effect.
26. Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus
The Sanderson Sisters made a comeback in Hocus Pocus 2, which streamed on Disney+ this year — so they’ll likely be a popular costume this Halloween season that will be easy to find at any costume store.
Image source: NBC News
27. Eddie Munson from Stranger Things
Eddie Munson was a fan favorite in the latest season of Stranger Things, and his outfit is pretty easy to put together. If you have a jean vest or jacket at home, you’re already halfway to the look. You can also find Eddie’s Hellfire Club shirt at Target or Walmart for less than $20.
Want to do something cheeky, but still office friendly? This is PG pun costume shares the name of a popular romantic novel and film, “50 Shades of Grey.”
Go to your local paint or hardware store and buy 50 grey paint swatches. Then, tape them to a black shirt and tell your colleagues you’re, “50 Shades of Grey.”
29. Early 2000s Disney Red Carpet Fashion
If you’ve been on social media at all, you’ve likely noticed old red-carpet photos of Disney Channel stars like Ashley Tisdale re-circulating online. Early 2000s Disney fashion was interesting, to say the least, and would make a fun nostalgic costume.
The best part about this idea is that there is a lot of room to improvise. The wilder the accessories the better — and you can likely use almost anything from your closet. Want to wear a skirt over jeans? Or add a chunky belt to the ensemble? The possibilities are endless.
Image source: Twitter
30. Eleven from Stranger Things
Eleven from 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 Eleven with a dress, a denim jacket, and a box of Eggo Waffles.
Source: Business Insider
31. Scoops Ahoy Employee from Stranger Things
While Eleven is an absolute classic Stranger Things character, season two inspired another great costume opportunity. In that season, Steve, played by Joe Keery, worked at an ice cream shop called Scoops Ahoy. As a server, he had to wear a goofy sailor uniform alongside his coworker Robin.
Since it’s a pretty generic sailor uniform, you might be able to easily find one that’s similar in a variety of Halloween shops. This costume could work for both individuals or two colleagues.
Ahoy Ladies! 😏⚓️ I LOVED Robin in Stranger Things Season 3 ♥️ what about you? Did you like the new season? #strangerthings #strangerthings2 #strangerthings3 #scoopsahoy #scoopsahoycosplay #scoopstroop #robincosplay #robinbuckley #robinbuckleycosplay #robinbuckleyedit #steveharrington #strangerthingscosplayer #strangerthingscosplay #strangerthingsnetflix
A post shared by Inken (@quialastaris) on Oct 15, 2019 at 9:13am PDT
32. Dress Up as Your Favorite Anime Character
Anime is seeing a huge surge in popularity, and if you’re an anime fan — why not dress up as your favorite character? Just make sure it’s office appropriate. Some great work-appropriate characters include Aizawa from My Hero Academia, Nanami from Jujutsu Kaisen, and Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Group Office Costumes
33. The Sales Lifecycle
At HubSpot, we love embracing team costumes. A few years ago, a handful of HubSpot employees grabbed some T-Shirts and wrote the stages of the sales lifecycle on them. Then they lined up accordingly and passed a fake prospect listing around to symbolize the process of making a sale. This was such an easy costume to coordinate that the team could even include an out-of-office employee over a video call.
Source: Maggie Bomze, Principal Customer Success Manager of Strategic Accounts at HubSpot
34. Social Media Channels
While this Pinterest image shows classmates posing as major social media networks, this could easily be modified to fit the office setting.
Simply pick out a solid list of the hottest social networks, then buy blank T-Shirts that match the colors of each platform. From there, you can either draw, tape, or glue the logos onto each shirt. If you’re not interested in the tutus worn below, you could also find matching pants, or just wear jeans and keep things simple.
35. 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?” Trust me when I say it’s a thing. Also, we checked Amazon for hummingbird costumes, and there aren’t any cheap ones available.
Source: Opportunity Max
36. Black Hat and White Hat SEO
This is another SEO-related costume, and I think you can figure this one out on your own. I recommend wearing a black hat for one, and a white hat for the other, and having “SEO” embroidered on each one — which you can easily custom order.
37. 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:
38. Snapchat Ghosts
Put a marketing spin on a classic Halloween costume by arriving as a Snapchat ghost. All you’ll need is a white sheet and to pick which ghost you like the most.
39. PAC-MAN and Company
Here’s yet another awesome ghostly costume idea your whole team at work can get in on. Have your team lead wear the yellow pie-shaped garb of PAC-MAN, with each team member dressed as the multi-colored ghosts that roam the screen in this vintage arcade game.
Just make sure the team lead doesn’t actually try to eat the ghosts — you’re in an office, and you’re all technically on the same team.
40. 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 team member can write a different Instagram filter‘s name inside the photo frame. Or, create frame props with different filters on them as the group did below:
Source: Nails Magazine
The clothes don’t make the marketer, but the costume can certainly make the culture at your company. Now that you have plenty of ideas for fun, work-appropriate Halloween attire, you’re ready to wow your coworkers at your next spooky office party.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published October 21, 2018 but was updated in October of 2022 for comprehensiveness.