Dressing up for Halloween as an adult usually means choosing between a sexified version of a cute animal and something a grandparent might wear while taking the kids trick or treating. That can make picking a costume for a work party like walking through a minefield. You don’t want to end up with something NSFW, but you still want to look cute, professional, and like you put in the effort.
The trick is to look for something modest yet relevant or timeless. For example, these costumes are some of the best adult Halloween costumes for office parties that’ll get you some laughs, maybe an award or two, and they will undoubtedly have you in the spirit of things without making you or anyone uncomfortable. We’ve also got other round-ups on SPY that include Halloween options for work, like best pop culture Halloween costumes and superhero costumes, as well as funny Halloween costumes for couples, and family costumes that allow you to enjoy the holiday with your spouse and/or children. We’ve even got a round-up of sexy couples costumes for when you’re ready to hit adult Halloween parties with your significant other or friends, and more — so be sure to check them out.
That said, when it comes to the best Halloween costumes for work, you’ll want an option that helps you stand out from the crowd without offending your boss or landing you in the HR office. And we’ve got everything you need to take on Halloween at work and more right here.
Take a scroll through our favorite work-appropriate Halloween costumes for 2021 below and decide which one looks like the most fun to you.
1. Harry Potter
Harry Potter costumes are always winners for any Halloween party. Not only are they entirely work-appropriate Halloween costumes, but they’re also widely recognizable and bound to spark conversations among fans of the series.
2. Dr. Evil
Get into the Austin Powers film franchise with this Dr. Evil Halloween costume. This officially licensed outfit is made of 100% polyester and comes with a gray jacket with a mandarin collar and gray pants with pockets and elastic waistband. With this on, you’ll instantly look and feel like “one million dollars!”
3. Military Fighter Pilot
What’s better than Top Gun? Share some musings with your coworkers about the Tom Cruise classic as you don this sleek and easy-to-wear costume at your office’s Halloween party. This purchase includes the flight suit as well as the embroidered patches on the sleeves. It also comes with aviators and the classic Top Gun Maverick stainless-steel dog tags to finish the costume off perfectly. This costume is not just appropriate; it’s simple, recognizable, and a full-body ensemble that shows your commitment to the holiday.
4. Jeff Bezos The Astronaut
Get all dressed up as Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, who went to space this year donning a cowboy hat. Slip into this spacesuit and top it off with a replica of Bezos’ to win the office Halloween party this year.
Related: Best Superhero Halloween Costumes
5. Bob Ross
Every office, every place really, needs the soothing presence of Bob Ross. If you want to jazz the costume up for the office, you can print out a picture of your office or a co-worker with their favorite fluffy little cloud or happy little tree.
6. Nerdy Ned Halloween Costume
Dress up like the devoted work-nerd you are this Halloween with this kitschy and fun costume complete with plaid pants, suspenders, glasses and a bow tie. The shirt isn’t included, so you get to be creative with that style choice. There’s a men’s and women’s version of this costume, but we recommend the men’s as it’s far more work-appropriate.
Read More: Scary Halloween Costumes for Men
7. Old School Rapper
Take it back to the old school while at work this Halloween. Made of 100% cotton, this costume is soft breathable, and comfy to wear all day long. Purchase the bucket hat, gold chain and glasses separately to fully commit to this look.
8. Royal Story Prince Costume
Who doesn’t love a prince in shining armor when it comes to saving the day at work? If you’re the savior of your office, or even if you’re not, charm everyone with this classic prince charming look from California Costumes. It has a pull-on jacket with a hook and loop closure at the back of the collar. It comes with pants with an elastic waist for a comfortable fit, and the belt has a metal buckle with an easy closure for keeping you secure the whole night. Impress your entire office, and then some with this getup pulled straight from a fairytale.
9. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
We’re calling it now. The most popular couples costume for 2021 will be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aka Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Call dibs on the ultimate Halloween duo by ordering the Maskarade Royal Mask Pack. It includes a pair of 2D masks printed with the faces of the royal couple themselves. Each mask has the eyes cut out and an elastic band for securing the mask to your head.
10. Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx has arguably the most distinctive appearance of all time. With the classic Groucho Marx Nose Glasses and a fake cigar prop, not only will everyone recognize you, you’ll be giving yourself a license to make all kinds of old-timey puns. Just make sure to fake puff away while you do it for full effect.
11. Super Mario
It’s Super Mario. Need we say more? Of course, it’s a work-appropriate Halloween costume, but this one is also great because, depending on what you have at home (like overalls), you might only need to buy Mario’s signature red M cap.
12. Yourself on Zoom
If you work in a white-collar job, then you’ve spent the last year-plus on Zoom or another video conferencing service. Going as yourself on Zoom is a bit of a lazy costume, but we’d be willing to bet it will warrant a few chuckles. Even when we’re in person at the office, we still won’t be able to escape Zoom. Just cut a rectangular frame out of the cardboard and use some string or elastic to make a hat. Alternatively, carry the frame in front of your face whenever you’re talking to anyone.
13. Where’s Waldo
If you grew up in the U.S., then you definitely spent time searching for Waldo. It’s a work-appropriate Halloween costume, and anytime anyone finds you, you get to joke about how hard it must have been for them.
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14. Jake from State Farm
Though we suspect nobody at State Farm had any idea just how much of a touchstone Jake from State Farm would become, the helpful fictional insurance agent has become widely recognizable for his polite handling of invasive customer questions. If anyone asks you who you are or what you’re wearing, you know what to do.
15. Hand sanitizer
The COVID-19 pandemic, naturally, is an unavoidable topic in 2021. But rather than overshoot by going as the virus itself, which would not be a good look (remember, the death toll is still on the rise), go as a bottle of hand sanitizer. It’s a lot less glib and gives you a chance to promote just how useful you are.
16. A Strawberry
Strawberries are everyone’s favorite fruit, right? Perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but dressing as a strawberry for Halloween is appropriate for a work party and perfectly cute. Pull this comfy costume on top of any outfit because it’s one size fits most for adults and is made of high-quality material that’s guaranteed to last you through at least the evening.
17. Rasta Men’s Imposta Lightweight Penguin Costume
Who doesn’t love a big fluffy penguin on Halloween? Be the hit of your party without putting in too much effort with this whimsical penguin costume everyone’s bound to remember. This costume includes a polyester outfit, headcover and shoe covers. It’s also super lightweight, so no matter the party’s conditions or your journey to and from, you won’t be weighed down throughout the evening.
21. Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast At Tiffany’s
If you’d rather add a little glam to your office Halloween party, consider dressing as the queen of glam herself, Audrey Hepburn. Her role in Breakfast At Tiffany’s is unforgettable and has inspired thousands of Halloween costumes over the years. Donning a timeless black dress along with gloves, jewels and a cigarette holder will send all the right signals to your coworkers. This costume set comes with a jeweled tiara, fake diamond earrings, a 5-strand pearl choker, long, black gloves and an extendable cigarette holder.
19. Sterling Archer
Though Sterling Archer of Archer won’t be the most recognizable costume, it’s guaranteed to help you identify your co-workers who know what good animated TV is. Plus, the best part about this costume is walking around with a mandatory glass of whiskey — that and letting off a few of Archer’s wisecracks. You can either pick up a full Archer suit or go for his signature turtleneck and slacks look.
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20. Flo from Progressive
Could your coworkers use a little insurance advice? Tell them about Progressive’s “Compare and Save” feature at your Halloween party. While that would be slightly obnoxious any other day, it won’t be the least bit annoying when you’re dressed as Flo from the Progressive commercials. This set is a cute and safe-for-work costume; this set comes with a white apron printed with Progressive across the front, a Flo name tag, an “I love insurance” pin, a wig, and a blue headband. All you need to do is wear your white shirt and pants to complete the look.
21. Your boss
If your boss has a good sense of humor and also dresses predictably, you might be able to get away with dressing up as them. You know what they say: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.