Halloween Office Party Etiquette

Is your office planning a Halloween party or Fall celebration? Before you go costume shopping or start baking sweet delights, here are a few do’s and don’ts for good Halloween office party etiquette to make the party more fun:

    1. Do participate. Sure, you may feel a little silly getting dressed up for Halloween as an adult, but it’s far better to a part of the team than to be the only one not wearing a costume. You will definitely stand out – but not in a good way.
    2. Don’t opt for a racy or controversial costume.  When you make that trip to the Halloween store, you may be surprised to find that many of the grown up outfits are provocative or otherwise inappropriate.  Ladies, steer clear of anything too short, too low or too tight.  Guys, stay far, far away from political costumes and anything else that could remotely be deemed in poor taste. 
    3. Do consider the workday. Find out if your office mates will be wearing their costumes all day long and take this into consideration when putting your look together. Wear a costume that can comfortably be worn throughout the day with a little modification, or bring a change of clothes if there is a chance you will be called out for a client meeting.  
    4. Do keep treats allergy free.  Before adding peanut butter to your favorite brownie recipe, remember to be courteous to coworkers with food allergies. Treats like candy corn and chocolate kisses are easily recognizable and a safer bet. When in doubt, ask.
    5. Do offer to be part of the planning committee. This ensures that you have some voice in the direction of the party and party games. (You hate Twister so vote “no” when the idea is suggested!) Offer to bring your famous cake pops, help pass out treat bags or clean up after the party. This is a great time to showcase that you’re a team player, willing to pitch in for the good of the group.
    6. Don’t forget you have a job to do.  Just because you are playing dress up doesn’t mean you can ignore your responsibilities at work. Answer your telephone, check your email, stay focused on your job, before and after the party (assuming you are having an afternoon party before end of the work day).

I’d love to see your Halloween office photos. Please share them with me on my Facebook page or tweet me @dianegottsman

Trick or treat,


Diane Gottsman

Diane Gottsman is a national etiquette expert and modern manners professional, sought out industry leader, television personality, accomplished speaker, Huffington Post blogger, author, and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in executive leadership and etiquette training. Diane is routinely quoted in national and international media including The New York Times, The BBC, CNN, Bloomberg Business Week, Kiplinger, Huffington Post Canada, U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes. She is the resident etiquette expert for two popular morning talk shows, SA Living and Good Day Austin. She has been seen on The TODAY Show, HLN Headline News, WGN Chicago, and CBS Sunday Morning. Her clients range from university students to Fortune 500 companies and her workshops cover topics ranging from tattoos in the workplace to technology at the dinner table and the proper use of social media.


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