With Halloween rearing its jack-o-lantern head at us, it’s hard to find costumes that aren’t “Greta the German Barmaid” or “Slutty Insert-Occupation-Here.” There are ways to dress up for Halloween without bearing all — in fact, it’s even possible to get away with many of these costumes at the office.
1. Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction
You have: White long dress shirt, black crop pants, mad “Twist and Shout” skills
Just add: Black Cleopatra wig, Jack Rabbit Slims Twist Contest trophy
Marcellus Wallace’s wife had style and attitude, but her look is just as conducive to the office as it is to the dance floor.
2. Lydia from Breaking Bad
You have: Business attire, French twist-able hair,
Just add: Stevia packets. LOTS of Stevia packets.
Continue the Breaking Bad mourning process with a Halloween homage to one of its most professional characters.
3. Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) from The Dark Knight Rises
You have: Little black dress, string of pearls, black heels or boots
Just add: Cat ears, black masquerade mask, ninja moves
Catwoman doesn’t always dress in a black skin suit. Take on her classier side with a look that can transfer from day to night as easily as Selina Kyle’s burglar skills.
4. Michonne from Walking Dead
You have: Dreadlocks, khaki pants, riding boots
Just add: Katana, two armless Walkers on chains
If you have a job that lets you bring a samurai sword to the office, don’t quit. For those of us in weapon-free work environments, leave the katana for the after-work party or substitute with a kid’s toy propped up against the side of your desk.
5. Marla from Fight Club
You have: Secondhand bridesmaid dress, preferably pink with moldy lace
Just add: Sunglasses, fake fur coat, “Hello, My Name Is Marla” nametag
Make this a couple costume by going with your very own Tyler Durden — whether it’s the Edward Norton or Brad Pitt version is your call.
6. Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
You have: Little black dress, rhinestone necklace
Just add: Cup of coffee, cigarette holder and a Danish
If Audrey Hepburn is your gal, but Holly isn’t your favorite, try dressing as her character in Funny Face with a pair of black skinny jeans, flats and a black turtleneck.
7. Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games
You have: Pink ruffled coat, silk flowers, makeup in every color imagineable
Just add: Big Dolly Parton-style wig, lots of tweed
Emulate the most vibrant character in Panem by taking advantage of bright makeup, wild nails and over-the-top fashion. End all conversations with your coworkers with “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
8. Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City
You have: Avant-garde ‘90s outfit, pair of Manolo-Blahniks, issue of Vogue
Just add: Gold “Carrie” necklace, bedazzled swan purse
Any of the SATC gals make a good costume, but Carrie is the classic. Goes well with a date with Mr. Big after work.
9. Joan Halloway from Mad Men
You have: 1960s-style work dress, high heels, skinny scarf
Just add: Pen necklace, pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes
Take on the curvaceous, tough secretary-turned-office-manager of Sterling Cooper with a retro office look that doesn’t necessarily deviate from today’s trends (except for the cigarettes, of course).
10. Judy Funnie from Doug
You have: Black leggings, purple tunic sweater, sunglasses
Just add: Purple beret, thick books, purple combat boots
Who says you have to stick to modern adult characters? Revert back to your 90s childhood by playing Doug Funnie’s older sister, the original hipster.
Kate Everson is a Chicago journalist and University of Missouri alumna. By day she is an associate editor for four HR industry magazines. By night, she reviews films, outlines fiction novels with tough female leads and dreams of being the first person to win two Oscars in the same night for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay. When her fingers aren’t getting exercise bouncing across her keyboard, she’s reading Palahniuk and Vonnegut, practicing her Batgirl skills in the dojo or waiting by the mailbox for her Hogwarts letter. As Katharine Hepburn said: “Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting.”