HR Strange But True!
October 28, 2010

A website hosted by experts from the fashion industry cautions that you’d better be careful when selecting costumes to wear in the workplace lest you offend someone—or hurt your career by looking unprofessional.

“Appropriate” is the keyword. Think about your company culture, your coworkers’ sensibilities, and your own workplace image when choosing a costume. Avoid anything “revealing, lewd, crude,” says the website, or “discriminatory, … religious, or controversial.” Remember that the purpose of a company celebration is to bring people together, not apart.

The panel suggests that while there are thousands of costumes to choose from on the Internet, home-created costumes are best because they are unique, fit well, and can be fine-tuned for appropriateness and comfort. They are usually less expensive, too.

Definitely a no-no for workplace festivities are costumes you’d wear to a home party or club, i.e., skimpy, tight, or with clingy fabrics, such as lame, latex, or patent vinyl, or anything see-through.

Also, since work costumes have to be worn most of the day, comfortable materials are wise. The type of job—and safety—must also be taken into consideration. For example, flowing sleeves are dangerous around machinery, and some fabrics would be inappropriate near hot work.

The safest bet? Something unrevealing and inoffensive. The recommendation of the panel at is dress as your dream career, which is safe for both men and women.

The website suggests these careers: fireman, sailor, police officer (wait, this sounds like the Village People!) or nurse. HRSBT says dress like your dream career, but not like your boss.


Halloween Fabrics

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