This is the second post in a series on costumes that are SFW (Safe For Work).
Most people have a favorite animal. Whether it’s wild or domestic, there’s just something about that particular creature that inspires both fascination and office decor. For people who have an office or desk surrounded by photos of the family pet(s), a calendar featuring a specific wild animal or little signs that say things like “one cat away from the crazy cat lady” or “dog is my co-pilot,” the favorite-animal costume is a good way to go.
Simplicity and Flexibility
These days, animal costumes are particularly easy to pull together because of the popularity of animal-themed winter hats and hoodies. Couple your favorite cat t-shirt with a cat hat and/or hoodie and the costume is complete.
One of the advantages to selecting an animal themed costume is flexibility. A hoodie or hat are more than sufficient, but it’s easy to add gloves, makeup and a tail if you want to get more elaborate.
Costume appropriateness is dictated by circumstance and audience. If you are a manager of a large department, attending the company Halloween party dressed as a snake many not be the best possible choice. However, if you are an active member of the local herpetology society, then wearing your herpetologist t-shirt and coupling it with a pith helmet may be a politically and socially appropriate option.
Blame It On The Kids
If the company Halloween party is a family affair, the animal-theme is a perfect work and family friendly option. Select a general animal grouping (e.g.: ‘canines’ include wolves, dogs, coyotes, werewolves, etc.) and let every member of the family choose a costume from that category. If you arrive as a lion accompanied by a tiger, a leopard and a house-cat, the theme will still be obvious.
If anyone asks, you can point to the family and insist it was their idea. When it’s time to take pictures, surround yourself with costumed-kin and the message will be clear – I did it for the kids (and aren’t they adorable?)
It also presents the perfect opportunity to playfully express your odd-man-out status. if you are a dog-person living in a house full of cat-people (or a wolf-fanatic surrounded by poodle fans), then dress accordingly. It will generate opportunities for fun conversation.
If you work for or own a company with an animal logo, dressing up as that animal may be a little over-the-top. Pride in your work is important, but temper that with some political common sense. Halloween is supposed to be a fun time and using it as an obvious opportunity-for-marketing-and-promotion tends to take away from the fun.
The animal costume is often a fun way to indulge in a little nostalgia. Spend a few moments with those childhood memories of playing pretend and give yourself the gift of freedom-to-play for one night.
Halloween is a time when adults dress up along with the kids and play pretend for a little while. It may not be the elaborate classic-childhood story-telling and running-around version of the pretend game, but it involves a costume and that allows for moments of story-making and the occasional animal sound.
If the entire family shows up dressed as owls, it is both allowed and expected that mommy and daddy will hoot like an owl (along with the kids) from time to time. That’s just family fun. It’s what people do on Halloween. Take advantage of the opportunity and play.