I love Santa Claus and his cadre of eight tiny reindeer just a much as the next gal, but as far as the holidays go—Halloween wins. Visions of rotting my teeth out with a bucket o’ Skittles while “on a break” from handing out candy dance in my head. I’ve been a car mechanic, Medusa (an angsty little 8th grader with sprayed green hair and artfully arranged bobby-pinned plastic snakes), and Michael Jackson (twice! I don’t know why my mom didn’t stop me).
Questionable parental judgment aside, this year, I’ve been assigned the tricky task of making sure you’ve got an incredible (yet office-appropriate) costume. We all know showing up as a sexy sailor, nurse, cat, or pirate isn’t an option—but how can you be creative (and—let’s face it—cute) in something that still looks borderline professional?
Here’s my best suggestion for all you festive 9-to-5ers: Dress up as your favorite cubicle dweller from the big (or small) screen.
1. The Devil Wears Prada
Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway) & Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep)
Grab a buddy for this one. Of course, you’ll have to flip a coin to see who fumbles the lattes and wears the dumpy Gap-style sweater and sensible shoe ensemble versus the coifed sterling wig, black pearls, and power suit. That’s all.
2. Mad Men
Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks) & Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss)
This one is also a team project, albeit mid-century inspired. What’s the fun of being Joan (in a jewel-toned vampy figure-hugging frock) if you can’t light up a candy cigarette and gossip to Peggy (dressed like a church girl) about how your Canadian Club swilling boss is marrying the secretary?
Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith)
The ’80s were definitely a decade of office-inspired film (Wall Street, anyone?) but I know dressing up like a suspendered, heavily hairsprayed Michael Douglas is a hard sell. Try Melanie Griffith’s brand of ’80s office perfection instead: a big perm, padded shoulder suiting with a turtleneck sweater, white Reeboks, and lots of gold jewelry. Even if your officemates don’t get the film reference—it’ll still be fun to flag down a cab dressed like it’s 1988.
4. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Mary Tyler Moore
MTM was the original working girl—a 30-something leaving her fiancé (scandalous for 1970) to relocate to Minnesota in a white Mustang. She is instantly hired to work for a local TV station and proceeds to take over the world in her miniskirt and tall boots. And, hey, there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same.
Dorothy Michaels (Dustin Hoffman)
If you’ve ever wanted to dress like your grandma, an early ’80s librarian, or Dustin Hoffman—now’s your chance. Get thee to a high-necked pastel or floral dress with ruffles and a bow, a pair of rose-framed glasses on a chain, and a strand of knotted pearls, and you’re on your way. There’s absolutely no reason you can’t play a (male) out-of-work actor who dresses like a lady to audition for hospital administrator in a soap opera (although—you may have to pencil in that 5 o’clock shadow.)
Happy Halloween from The Daily Muse!
Varci Vartanian is a jack (er, Jill) of all trades. After a successful career in healthcare, she traded her lab coat for her current position as chief temper tantrum tamer/play date consultant for her two-year-old. She also enjoys writing short stories, freelance magazine work, and carbohydrates.More from this Author