Halloween is nearly here. Don’t let choosing a Halloween costume scare you. There’s costume inspiration everywhere — including in government.
If you think that something from government can’t become a memorable yet easy-to-make Halloween costume, think again. Far from dry and boring, each of these clever ideas has a funny twist to make you a hit at any Halloween party.
The State Department’s Cat Pajama-Jam
People in need of a comfortable Halloween costume rejoiced when the U.S. State Department accidentally emailed a meeting invite to a “Cat Pajama-Jam” party with an adorable photo of a cat wearing a Cookie Monster onesie holding a plate of chocolate chip cookies. Create an adult-sized Cat Pajama-Jam costume by ironing a pair of Cookie Monster patches onto the feet of footed pajamas. Transform into a cat in whichever way you’re comfortable, whether that’s with a full-sized mask or a simple set of cats ears and drawn-on whiskers. You’ll be on your way to winning the office costume party if you bake a batch of homemade cookies to share with everyone.
What you’ll need for this costume: blue footed hoodie pajamas, two Cookie Monster iron-patches, cat mask and paws (or just a half-face cat mask or cat ears), paper plate, and fake cookies or homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Earlier this year, the administration announced its vision for Space Force, the sixth branch of the military. Since official plans are still in the works, you’re free to imagine a stellar Space Force costume. There’s no air in the cold depths of space, so you’ll need a retro space helmet. Make a suitably patriotic flight suit with star flourishes on a set of coveralls, plus heroic boots and gloves. Print out and pin one of the six Space Force logo ideas to your chest. Add an insignia giving yourself a military rank commensurate with the skills you’ll bring to Space Force. Complete your look with an American flag shoulder patch so everyone you meet in space knows you’re from the U.S. of A.
Anonymous sources have been popping up everywhere, from the pages of high-profile newspaper op-eds to the tweets of the president. Obscure your true identity by putting a brown paper bag over your head (cut out a pair of eye holes) or with a set of novelty fake nose, eyebrows and glasses — or double down on the humor with both. Wear clothing printed with newsprint, or make your own newsy outfit by gluing newspaper to old clothing (an easy craft with spray glue). For some noir-style intrigue, add a classic trench coat to your Anonymous Source costume. Top it all with an oversized question mark and people will speculate about your identity all Halloween.
What you’ll need for this costume: newsprint t-shirt or other newspaper-printed clothing, spray glue adhesive, trench coat, paper bag, novelty fake nose, eyebrows, and glasses and oversized question mark.
Animal Control Officer
Superhero costumes are always popular on Halloween, and Animal Control officers are government’s heroes of a healthy habitat. This comfortable Halloween look is easy to put together. Practical workwear just needs a few accessories. Start by making your own animal control badge. Carry an oversized net or other humane tool for catching animals. Tote your pet with you to the Halloween party, or complete your Animal Control Officer costume by securing a pair of stuffed animals to your shoulders so you’re never without a few rescued friends.
Halloween wouldn’t be the same without a costume that sends chills down people’s spines. With all the cyber hacks that have been happening, one of a government employee’s greatest fears is having their identity stolen. Face your fears by wearing an Identity Thief costume this Halloween. Bonus: It’s one of the easiest costumes to make. Just write the names of your friends or coworkers on some “Hello, My Name Is ___” stickers and stick them all over an all-black outfit. Add a black knit cap and bandit mask to make your thievery clear.
Tracy Flick from Election
The midterm elections are right after Halloween. While government employees should avoid costumes that are overtly partisan, you can still infuse your Halloween with a little election fever. In the movie Election, actress Reese Witherspoon plays Tracy Flick, an overzealous candidate for high school political office. Tracy Flick costume essentials include a sweater vest, a plaid skirt, knit tights and a blonde wig. Make your own “Pick Flick” button, and you’ll be ready to start campaigning.
Looking for other easy costumes? Here are even more Halloween costume ideas inspired by government.
Lauren Girardin is a marketing and communications consultant, freelance writer, and trainer based in San Francisco. She helps organizations engage their communities and tell their stories. Her website is laurengirardin.com and you can connect with her on Twitter at @girardinl.