Halloween costume ideas for the new global economy

Dressing up is not only for the unprofessional.
Dressing up is not only for the unprofessional.
Image: Reuters/Lucas Jackson
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Coming up with a great Halloween costume is tricky. But coming up with one that tells people you are a switched-on, globally aware business professional? That’s damn near impossible.

We have compiled a list of the best DIY costumes that say, “I mean business.” Dressing up for Halloween may primarily be an American tradition, but these costumes will impress your friends and colleagues at any Halloween party in the world. And who knows, such a well-thought-out costume could even earn you a promotion.

 *   *   *

Unicorn: No animal says “achievable success” like the unicorn, which exists only in myth. Wrap some white or pastel-colored masking tape around a party hat and affix the hat to your head—you’re on your way to starting a $1 billion company.

Mark Zuckerberg: If you are a computer programmer, you’re probably already wearing this costume, which consists of 1) a monochrome, zipped-up hoodie and 2) jeans. Look the part of the world’s foremost internet billionaire.

Sexy Mark Zuckerberg: Unzip the hoodie.

John Stumpf: Dress like this year’s quintessential disgraced executive in a suit, red tie, and bandage on your right hand. Instead of candy, give tricker-or-treaters credit cards that you have opened without their knowledge or permission.

=VLOOKUP: Someone dressed as this handy Excel function will be instrumental in sorting through the spreadsheet of costume contest scores.

Tax inversion: Dress in over-the-top American garb (maybe even a full Uncle Sam outfit) but insist that you are actually Irish and speak in a thick Dublin brogue.

Shell company: Wear the disguise of any boring, normal person other than yourself.

Pro forma earnings: Pick a few of your most flattering features and give them the star treatment (think luxurious lipstick or some other fancy accessory). Cover everything else in gray, so as not to draw attention to it.

Brexiteer: Wrap yourself in a Union Jack flag and carry a copy of the Lisbon Treaty (open to the section about Article 50). While mingling, loudly proclaim how much better it would be if you were chatting to a different group at the far end the room.

The falling pound: Walk behind the Brexiteer, fall over every fifth step (sterling is down 20% against the dollar since Brexit).

Putin Puppet: Put on a marionette costume and a Russian ushanka hat. If somebody asks what you are, say, “You’re the puppet!

Analyst on a conference call: Standard-issue blue dress shirt and work slacks. Enthusiastically compliment everything around you. (“Great party, guys” “Great costumes, guys” “Great cocktail, guys.”) Also, call everyone “guys.”

Davos Man: Suit and tie with snow boots is the go-to outfit for attendees to this elite conference. Helps if you are a white guy.

Libor: Go wherever Davos Man tells you to go.

Volkswagen: Don’t shower for a week. Wear a brand-new suit and lots of perfume. Over the course of the evening the fragrance will fade and reveal how dirty you actually are.

Elon Musk: Wear whatever you are already wearing, but aggressively tell others that they lack ambition and that you plan to travel to Alpha Centauri next summer.

The IMF: Bring scissors, give everyone haircuts (especially the Greeks).

China’s GDP: Wear the largest platform shoes you can find and calmly insist that you grew exactly 6.7% taller since last year.

Zombie bank: Don a zombie costume and carry an unreasonable amount of cash.

Sexy high-frequency trading algorithm: Wear any sexy outfit and tell everyone, “I’m dressed as a sexy high-frequency trading algorithm.”

Athprofessional: Yoga pants, tank top, sneakers, and a yoga mat across your shoulder. You walk into meetings with a calm that says you just did yoga or are about to do yoga.

Synergy: Dress like the Athprofessional and try to get as many people as possible to hold hands at once.

Credit Default Swap: If somebody brings Halloween candy, take some. If somebody asks you for candy, run away.

Jack Ma: Normal business attire but with shirts that have cooler collars. To pull this one off convincingly you’ll have to always appear one or two steps ahead of your competitors.

Adam Smith: Don’t bother going to the party, but insist that you had a subtle and unseen impact on it.