Fun Dress Up For Work Day Ideas

By Alexia Gonzalez on June 16, 2015

For many working adults the thought “I’m so excited for work today” does not usually come to mind. No, the office is not meant to be a playful or silly environment, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of fun every now and then.

For employees to be able to look forward to a day of enjoyment in their professional life is definitely a motivating factor for any given industry. This is especially true in the case of college-aged or recently graduated employees. There is no denying that professionalism is necessary for any working individual, but there is something to be said for employees who feel at ease in their place of employment.

Individuals who enjoy their time at the office tend to be more competent and work more efficiently than those who feel miserable during their 9-5 shift. The level of employee engagement, warmth and sense of a shared purpose is palpable within a business that encourages employee satisfaction.

While this conclusion may be subjective, there’s plenty of hard evidence that shows that happy employees lead directly to better performance and higher profits. Last year revenues increased by an average of 22.2 percent for the 2014 Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these same companies added new employees at a rate that was five times higher than the national average.

In other words, it pays to keep your employees happy. One of the best ways of raising office morale is by simply creating a fun and festive work environment. No, I don’t mean cheesy balloon-a-thons and sing alongs. It simply means a way of encouraging people to manifest their personalities, quirks and passions in an office appropriate manner.

This actually leads to a seamless blend of employee work life and personal life, or allowing them to feel as though they can really be themselves at work. Games, laughter and fun are great stress relievers; they renew and refresh us, and build very real bonds.

A simple, non disruptive, and enjoyable way to allow employees to express their personalities in a fun way is by establishing a designated “dress up at work day.”

This is a unique and cost efficient event that can occur weekly or even monthly, and has the potential to increase creativity for both office interaction and professional purposes.

Of course office etiquette and dress code rules must still apply for these dress up days. Employers should ensure that no offensive or inappropriate attire is worn with the implication of a few simple rules.

To begin, a business casual aesthetic should still apply. This means nothing revealing or overly tight fitting (stress the importance of perpetual professionalism, even during these fun days). No vulgar or offensive wording or symbols should ever be worn in the workplace. Also, the chosen dress up theme must be simple and accessible for all employees. Remember, this is hardly a mandatory thing so be sure not to pick something totally obscure so that no one feels left out.

Think of something people already have in their closets, so that no one has to go out and spend extra money unless willing. Lastly, themes should be age appropriate for a 20 to 40-year-old crowd. Aside from a few simple guidelines, allow employees to express their creativity and feel free to have fun with their dress up choice.

Here are some office dress up day ideas that will be sure to please everyone from the college intern to the CEO.

Dapper Day

“Dapper Day” can be anything vintage inspired yet totally polished with a 1950s-esque flair. Think coats, bow ties, formal hats, feminine dresses, etc.


Promote a nostalgic themed day where employees can pick a favorite decade and dress up in the style of that era.

Johnny Cash Day

This one is simple even for those who aren’t fans of the country star. Just wear all black.

Power Shirt Day

“Power Shirt Day” can go in many directions, but that’s the fun of it. Tell employees to wear a top that empowers them, such as a bright color or a loud pattern. This way people can wear beloved items that they may not feel as comfortable wearing often.

Twin Day

This theme is a great way to encourage bonds and socialization amongst coworkers. Pair up employees to intentionally dress up in matching attire. Be sure to be inclusive and match up triplets in case of an odd numbered population of employees.

College Days

Employees can represent their alma mater by wearing their school’s colors, school sweaters, or even sports jerseys. You can even go as far as to promote a “greek life” environment on this day. For instance, red solo cups in the break room.

Character Day

Have employees dress like a favorite character from either television, movies, or literature.

By Alexia Gonzalez

Uloop Writer
Florida State University
Currently seeking a Master's Degree in Media and Communication Studies with a Certification in Multicultural Marketing. Also an undergraduate Public Speaking Instructor at Florida State University. Along with media studies and marketing, I have extensive experience in journalism, writing for outlets such as the Huffington Post and USA Today. Lover of food, fitness, travel, music, and film. 23 years old and bilingual.

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