What's the Wackiest Dress Code You've Ever Seen?

From motorcycle gang attire to an "Anything but Clothes" theme, event planners share the craziest dress codes they've seen—or dreamed up.

By Ian Zelaya October 19, 2015, 7:00 AM EDT

(From left to right) Jason Allan Scott, Selina Christine Mullenax, Danielle M. Alexander

Photos: Courtesy of Readers

“I produced a gala once that was for a technology-focused jobs development organization. The event had a geek-theme dress code, and guests could stop by our Geek Boutique table to dress up their outfits with bandaged glasses, flashing rings, bow ties, and other ‘geeky’ gear.”
Danielle M. Alexander, owner and director of special events, Posh 5 Productions, Los Angeles 

“At a sales launch in the food industry, everyone on the marketing staff was asked to dress like the product they were introducing. I was training on shortening, which was a difficult costume. I got a giant box and had the manufacturing plant send labels. We had chickens and other weird costumes, but it was a good laugh.”
Robin Rinehart, president, Rinehart Design and Consulting, Sacramento, California

“We decided to have a little fun with the attire for our 2013 Catalina Island Conservancy Ball, the theme of which was ‘Camp Catalina.’ We tied in the glamping style and encouraged guests to play along. We had a variety of outfits the night of the event, from bedazzled hiking boots with ball gowns to pith helmets and tuxedos, and even some guests accessorizing with vintage scout uniforms and canteens.”
Jen Poyer, senior special events manager, Catalina Island Conservancy, Long Beach, California

“We were hired to produce a ‘Light Up the Night’ event as the closing reception for an association’s annual conference at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas earlier this year. To encourage the theme, we had ‘party motivators’ dressed in LED costumes, handing out glow sticks for attendees to wear.”
Selina Christine Mullenax, account executive, Exhilirate, Orlando

“We had a Harley Davidson-theme corporate group event. Everyone was dressed in leathers, bandannas, biker vests, fake tattoos, fake five-o’clock shadows, mustaches, and leather boots. The ladies had similar gear. The planner even rented motorcycles and offered rides around the valet area. The owner was unaware of the event, and he flipped out. We had to explain that the group was actually executives dressed for an event!”
Mike Duseberg, magician, Michael Duseberg Inc., Stuart, Florida

“An ‘Anything but Clothes’ theme where guests were encouraged to get creative and utilize different materials besides fabric for their garb. There was bubble wrap, trash bins and bags, packing peanuts, cellophane wrap, flowers, and empty containers. It was amazing to see how creative everyone was.”
Erica Urban, owner, Urban Event Planners, Chicago

“Coming out of the recession in 2010, companies were holding ‘redundancies or layoff parties.’ Every time a company asked me how they could go about this, I would put forward a ‘Dress to Distress’ party theme. The staff members’ outfits included baggy T-shirts, outfits covered in stains, track bottoms, leggings with oversize white T-shirts, and sneakers and flip-flops.”
Jason Allan Scott, managing director, Hollywood Inc., London, England

Editor's note: Some of these comments were shared by readers on our social media networks. Join our discussions on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

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