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What do you dress up as for Purim?

I dont really dress up for purim, it just seems like to much work and then I can never find something good enough anyway. For the last couple of years I dressed up as a redneck, I am kind of redneck anyway so it wasnt too hard. I basically put on my flannel jacket, a pair of jeans and slung my .30 caliber rifle it, over my shoulder but this year I dont have my stuff together and need to think of something, especially because during the meal I agreed to do a private show for some folks in Crown Heights.

I was thinking about all the classic purim outfits that people have, because lets face it Jewish folks dont have the most imaginative minds and most folks just use the same purim costumes year and year out. This post is about those costumes, the ones that everyone has dressed up in throughout the years.

If you are a boy and are from a normal frum home, chances are you have spent at least three purims as a soldier. You probably had camo, or makeshift camo along with some sort of helmet and a toy gun that looked so fake that no matter how racist the cops going after someone were, they would never be able to say the guy had a gun. Old wild west revolvers with caps are also part of the outfit for poorer families that switch off between the cowboy and the soldier outfit.

I may have even been forced to dress as a cowboy when I was a kid. All you have to do is borrow a hat, which is usually too big and covers your eyes, wear a bandana over your head and have a silver plated toy cap gun, and have fake duels with your buddies.

Not much required, some face paint, a creepy looking mask that smells like the inside of a shofar (have you ever smelled the inside of a shofar? It smells so bad because everyone who blows it doesnt brush their teeth on Rosh Hashanah) You also have to go around screaming, which is fine because there are always fights over candy owenership rights on purim.

Bill Clinton masks were big when I was a kid, as were Nixon masks, mostly because those were two characters that had strange looking heads. I know that Obama masks will be big just based on his gargantuan ears.

Fireman and Policeman:
Every Jewish boy wants to be a policeman, but somewhere along the line they switch and become shomrim and hatzolah members seems like you can run red lights and still become a nursing home administrator.

Queen Esther:
Of course the most popular outfit on purim, although its quite unfortunate that none of the girls are ever of age or matching the profile of Esther being the hottest chick ever. I do wonder if there are slutty queen Esther costumes, has anyone ever seen queen Esther strutting down 13th avenue in a mini skirt?

The Fonze:
Its not these people actually know who the Fonze is, but it seems that it is acceptable for folks to wear leather jackets and jeans on purim. Sunglasses are also popular.

I have never seen anyone dressed as Vashti, but Vashti pre-tale and pimples was probably one cool babe.

Other girls purim costumes:
It seems that my mind as well as my current hosts minds cannot think of any other girl costumes besides for several less popular ones. I guess like most things in Judaism, women are expected to be in the kitchen or on their knees (insert dirty joke here) cleaning up the piles of empty cups and puke left behind by unruly local yeshiva boys who were collecting.

Some other girl costumes include. The Ballerina, cowgirl, kallah, the Im wearing mommies sheitle costume, the mom, the Im dressing as an adult with lipstick and makeup costume, and the matching husband wife outfits that kids never wear, unless they are biblical kids who get married at age 3.

Popular unisex purim costumes:

The only time that frum women can realize their dreams of becoming a rabbi, is on purim. I think that those beards held on by rubber bands make women realize its not for them because they always tear your hair out.

Because every Jewish persons dream is to be a doctor because boys want to cut stuff and girls like the idea of carrying a purse around.

Moms wear wigs and Tattis wear hats, at least according to purim costumes which are the cheapest kind.

Jews love the clown outfit but its really cheesy

This is my outfit last year:

{ 91 comments… add one }
  • JewishMusicKid February 18, 2009, 2:24 PM

    I’m a girl and still just a kid and my purim costumes are pretty interesting. Last purim, I was actually in Costa Rica for one reason or another, so my family went to the shul in San Jose and I tried to dress up as something everyone (no matter of what culture) so I was a tree. My sister told people that I was the tree that Haman was hung on. My outfit consisted of just a regular brown shirt and skirt and a cardboard cutout of a tree that I painted and taped to myself. Haha. The year before that, I was an iPod. People should start to think of more creative costumes, though. I can’t even count how many rabbi, kallah, fireman, and vegetable costumes I’ve seen.

    • Nina February 22, 2011, 4:39 AM

      My brother though, is dressing up as a jewish pirate. He’s going to wear tzitzit over a red or whit shirt, wear boots, blue pants, a bandana and a pirate hat, a sword (of course) and Gelt. 🙂 Admit it, a stroke of genius. 😀
      I always make my family’s purim costumes, because I’m artistic and i know how to sew. It’s very fun. we almost never buy them. except for the swords and stuff.

  • TRS February 18, 2009, 2:29 PM

    I dressed up as a gay dude last year. There’s a picture somewhere on my blog-shouldn’t be too hard to find-just click on the “picture” label.

  • Mikeinmidwood February 18, 2009, 2:53 PM

    Ill always throw a shirt over my head call it a kafia, put on sunglasses, and wallah Im an arab.

  • Janet February 18, 2009, 3:34 PM

    I dressed as Vashti at least one Purim. I’ve also been the kohein gadol.

  • cma February 18, 2009, 3:51 PM

    hey im from south carolina so rednecks are cool!

  • Phil February 18, 2009, 3:52 PM

    I think you should dress up like a Lubab yechi dude being that you’re going to be in CH, you’ll blend right in.

    Dumbest costume I ever did was a KKK right after Mississippi burning came out. You should have seen the looks I got when going to deliver mishloach manos, surprisingly I didn’t get killed crossing the “hood”.

    Last year, I did see some slutty queen esther costumes in pics of a Manhattan party I was invited to last but didn’t attend. Kind of funny and sad at the same time.

    BTW, not everyone agrees that she was too hot, one opinion says she was actually green, which made the miracle even bigger as everybody liked her despite it.

  • Anonymous February 18, 2009, 4:05 PM

    You can always crash the party by going as Jesus Christ

  • cma February 18, 2009, 4:18 PM

    oh and shofars– they stink even before use.. its just the way they are— a part of an animal. Thanks to a travelling shofar-making exhibit I know that and when you go to sand down the shofar– it becomes unbearable!!!

  • JewishMusicKid February 18, 2009, 5:23 PM

    Last year for purim, I was at a shul in Costa Rica and I was a tree. It is a simple and universal costume that everybody understood, but my sister told people that I was the tree that haman was hung on. haha people gave me some weird looks. the year before that I was an iPod. (an iPod playing Veohavta from YBC’s second album.

  • shevers February 18, 2009, 5:29 PM

    TRS: That costume was a gay dude? I thought you were just expressing your inner penchant for bright colors.

    I’m not joking by the way.

  • veebee February 18, 2009, 5:32 PM

    I always dress up as a character from literary classics: Waldo, Man with the Yellow Hat, etc. Remember, the more obscure the costume, the more laughs you will get.

    If you want to find some odd clothes, hit up your local thrift store. I always find everything I need there.

  • CA February 18, 2009, 5:43 PM

    TRS, the one with the sweater?

    Ive dressed up as a terrorist, a pirate, a medieval knight and as a liberal.

  • TRS February 18, 2009, 5:57 PM

    Shevers: I’m not entirely sure what I was dressing up as. But the only way I could think to describe it on this website…

    CA: no. You’ll know it when you see it. Scroll down a little.

  • shevers February 18, 2009, 5:59 PM

    I just figured you were enjoying dressing up in all the clothes you’re not allowed to wear during the year. The pink shirt is a total first date shirt by the way.

  • TRS February 18, 2009, 6:11 PM

    Really? Thanks for the advice.

  • Frum Satire February 18, 2009, 6:15 PM

    TRS do chabadnicks dress up as former rebbes

  • Moshe February 18, 2009, 6:29 PM

    Some of my costumes are on facebook.


    Here’s what I’ve done so far: hobo (including chain with lock belt), ninja (real gi and real sword), santa (red bag filled with “coal”, baked potatoes), russian orthodox priest (pic on fb), samurai (real sword), wolf assassin (ninja hoodie, crazy eyes wolf contacts, wolf paw print pin and airsoft gun), mexican (poncho, sombrero, bag of lime at 2 bottle of tequila), this year we’re all going as vamps, me as Vampire Lord, wife as Gothic Lace Vampiress, kid, couldn’t find anything good so got him a biker outfit.

  • Michal bas Avraham February 18, 2009, 6:34 PM

    Last year, I went to the megillah reading in my Star Trek uniform. However, for the meal, I was a bottle of ketchup. For Halloween, (hey, we all know I”m gyoress, right?) my best costumes were phone and pen (and ketchup). I haven’t decided what to do this year. I’m running out of time!

  • s(b.) February 18, 2009, 6:46 PM

    Does G&Sons still exist, in Boro Park? They always had the best Purim costumes. I was a cop, and Zorro, a detective … If I go as Yentl, can I sit in the men’s section? 😆 I realize I shouldn’t, out of respect, so I probably wouldn’t, but the thought would be tempting (I would have to stick a pillow under my shirt to be able to be mistaken for a guy, though). Hmm.

  • LonelyMan February 18, 2009, 6:54 PM

    For last purim, I dressed up as one of those Chinese guys with the funny robes from Kung Fu movies, like all of the early Qing dynasty ones where they’re trying to kill the Ming Rebels, sword included. It looked kinda like the guy on the right:

    Though, I’m thinking of bringing out another costume this year. For a party where you were supposed to come as a character from a movie, I dressed up as Raoul Duke/Hunter S. Thompson from Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, starring Johnny Depp. Since the party was kind of frum, no one got the reference at all, but I rolled with anyways, since in my mind, it was awesome. I didn’t want to mention all of the drug reference involved…maybe next time on Purim.


  • Nemo February 18, 2009, 6:54 PM

    Hesh – you forgot about how the Hot Chanies dress up: switch their sheitels for blue wigs.

  • Chavi February 18, 2009, 8:07 PM

    I’m going to be on a plane on my way back from Chicago on Purim.

    I’m bummed the f’ out.

  • former baltimorean February 18, 2009, 9:34 PM

    best purim costumes thai I have seen are: 1) santa, 2) priest, 3) jesus, and 4) bochur on 13th ave. dressed as a woman, witha tank top, mini skirt, killer heels, long blonde sheitel, the works, it took me a long minute to relaize that “she” was actualy a guy, and not some Mechon rebel gone wild!!!

  • chanz February 18, 2009, 10:03 PM

    we have this one rabbi in our shul who had a really good costume last year,- he was santa clause and he stood out side the shul with…… a lama! he rented a lama and gave out candy to anyone who walked by!
    i never got into the whole, costume thing but last year, my sister and i dressed up as ketchup and mustard..

  • yeshiva dude February 18, 2009, 10:14 PM

    I dressed up as a hippie one year, and that’s got to be a first. Now I’m to lazy to go scouting for a cool costume, so I simply dress up like a punk.

  • TRS February 18, 2009, 10:49 PM
  • prili February 19, 2009, 1:43 AM

    When I was in seminary I dressed up as a butterfly and a guy chased me through the streets at night screaming in hebrew hey look a butterfly! a butterfly!

  • tr February 19, 2009, 10:29 AM

    You can tell what a person really is when dressing up for purim. Men in drag or gay dude for purim kinda spills your secret dummies.

  • Batya from Shiloh February 20, 2009, 12:28 AM

    I usually wear a shaitel, not my usual hats, since do to psak and family discovery, sheitels are not my thing.
    Nothing else is different in my clothes, but…

  • Jason February 20, 2009, 3:34 AM

    The Military costume is a bit too easy for me, but who knows, I went to a concert in San Fran a few years back in my Desert combat gear… Maybe I can do the desert flight suit and leather jacket this year… I still have to wear them a few more days for real….

  • j February 20, 2009, 12:03 PM

    i dressed up as a brooklyn hocker once

  • ipitythefoo February 20, 2009, 1:01 PM

    I pretty much always dress up as a hippy, since I can just wear my own clothes anyway.

  • Anonymous February 20, 2009, 1:39 PM

    You forgot anything that can be made out of a cardboard box: robot, vending machine, dice, etc.

  • evan February 22, 2009, 5:57 AM

    Hey Hesh, you ever fix that bolt on your Mosin? I remember when I stayed at your Monsey apartment for 4 or 5 days you showed it to me, it was rusted shut wasn’t it?

  • red February 22, 2009, 11:23 AM

    this year i’m going as an angel, as a spin off off the jesus thing. other years i’ve sprayed my hair blue, gone as a ship,, box of crayons… i had one queen ester year when i was six. it wore off. next year i’m going as a devil

  • chanz February 22, 2009, 8:29 PM

    i died my hair blue one year. it took me forever to get it out. and, when i did finally get it out, i had to clean the tub. it also turned blue!

  • Double M February 23, 2009, 12:21 AM

    White lab coat with a monkey on my shoulder. I have a sticker hello my name is Neo Darwinist, the monkey has a sticker reading Amalake.

  • :) February 26, 2009, 12:29 PM

    i have NO idea what to wear for purim this year!! PLEASE HELP! my school is being really out of order: we have to wear a skirt below the knee, no jewelery and no make-up!! what should i do? if you have ideas – PLEASE tell me. thnakyou

    • Nina February 22, 2011, 5:00 AM

      you can go as lots of things! Here are a few I’ve used:
      Elf warrior lady
      Native american
      Queen Esther
      Princess Leah (starwars)
      Pirate girl…
      You can take lots of stuff and just MAKE it tznius, even if it wasn’t before. 😀

  • Double M February 26, 2009, 12:50 PM

    Old English with the big hoop dress and umbrella (both with the frills etc). It might backfire as this might inspire some idea on dress codes in someone.

    2 other ideas, Burk or Muslim woman from North Africa (catch is that might be dangerous depending on several factors). At my synagogue we had our chazzan dress up as arafat.

    Witch (which includes a black hat)

    Urcles cousin from Family Matters TV show

    A settler (old west or Israel)

    A protester (protest whatever you want just not the school policy)

  • Geela March 19, 2011, 11:08 AM

    I know sound’s stupid, but I was thinking of getting my four year old brother to dress up as Haman. I know it’s a bit wicked too, but hey, everybody get’s their ups and downs on Purim!

  • bob March 23, 2011, 3:30 PM


  • Anonymous March 23, 2011, 3:31 PM


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