You know that episode of "How I Met Your Mother," where Katie Holmes comes to the Halloween party dressed as "The Slutty Pumpkin?" Is there a Purim equivalent?
Purim is certainly an opportunity to do things out of the ordinary, in a turn-the-world-upside-down-can't-tell-blessed-Mordecai-from-cursed-Haman kind of way, including how we dress. While I don't think that the Halloween trend of making every possible costume into a "slutty" version of itself has fully carried over into Purim, you have free reign to push the envelope and get a little crazy.
If, for example, you're planning to go to the amazing 20s and 30s Purim Dance Party at World Cafe Live on Saturday night (and I hope you are), think about it like any other night in a club, and feel free to be as racy or as tame as you see fit. But wear a costume of some sort, if for no other reason than you'll get a discount at the door! If you're going to the Grad Network/Minyan Tikvah Megillah reading on Wednesday night, you also have a lot of leeway. Think of your costume as a way to express yourself, show off your creativity and get into the Purim spirit. Maybe you'll even meet your Ted Mosby, your Ahasuerus, your beshert, or at least a gorgeous grogger to dance with for the night.
If you don't have any costume ideas yet, you still have a few days, and here are some general suggestions:
Puns and phrases – These are the costumes that need to be explained and then make onlookers roll their eyes. For years, my husband dressed as "The Shushan Man," and carried around a container of shoe polish and a brush. I'll pause while you groan.
Group costumes – gather some friends and gain solidarity and confidence through looking ridiculous together.
Old school — Who doesn't love a classic villainous Haman or tiara-ed Esther?
Making do — Put on a dress that it's never the right occasion to wear and add a crazy wig, some wings or zombie face paint. Wear a bunch of mismatched clothes and call yourself an eccentric.
Whatever you wear this Purim season, don't take yourself too seriously. It's that kind of a holiday. So grab a drink, a hamantashen (hot or not) and let loose.
Be well, and be merry!