Jewish Purim Costumes for Adults and Children
Are you looking for Purim costume ideas for your synagogue Purim carnival or megillah reading? Yes, March is a bit of an awkward time to be looking for costumes — Halloween is seven months away so the stores aren’t exactly stocked up — but with ecommerce options available year round, DIY costume ideas, and the opportunity to repurpose your Halloween costume from the year prior, there are ample opportunities to perfect your costume for Purim.
We will get into a bunch of different costume options, but I feel like I just need to point something glaringly obvious out here first, if you aren’t wearing this unbelievably amazing Hamantaschen costume from Etsy, are you really doing Purim right?
Purim Hamantaschen Costume
This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking the link at no extra cost to you.
Traditional Purim Costume Ideas
If you fancy dressing up as any of the main protagonists from the Book of Esther, you will need to find some royal attire. If you were a Renaissance lady or a member of royalty for Halloween last year, you can absolutely repurpose the costume for Purim. Another alternative would be to purchase costumes on Amazon for Purim. Or, you can get crafty with what you have at home.
Queen Esther and Queen Vashti Costumes
You can’t go wrong dressing up as the queen who defied the King’s orders to come to the party or the queen who helped save the Jews from Haman’s decree. Either way, you will look absolutely beautiful in any of these royal ensembles.
King Ahasuerus Costume
If you have ever day dreamed about being king for a day, the good news is that now you can. Dress up in full regal attire as King Ahasuerus, the royal in the Purim story who listened to his wife’s plea and changed his mind in the nick of time.
We need to make Haman look evil — he is the antagonist of the Purim story after all — but we also don’t want him to look like Captain Jack Sparrow, if you catch my drift. He needs the three-pointed hat, which is essentially a pirate hat, so it’s important to make sure that the rest of the costume reflects the Haman character. I envision a full-black ensemble with a tunic-style shirt on top and black pants or jeans on the bottom. Of course, Haman needs a three-pointed hat. You could also cut out a hamantaschen from construction paper and either hot glue or tape the hamantaschen to the front of the hat. This way, nobody will have any doubts that you chose to dress up as the evil Haman for Purim.
Uncle Mordechai Costume
The most noble and brave of all of the protagonists in the Book of Esther, Uncle Mordechai adopted Esther, brought her up as his daughter, stood up to the evil Haman, and was able to convince Esther to go to the king to save the Jewish people. You have big shoes to fill if you dress up as Uncle Mordechai, the true hero of the Purim story.
Forgo the headdress and add a gray beard and you’ve got an Uncle Mordechai costume.
You can re-work this costume by skipping the crown — Mordechai became the chief advisor to King Ahasuerus — and adding a gray beard.
Jewish Biblical Figures: Purim Costumes
There are plenty more Purim costume ideas like important Jewish figures from the Bible that are not a part of the Purim story. You can wear a Moses or Pharaoh costume, or dress as a family member of Pharaoh as a nod to the upcoming Passover holiday. You can also draw inspiration from Abraham, the story of Noah and the ark or Joseph and his brothers, both of which can be found in the book of Genesis. It would also be hilarious to dress up as a rabbi for Purim.
Notable Jewish Figures: Purim Costumes
While it’s nice to harken back to the biblical days, it’s also perfectly reasonable to want to have a more modern take on costumes for Purim. Some unique Purim costume ideas include Sandy Koufax, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Albert Einstein, Ali Raisman, and the fictional character, Mrs. Maisel.
It’s quite difficult to find a Sandy Koufax jersey these days at a reasonable price point. He was a baseball icon after all. However, you can purchase a blank Dodgers jersey and either DIY the name Koufax and the number 32 yourself, or have someone customize the blank jersey for you. I have seen sellers on Amazon and on Etsy that will do this.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
We can pay our respects and show our pride for the first Jewish woman on the Supreme Court by dressing as RBG for Purim. If you have a long-sleeve black dress or graduation gown at home, you can wear that ensemble and purchase a few key accessories. Otherwise, you can get a black judge’s robe for an affordable price.
Einstein’s theory of relativity helped to revolutionize our understanding of gravity, space, time, and the universe. Who wouldn’t want to dress up like Albert Einstein? Is it too much to hope that by doing so, the tiniest bit of his genius will rub off? If you have a white lab coat at home, you can simply buy the wig and mustache accessories. Otherwise, you can purchase the full look for the Purim costume.
Two-time Olympian and captain of both the 2012 and 2016 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics teams, Ali Raisman is a role model for anyone working hard toward accomplishing their goals. Along with the leotard and medal, you can identify yourself as Ali Raisman by printing what athletes call a bib – the piece of paper with a number on it that’s held in place by safety pins. You can get as detailed as you want and even add the Olympic rings logo, Rio de Janeiro heading, and include her last name Raisman on the bib so there is absolutely no confusion about which gymnast you are dressing up as on Purim.
Amy Sherman Palladino did it once with Gilmore Girls and again now with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She is a master of witty dialogue. While Mrs. Maisel might be a fictional Jewish character, she is certainly a memorable one and absolutely worth dressing up for during Purim. There are a plethora of retro 50s and 60s style dresses that you can purchase on Amazon, but it also might be super fun to go into a thrift shop and see what vintage dress gems you can find. Don’t forget a matching hat, handbag, and old school microphone.
Did you enjoy all of these Purim costume ideas? There are more posts filled with Jewish Holiday content on the BMA blog!