Dress Like an Angel but Don’t Act Like One

This year, I dug out an old dress, this shimmery floor-length gown that I wore to a ball my senior year of college (still fits, thank you very much), threw on some wings, a halo, and elbow-length gloves, and voila. I’m an angel.

Though I certainly didn’t behave like one.

My friend Carina (rocking the red wig) invited me to some big bash on the Lower East Side (haven of cool, people), and despite the sloppy, snowy conditions, we went for it. And it was by far the best decision I’d made all weekend.

Trick or treating? Kid stuff. But getting decked out for an adult costume party is a whole different level of fun. And I was psyched at the high bar set by the party guests. These weren’t folks looking to get away with as little a costume as possible (like Jim on The Office who went as three-hole-punch Jim one year). These people went for it.

I saw my share of fantastic individual costumes of which there were several (I saw more than one Black Swan complete with tutu, severe eye shadow, and long feathery lashes; a huge beaver, a 6’6 Santa Claus, a firefly. But also impressive ensemble costumes–a few honeybees, one of whom also wore a beehive hairdo (nice touch) who buzzed around their friend dressed up as a full-on honey bear; a group of flight attendants, a crowd of London businessmen, complete with derby hats and monocles (who were, in fact, from London, which was the best part).

There was of course the occasional snarky Manhattan costume, like the guy who looked like a banker, wearing a suit with a pin that said “1%” and underneath that in small print, “You’re welcome.” A nice complement to the few slightly less kempt gentleman bearing Occupy Wall Street signs (and on the other side of the sign, one guy had “I majored in art history”).

It was a carnival of personalities and I found frolicking around in it a ton of fun. Honestly, how often do you get to go up to someone at a bar and make a comment about what they’re wearing without risking a serious personal confrontation? The night would have been a total bore if everyone was standing around in their jeans and cute shoes, like we do the rest of the year.

Instead, I got to flirt with the Brawny man in his plaid lumber jack shirt with a roll of paper towels strapped to his chest (who turned out to be a medical student at Columbia) and a tall, voluptuous Joan Harris from Mad Men in a sexy grey suit. I danced with a few wry badminton players from 1920. I drank three dizzying glasses of sparkling rose and broke a wing (which the Occupy Wall Street was surprisingly industrious enough to mend temporarily) and had a f’ng amazing time.

So if you get the chance to dress up this year, DO IT. It’s not just kid stuff. It’s a rare chance to do something we don’t normally do: Play.