Are you heading for New Orleans this spring? If you do, you must be a big fan of Mardi Gras – the biggest carnival period which is packed with all the excess and exaggeration. As the feature of Fat Tuesday is freestyle, you need to be aware of some details to blend well with this cultured event. Not sure what to wear to Mardi Gras?
For this memorable trip of yours, we will provide you with both fashionable and non-cheesy items that you can mix and match on that Tuesday. You can be anything that you desire, from the shape of fairies to people from myths. It is your chance to hold and shine bright like a diamond in the fantasy world.
Let’s fall down the rabbit hole and explore the wonderland with us!
What is Mardi Gras?
For some of you who come from Asian countries, Mardi Gras seems to be such a strange name of celebration that you have not heard about. So, this article for all of you, for those who have not known about it, for those who have an intention of paying a visit to New Orleans this spring and for crazy fans of this carnival.
It is commonly known as a season of events but it actually happens in only one day. However, like a trademark, it is just the beginning of sequential events. In French, Mardi Gras is Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday – an abbreviation of Shrovetide meaning the last day before the liturgical period called Lent
This celebration allows you to go freestyle with what to wear to Mardi Gras, eat richer and fatty foods, perform insane things and have fun. They believe that it could bring about the fertile spring for citizens. After Fat Tuesday, you have approximately six weeks to recall all the nonsense that you did and ask for forgiveness. This ceremony is called Ash Wednesday.
Basic information related to Mardi Gras
Before asking for what to wear to Mardi Gras, you need to grasp a rounded knowledge about it. Unlike other festivals, Mardi Gras does not have a fixed day to celebrate and it varies from one country to another. To provide you with comprehensible answers, we will respectively raise the matter and give explanation right below.
- How is the date determined?
To find what to wear to Mardi Gras, you have to prepare for such a long time but first, you need to identify when it is celebrated. Especially if you are living far away, it is necessary for you to hunt for cheap flight tickets, to ask for absence from work, to set aside to buy impressive outfits and to find somebody to accompany you in this party.
As we have mentioned above, this event is kind of free style, from what to wear to mardi gras to how it is organized. Therefore, it comes as no surprise if the date is changed very often and you could not remember like the Independence Day or something. However, everything has its rule.
Should you want to identify this day on your own, we are afraid that you ought to sit down and stay calm a bit. The destiny date is 47 days before Easter which is the first Sunday after the first full moon on the 21st of March. Based on this way, we can assume that the earliest Mardi Gras is on the 3rd of March and the latest one could be the 9th of March.
Or if you are just as lazy as us, you can check for it by typing the keyword ‘Mardi Gras date’ or ‘Mardi Gras on + year’. Then the result could show you with the exact one.
- The typical color scheme
This note is essential to determine what to wear to Mardi Gras next year. You cannot come to a cultural celebration without any understanding about it. When in Rome, do what the Romans do.
The official color scheme of this carnival in New Orleans where Mardi Gras is famously held and most other places is the combination of gold, purple and green. Each color has its own significance. While gold is the symbol of power and purple is for justice, green is the color of faith.
- What to do in Mardi Gras?
For newcomers, this question is as important as ‘What to wear to Mardi Gras’ because you need to know whether it encourages outdoor activities or not. If so, you can choose a suitable and comfortable outfit at the same time.
Throughout the article, we often focus on its general consensus which is freestyle to party as much as you can as Lent are coming. Perhaps, party is not strong enough to describe the feature of this carnival. Once blending in the crowd, do not forget to eat, to rally, to laugh and to be happy. You can be a big part in the funny family.
For instance, in South America, you can enjoy the atmosphere of the largest celebration in the world. In Germany, you can be a prince in a role playing celebration. In Italy, you have to stick to the script and try a more traditional enjoyment. In New Orleans, you can be crazy together with weeks of parades, balls and street parties.
A good sentence to remember wherever you are going to enjoy Mardi Gras: Laissez les bon temps rouler ( lay-zEh leh bAwn taw rOO-leh) – “Let the good times roll!”
- Know the rules
The idiom ‘He who sees through life and death will meet with most success’ is never on the wrong. Before being ready to have fun, it is vital for you to be aware of changes in the parade rules and don’ts that are implicitly understood by participants.
It can be said that parades are an indispensable part in Mardi Gras. You can or are expected to blend in at least one parade. Please keep yourself updated as the New Orleans City Council passed new parade rules in 2014. Read it if you do not want to move your stuff or be forced to buy tickets.
The new rules are presented as it follows:
- No ladders or other personal effects such as grills and coolers are closer than 6 feet to the curb.
- 2 hours before the parade, you are not allowed to park on both sides of the neutral ground on Napoleon and St. Charles.
- No roping off territory via chairs, taps or anything else should you be in the public right of way
- No private portable toilets or other public property (a MUST thing to prepare besides your worry about what to wear to mardi gras)
You can check for 2019 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule on their official website. For example, in New Orleans, please visit: http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/schedule.html
If you are not a good matcher, let’s dress in costume. It is a really safe way to go and to make a louder statement. Though it is not a big deal when it comes to what to wear to Mardi Gras because all kinds of costumes are acceptable, you still have to think it over as there are many costume contests that you may want to join.
Contests appreciate the most original ideas but there are certain factors that remain over time. You need to be aware of it should you hope to be the winner. Popular traditional costumes are the pirate, the court jester, the masked and caped courtier, French royalty and show girls. Based on these, the more creative you bring about, the more likely you can defeat other contestants.
What to wear to Mardi Gras & 5 Non-Cheesy Items to Wear for Mardi Gras
Suggestions are always suggestions and remember that one size does not fit all. It can be great on you but it can be terrible on others. The important thing is to get the ideas from the samples and you can have your own styles to wear to Mardi Gras. Never forget to check the weather forecast for a better preparing progress.
Frankly, costumes and Mardi gras are like peanut butter and jelly. They just cannot be replaced. Prior to our mix and match suggestions, please bear in mind some practical tips on what to wear to Mardi Gras. It is general to grasp and it is suited to everyone.
Dress comfortably should you desire to immensely enjoy Mardi Gras. This is the chance to move around and do not get the shoes that hurt your feet stopped you from smiling.
Why did we tell you to check the weather forecast before diving into find a solution to what to wear to Mardi Gras? New Orleans state that the only thing predictable about the weather is that it is unpredictable.
Normally, the temperature will range from 48°F to 65°F; therefore, it is a great idea to dress in layers. Do not forget to pack a raincoat, a rain poncho, an umbrella, and rain boots along. Look at the picture below and make sure that you do not let your bare head suffer from the rain pouring down.
The final note to take is to fit right in the color scheme if you are not wearing costumes. In terms of what to wear to Mardi Gras, we can say that there are not so many things that you cannot get. Respect their culture and you can have your own way to enjoy yourself.
From a dash of sparkle to yellow, green, and purple garb, we can introduce 5 items that could tell you apart from all the Mardi Gras cliché. Each item is quite festive and fashionable, which means that they are not throwaway goods. Find out what to wear to Mardi Gras this year below!
While off-the-shoulder top brings about a girly look, one shoulder shirt helps to feature you in the crowd. Therefore, you are definitely fashionable in this item. Gravitate towards the trend will make you feel good for sure. It is flattering if you show a little skin and a little shoulder. Green is also suitable for this set.
For some items, we will add notes to remind you of some principles in mixing and matching. Jeans are like compulsory items if you want to take part in as many outdoor activities as possible.
However, to create a highlight for your outfit, remember to choose one in beige or skinny one with sufficient scratches. Style them with a vintage tee & a sneaker; then you can have a full set. No need to be worried about what to wear to Mardi Gras.
Sample pack for Mardi Gras
Everything seems to be hard to imagine without a detailed instruction. Therefore, we decided to list out outfits that you may wear to each parade and activity in Mardi Gras. You can take it as an example to figure out your suitable one. This is completely perfect for a jet-setter.
- For Quarter + Uptown parade
Stick to the basics if you want to wander around and follow the floats. Our muses are Beads on beads tank, hayband and jacket.
- Garden District + Parades
As we have told, parades are everywhere in the Mardi Gras. Therefore, to keep it simple seems to be a safe choice for those who get tired easily. It may cool a bit; so, our suggestion is to mix Graphic sweatshirt, Light wash denim, Mardi Gras wig, Sequin headband with Purple sweater.
- All day parades
Are you ready to go crazy with strange people? If yes, choose fancy outfits to have a big laughter in New Orleans. Outfits that we choose for you are Gold shiny leggings, Neon fanny pack, Leopard print sweater and Colorful canvas sneakers.
Other items that you may need in case the weather is bad: a pair of rain boots, a light rain jacket, wellies, waterproof trench and layering basics. Finally, we want to provide you with a pinable packing list that you can refer to.
- Where to buy
You can find these items in the specialized shops or in Amazon. They are a lot outhere. To shorten your time, browse through this list:
- Ivirgo hair (for wigs)
- Nikki’s French Quarter Halloween shop
- LA46 (vintage shop on St Claude Ave)
This is all the things that we can help you to figure out. Your job now is to plan ahead and well prepare for a good time in New Orleans. Should you still have queries to ask, do not hesitate to talk to us. We will try to find an exact answer to you and thank you for your careful reading!
I am Thomas Taw, the CEO of CITIZENSNIPS. I have experience in hair product development and chemical research, as well as sustainable resource engineering. In 2009, I co-created Sunsilk, one of the world's leading haircare brands. More recently, I was the CEO of SMOKINGPANDA LTD. I am a professional with a strong track record in delivering tangible results.