Mardi Gras is one of the most famous annual celebrations in New Orleans. "Fat Tuesday" is the French translation of the celebration's name. This is how residents and visitors from all over the world conclude the pre-Lenten season. Overall, Mardi Gras is a time for revelry, music, picnics, floats, and all-around good times.
Getting dressed in brightly colourful outfits, masks, and hats during Mardi Gras is a long-standing custom in the area. We've put up this guide to help you look your best on this special day.
Brief History of Mardi Gras
It was on March 3, 1699, that the first American Mardi Gras was celebrated in the United States, when French explorers Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Sieur de Bienville landed near what is now known as New Orleans, Louisiana. According to popular belief, the origins of Mardi Gras can be traced back to ancient pagan festivities of spring and fertility, such as Saturnalia and Lupercalia.
Although some believe that Mardi Gras-style celebrations originated exclusively due to the Catholic Church's prohibition on lovemaking and meat during Lent, others believe that they have existed for centuries.
It is said that when Grand Duke Alexis arrived in 1872, his welcoming committee handed out green, purple, and gold beads to the partygoers that year in honour of the colours of his residence.
What do people wear during Mardi Gras?
The capuchon is a popular style of headgear that is closely connected with Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, particularly in the French Quarter. With its cone-shaped shape and vibrant colours and decorations, this hat is sure to catch everyone's attention.
Another widely used clothing piece when celebrating Mardi Gras is colourful masks. During Mardi Gras, masks can be seen on the streets of New Orleans and at masquerade ball celebrations. They were worn to protect themselves from the devil or other evil spirits at their inception. Even though the masks are no longer associated with superstitious beliefs, they remain an essential feature of the carnival celebration.
Costume tips when attending Mardi Gras
#1 Be more comfortable.
Although it is important to dress nicely when celebrating this festive event, your comfort should be your top priority. Since Mardi Gras involves a lot of walking, we recommend that you wear shoes that are comfortable on your feet. Some people are even required to stand for long periods of time during the course of their workday. It is imperative that you carefully evaluate their footwear selection if you are one of them. However, even if you are not needed to engage in strenuous activity, you should invest in a nice pair of shoes. Sneakers and boots are two of the most basic options that may be worn with any outfit.
#2 Put on a wig.
Hairstyles used during the Mardi Gras season in New Orleans have developed over the years. They used to be all about extravagance, with a plethora of accessories and flourishes, but these days, there are fewer frills and more focus on the essentials. Hairstyles used during the Mardi Gras are now much more subdued in their appearance. When they're preparing, clients would typically request colours that correspond to the season, such as green, purple, and yellow. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of available wigs on the market offered in the mentioned colours.
#3 Pay attention to the accessories.
In order to complete each look, it is necessary to incorporate accessories. Glitter and feathers are among the most commonly used accessories during the Mardi Gras celebrations. You can also accessorise with some brightly coloured crowns, umbrellas, and glasses.
#4 Add layers to your outfit.
Overall, layering allows for more remarkable inventiveness and a certain amount of weirdness. On top of that, wearing layers will enable you to take advantage of your cold-weather clothes while avoiding potentially harmful exposure to the elements. Mardi Gras weather may be somewhat variable, with sunny skies and pleasant temperatures at times, followed by cold, wet spells at other times of the year. You'll want to incorporate some degree of adaptability into your costume. For this purpose, you can add a light sweater, some leggings, and other pieces of clothing.
#5 Apply face paint.
Despite cultural differences, face painting is a recurring topic among cultures as diverse as Native American tribes in North America and other tribes in Africa and South America, among others. Nowadays, it has evolved into something much more than just cosmetic treatment. It's a sacred social act of distinction that also serves as a cultural legacy. You can use face paint in place of eyeshadow or eyeliner to make you stand out significantly more.
#6 Experiment with make-up
Of course, if you genuinely want to feel the festive vibe of celebrating Mardi Gras, you will need to look stunning from head to toe. Applying unique and creative make-up will seal the entire look and make your outfit appear more cohesive. Given the yearly celebration's colour palette of purple, green, yellow, and gold, there are numerous beauty trends you may combine into your ensemble to ensure all eyes are on you. Furthermore, you can experiment with lipstick, metallic eyes, eyeliners, and more.
Find the best mardi gras parade outfits
Charismatico makes every effort to obtain distinctive, high-quality Mardi Gras parade outfits that stand out for their vibrant colours and extravagant styles. We thoroughly inspect all Mardi Gras costumes before delivery, guaranteeing that you receive not only a stunning garment but also one that is capable of withstanding the hectic activity associated with Mardi Gras.