What do I wear for Mardi Gras?

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mardi-grasMardi Gras is coming, and that means it’s time to start planning your costume for the annual Mardi Gras masquerade parties. Each year the costumes get more elaborate and more and more people flock to the South to participate in Mardi Gras celebrations that are held throughout the Deep South. If you want to really experience the glittering spectacle of Mardi Gras the only place to go is New Orleans.

Mardi Gras is the time to pull out all the stops when it comes to costumes. Relive the glory days of Mardi Gras when people worked all year long on grand costumes for glittering costume balls that would be held all around the South, especially in New Orleans, for Mardi Gras. In the South Mardi Gras was such a big deal that a person’s social status in the city could be determined by how good their costume was. Even though Mardi Gras may no longer be as important as it was in society it’s still the time to throw the best parties around and dress up in the best costumes. Here are some costume inspirations that will help you choose a Mardi Gras costume this year:

Peacocks
Peacocks are the perfect Mardi Gras inspiration because they have two of the three Mardi Gras colors: purple and green. Add yellow to make sure thatmardi-gras-costume you have all the Mardi Gras colors represented. Peacock theme costumes can be very literal or you can interpret them in many ways. You can wear some swirling and sparkling makeup on your face to look like a peacock while wearing a fairy like costume with a tutu and wings. Or you can wear a high-low peacock style skirt with a corset and top hat to look very festive. A peacock theme is great for masquerades because you can take a plain black or purple mask and decorate it with glitter and peacock feathers to make it look mysterious and seductive. Don’t forget long sweeping lashes to complete any peacock inspired look.

French History
Mardi Gras is an imported celebration. It was brought to New Orleans by the French who settled in the city. New Orleans has always been very proud of its French heritage and the influence that the French settles had on the development of culture in the city and the surrounding areas. So French themed costumes are a great way to honor the history of Mardi Gras in the US. You can choose costumes ranging from over the top hoop dresses, ornate wigs, and very white face powder to costumes from the Moulin Rouge era of French history. Mardi Gras is about cutting loose before the restrictions of Lent kick in so dressing up in burlesque costumes, sequined costumes or showgirl costumes is a lot of fun. Celebrate the holiday by letting your inner dancer out for an evening.

Voodoo Inspired Costumes
If you want your costume to have a darker edge you can dress up as a Voodoo priest or priestess, a zombie, or other dark figures. Mardi Gras is a time to embrace the darker aspects of human nature and have fun before it’s time to repent for your sins so it’s ok to be bad on Mardi Gras. If you have been wanting to try dressing up in an edgier costume this is the year to do it. Don’t hold back your dark side. It’s time to celebrate it.

Black Tie
The quintessential inspiration for Mardi Gras costumes is the stunning Black Tie balls of the past. Tuxedos with tails for the men and stunning jewel toned ball gowns for the women used to be the norm at Mardi Gras masquerades. Bring back the glamor of the past with your costume this year. Don’t forget to pick up some gorgeous and elaborate masks. You can make expensive leather and satin masks or you can decorate your own masks that will match your costume perfectly. Don’t forget to stock up on body glitter, makeup and opera length gloves to finish off the costume. Petticoats are a good way to keep those full dresses swirling all night long and a feather boa is a great accessory to add to a glamorous black tie ball costume.