What to Wear to a Mardi Gras Party

Whether you're heading to Bourbon Street for the parades, or just going to a themed party or Carnival celebration, you need to dress for the occasion.

Traditional attire includes harlequin print (a diamond pattern), fleur de lis prints, decorative half-masks adorned with peacock-colored feathers and sequins, beads, jester costumes and hats (the jesters accompany the royal courts), and purple, green and gold ensembles often accented with sequins. These three colors represent justice, faith, and power, respectively.

French for "Fat Tuesday," it will be celebrated this year on Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Now, let's find you something to wear! Check out these Mardi Gras costume ideas:

Get ready to celebrate in this flirty dress. This outfit is perfect for a party at a club, on campus, or at a friend's house. The strapless dress has a multicolored bodice with a sweetheart neckline and faux purple lacing on the side panels. The tiered mini skirt has green, purple, gold, and black panels and an attached white ruffled underskirt. I think the matching white ruff collar offers a little something unique that you won't find on other outfits.

Since this costume does not include gloves, your hands are free for catching beads. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

 

This costume works for the festivities in New Orleans (or Mobile, or wherever), as well as for themed costume parties. It includes a green and purple harlequin print bodice with sweetheart neckline and adjustable and removable shoulder straps, a three-tier ruffled mini skirt with gold sequin trim, and a long, purple train that kind of resembles a royal train.

I like that you have the option to wear it with the straps or without -- that's a nice option so we can display "the girls" in the best light depending on what works best for each of us.

The green organza shrug is a nice touch so you can cover your shoulders if it's chilly. I would pair this with gold pumps or strappy sandals (as shown) and beads, of course.

 

For something daring, or for a flirty parade outfit, go for this head-turning, sexy jester look in the customary color palette of purple, gold, and green. Rock a purple halter dress with green and tan harlequin highlights and green and gold sequin trim. It comes with matching arm cuffs, purple boy shorts, a gold ruff collar trimmed in green, and a purple jester hat.

The gold knee highs (sold separately) really set off the outfit and add some coverage.

This conservative Mardi Gras costume is the perfect choice for a modest, not-too-revealing look, and it looks great on all types of figures. The velvety ankle-length dress features a wide, dramatic collar and 3/4 sleeves with shimmery gold and green bell-shaped ruffles.

Other details include a purple and green harlequin patchwork bodice edged in gold across the chest and a band of gold colored pennants around the waist.

It's one size fits all (including larger sizes like 12 and 14), but the fit can be customized by a tie in back to adjust to many different body types. You could even add a pair of wings for a fairy twist.