Mardi Gras 2011: Leave The Louboutins at Home

Maressa Brown

mardi gras costumeMardi Gras culminates on Fat Tuesday, and the partying in New Orleans is already in full swing. When the annual raucous celebration comes to mind, you probably think of tons of beads, the French Quarter, booze and crazy costumes. Not necessarily high fashion, because well, don't most revelers end up half-dressed at some point anyway? But there is a way to dress both practically and with flair for the festival ... or so I've heard from my 22-year-old sister who is headed there with a bunch of fellow college seniors tomorrow.

And, in honor of the event, I figure it might be fun to adopt some of these style tips into our wardrobes this weekend/week. What do you think?

Alright, for starters, anything goes! Bright colors and crazy, over-the-top designs are the best way to go, in fact. Think ... Lady Gaga meets Cee Lo Green meets Rainbow Brite? You can wear as many colors of the rainbow, in fact, as you want -- but know that the traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold.

Also, the more fabrics, materials and accessories -- the better. You know, the drag queen look on crack! Satin, sequins, headdresses, wigs, feathers, crystals. Masquerade-style masks or flashy crazy MAC-on-steroids makeup is always a good bet, as are BEADS, obviously. The more creative you get, the more it will pay off ... in whistles, costume contest prizes, more beads, etc.

Now, this costume frenzy is all well and good, but if you're actually going to be celebrating Mardi Gras, there are a couple of insider tips I've acquired that you might want to take into consideration. (This tips will also probably work if you find yourself at a St. Patty's Day party in the next couple weeks.) I've been told the number one rule about clothing at Mardi Gras is ... whatever you wear, make sure it is something you will not mind THROWING AWAY. Yes, think disposable outfit!

Especially your shoes. I know this might disappoint some of you who are shoe-aholics and want to strut your stuff down Bourbon Street in bright patent purple stilettos, and I'm not sayin' you can't do it, ladies, but just make sure that's a pair of stems you won't mind saying "Au revoir!" to.

I'm not trying to be a buzzkill, but Mardi Gras, my dears, is filled with drunk, sick (no, like, literally, vomiting) people ... cops on horses ... random stuff -- from food to confetti to beads, etc -- flying through the air and landing on, well, you. Oh, and the weather forecast for Tuesday in New Orleans calls for thunderstorms. Hmm ... On second thought, maybe it would pay to wear a poncho!

Will you be dressing up for Mardi Gras this year?

Image via Ray Devlin/Flickr

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