What to Wear to Mardi Gras - The Best Mardi Gras Dresses

Last updated on : January 23 2018

what to wear to mardi gras

Mention ‘Mardi Gras,’ and the mind instantly conjures up images of colorful carnival, nonstop entertainment, and people dressed in elaborate costumes or wacky outfits.

In 2018, we celebrate Mardi Gras on February 13, but festivities start weeks in advance.

If you're joining the celebrations, then it's time to start planning your sexiest Mardi Gras dresses and apparel. As always, we're here to ensure you look your stunning best.

Here's a summary of what you can find in this article.

Carnival History

Best Wardrobe Choices for Mardi Gras

Simple Dress Solutions For The Event

History Of Mardi Gras

The annual festival, which is also known as ‘Fat Tuesday’ or ‘Shrove Tuesday,’ is mostly a carnival. The season starts off on the 12th-night post-Christmas (January 6) and is celebrated in several countries worldwide. 

New Orleans plays host to the biggest and most famous Mardi Gras celebration in the United States.

The origins of the festival trace back to the 17th and 18th centuries in medieval Europe. In New Orleans, people started celebrating Mardi Gras in the 1730s. It all started with the governor of Louisiana hosting society balls recognizing the holiday. 

It was in the late 1830s that the New Orleans celebrations included processions of horseback riders and people wearing masks.

Some of the traditions started during this time are still practiced today. Like the throwing of beads, the handing out of Zulu coconuts, the wearing of masks, and the Flambeaux.

Best Wardrobe Choices For Mardi Gras

Think about your wardrobe choices before you pack your bags for New Orleans. It's a big and long party and is taxing. So it's best to plan what you'll wear thinking about your look and comfort.

From makeup to shoes choosing the right apparel ensures you are at ease and confident during the festivities. The best part - the celebration is famous as a laissez-faire event, so there is no strict dress code you need to follow. 

Here are a few tips that will help you out while packing.

Choose The Right Colors

The customary Mardi Gras colors are green, purple, and gold, and each of them stands for something. Gold symbolizes power, purple stands for justice, and green represents faith.

Get into the Mardi Gras spirit by wearing these colors at the festivities.

Think About A Costume

mardi gras costumes

If you're planning to wear a costume, and want to make a statement, you need an over-the-top outrageous one. 

During the celebrations, wild outfits are considered the norm – absolutely any crazy costume will work. However, before buying one, think about how you will transport it. A headdress may not fit into your suitcase.

Additionally, many events last throughout the day. So choose a comfortable costume wearable for long periods without any discomfort. 

If you're going genuinely outrageous, consider buying or renting your costume in New Orleans itself. With the right planning (you'll need to reserve in advance), you'll have many options to choose.

The most popular costumes are the pirate, the court jester, French royalty, or French courtier. However don't feel you need to conform, be yourself and wear what makes you feel good. 

If you prefer to keep things comfortable and straightforward, then try a sexy bandage dress. Pair with outrageous shoes and a wacky jacket. Throw on an elaborate mask, a small headpiece, full makeup, and a stacked hairstyle for dramatic effect. 

Rules For The Ball - Dress For The Occasion

It is not easy to get tickets to a Mardi Gras ball in New Orleans. If you've managed, make sure you pack a suitable dress.

If your event is formal, then a floor length gown is appropriate to wear. Match with heels for the occasion. Satin or crystal embellished heels work well. And take along a pair of white leather (not cloth) gloves. These should be opera length if you're wearing shorter sleeves.

If it's cool, take a wrap or a bolero jacket. 

Avoid anything sheer that exposes your body underneath. It's unlikely you'll get into the ball with too much skin exposed. Inappropriate wear includes cut-outs or two pieces that expose your midriff. 

Don't arrive looking casual and unkempt. Make sure your man adheres to the rules too. For him, it's a choice between white tie and tails (very formal) and tuxedo (black tie).    

Whether you want to look like a princess in a formal gown or sexy in a bandage dress, remember to dress appropriately for the ball you are going to.  

Comfortable Shoes Are A Must

You need heels for formal events. However, carry a comfortable pair of shoes with you because you will be walking a lot. 

During the celebrations, you cannot take cabs anywhere. The traffic is a nightmare, and roads blocked because of the various parades throughout the day.

Whether you are wearing boots or sandals, ensure they are comfortable to walk in for long periods of time. 

Your shoes may end up getting dirty by the end of the day. So choose easily cleaned shoes or ones you don’t mind throwing out. 

You won't be able to enjoy the parade and other celebrations in high heels because your feet will scream bloody murder. If you prefer to wear shoes that are not causal consider inserts or other supports for your feet.

Makeup Tips

mardi gras makeup

Costume or not, you need to stand out sexy during the parades and other celebrations.

People bring out their vibrant, wackiest, and stylish best and so should you. Mardi Gras is a time to let your hair down, be free, and indeed live in the moment.

Makeup is one of the best ways to make a lasting impression. So plan a few ideas for your makeup style for each day and event. Go over the top with this Cirque du Soleil makeup, or go all shiny and glittery with this Mardi Gras makeup look

Feathers, vibrant eyeshadows, and makeup masks – anything and everything work for these festivities. 

However, be sure that your makeup choice is realistic and can last the entire day with only light touch-ups.

Accessorize Wisely

There will be thousands of people on the streets watching the parades, mingling, and expressing themselves. So accessorize wisely and tastefully to stand out.

But remember that celebrations are long. Wear sensible jewelry and accessories that will not weigh you down.

Choose a bag that makes sense for your outfit and events. Chic backpacks and cross shoulder bags are popular options. Whatever you are planning to carry with you, ensure that it can hold your essentials like your phone, hotel key, credit cards, and cash. It also needs to fit a bottle of water, your touch up makeup, and anything else you need throughout the day.

Carry a small portable charger if possible, to ensure that your phone does not run out of juice with all the selfie-clicking.

Keep all valuables and precious jewelry in your hotel room or at home – in the hustle and bustle of the parade, it is possible to lose things or get mugged.

Try A Mask

You will notice that the majority of people wear masks during the Mardi Gras parade

Masks are excellent ways to get a finished and polished look. They also protect your face from the celebratory trinkets and beads thrown by people from their balconies. 

Whatever mask you choose, ensure that it matches the dress you are wearing.

Choose Comfy Clothes

Whether or not you intend to wear costumes to the parade, you will need comfortable clothes. Pack jeans and several tops, and a couple of sexy Mardi Gras Dresses. 

The event usually takes place at the end of winter. So there may be some lingering cold. Keep an eye on the weather when you are packing. There is no harm in carrying warm clothes to the event. Consider taking a light jacket to put on as the evening sets.

Keep in mind that it rains a lot in New Orleans. We recommended you either carry an umbrella or a poncho. Umbrellas are challenging to hold onto in a huge crowd, so most attendees choose raincoats and ponchos. Don't panic if you forget because you can quickly pick one up at a store in New Orleans.

Bandage dresses are fabulous dresses to wear to Mardi Gras festivities. They support your body, give you a natural sex appeal and wear comfortably for extended periods. Below we've listed out 10 to consider. 

Our Top 10 Easy To Wear Mardi Gras Dresses

mardi gras dresses

If you're looking for quick and simple solutions that stand out and impress, then consider a bandage dress.

Bandage dresses are excellent choices for Mardi Gras because they are statement pieces and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. They are easily worn during the day or at night. And they give your body the support you need while showing off your sexy curves.

They are also wrinkle resistant, easily spot cleaned, and made of a super durable supportive fabric that keeps its shape even in the event of random tugging (if you plan to earn a few beads during the parade).

Wear your bandage dress with comfortable flats, a stacked hairstyle, and a mask for an ultimate Mardi Gras approved look that is both sexy and comfy.

Here are our top dress choices for this event. 

1. Glamorous Black And Gold

black glamorous bandage dress

This black dress is a classic, wear it to any event or celebration on the day.

It features beautiful gold embellishments that trace your curves and conceal any bulges. While the long sleeves protect your arms, the shorter hemline keeps the dress sexy.

2. Gold Print Bandage Dress

gold pring bandage dress

Gold is one of the most popular Mardi Gras colors. This Gold Print Dress gives you elegant style that is polished and complete.

The beige base with a gold accent is glam and stunning. The high neckline keeps you covered while the shorter hemline keeps your style flirty and carnival appropriate.

3. Emerald Green Glitter

emerald green glitter bandage dress

Be a mermaid in this Glitter Bandage Dress. The combination green and blue reminds you of the sea and all the treasures found in it.

Bandage dresses hold your body like second skin, and this is what this glittering dress does. It accentuates your curves and leaves little to the imagination.

Don’t worry about your flabs either, the dress act as shapewear too. 

4. Color-Block Bandage Dress

color block bandage dress

You don't necessarily have to wear the Mardi Gras colors when looking for your perfect Mardi Gras dress. Go crazy with this Color-block Bandage Dress in four primary colors instead.

The cross straps accentuate your bustline, while the bandage material hugs and supports your body. This color-block dress is ideal for as a court jester costume and pairs well with masks

5. Burgundy Purple Flared Midi Dress

burgundy flared midi bandage dress

If you want to stick to the Mardi Gras colors, try this Purple Flared Midi Dress with its mermaid-inspired design.

The halter neck emphasizes your cleavage and exposes your shoulders and back. The skirt hugs your hips like a second skin highlighting your curves.

And the longer hemline gives you comfort throughout the day and flexibility in your movement without the fear of “flashing” anyone.

6. Green Bandage Open Dress

green bandage dress

In another Mardi Gras color, our Green Bandage Dress is strapless and sexy.

It hugs your body like a glove and doubles as shapewear. If you want a dress that pulls you in and is a perfect celebration fit this is an excellent option.   

7. Black & Red Party Dress

black and red party dress

If you have tickets to one of the famous Mardi Gras balls, you need a dress that fits the occasion.

Try our black and red party dress for a tasteful yet sexy look, in party hues. The V-neckline and the hot red color turn you sexy. The black detailing around the waist and the bust creates a beautiful contrast that makes the dress slimming.

8. Gold Embellished White Bandage Dress

white and gold embellished bandage dress

Our Gold Embellished White Bandage Dress is versatile and pairs well with masks and elaborate makeup.

Ever wanted to look like a Greek Goddess? This dress makes you look like you have just stepped down from your throne in heaven.

It highlights your feminine curves and gives you style that is sexy and attention-grabbing.

9. Short Gold and Black Party Dress

short black and gold party dress

Wear this lovely fit and flare dress to turn heads at the carnival. 

The black horizontal detailing is attention-grabbing, and the short flared skirt jaw-dropping. Its body shaping and figure-hugging and entirely sexy.

Pair it with dangling black earrings, bold makeup, and a one of a kind hairstyle for the best style impact.

10. Orange Ombre One Shoulder Bandage Dress

orange ombre bandage dress

Flaunt the look of summer with this beautiful orange ombre bandage dress.

The blend of yellows, oranges, whites, and reds make it the perfect dress for both day events as well as night parties. Wear it during the Mardi Gras parade for a style that is well versed and easily paired with comfortable shoes.

The high neckline keeps you covered with the above the knee hemline keeps you comfortable.


Dressing up for Mardi Gras doesn't have to be a stressful task.

The celebrations in New Orleans are renowned all over the world. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and you'll have a fun-filled experience filled with memories for years to come. 

Laissez les bon temps rouler (or let the good times roll)!

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About the Author

Sasithon Bella is the kewl in The Kewl Shop. Co-founder, chief buyer, bandage dress guru and a lot more. If you like what you see at The Kewl Shop it is because of Sasithon Bella. You might know her better as Sasi.



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