Ideas for Mardi Gras Costumes


Dressing in costume for Mardi Gras, the celebration before Lent, is a traditional part of the festivities. Revelers dress in full costume or just a simple mask, and there are limitless possibilities for dress up ideas. Having a jumping off point will give you some good ideas to discover for your next Mardi Gras celebration.


  • The jester is a typical character for Mardi Gras celebrations. Banners and other decorations will sometimes have a cartoon image of the jester, leading a Mardi Gras parade and encouraging revelry. You can dress as a jester by donning the traditional jester hat in colors like purple, yellow and green, the Mardi Gras colors. Pair the hat with a brightly colored outfit for a complete look.


  • Beads are synonymous with Mardi Gras, as party goers compete and work to win strings of plastic beads handed out all over New Orleans come Mardi Gras time. Consider making a costume made up of strings of beads as an homage to this. Glue strings of beads in layers over a shirt, a pair of pants and a hat, and go as a Beaded Man or Woman.


  • A saint is a character you can dress as for Mardi Gras, as the celebration is tied to the Catholic religion. Wear long robes and carry a rosary, and consider pairing the outfit with a saint's or bishop's hat from a costume shop. This costume can be customized for a man or a woman. You can even get a group together and go as a mix of saints, priests and nuns.

Jazz Musician

  • Jazz can be heard all over New Orleans, and you can tip your hat to the musical tradition by dressing up as a jazz musician for Mardi Gras. Wear a suit and fedora and carry a trumpet or saxophone with you. You can even carry a large, black umbrella to bounce above your head as you play, a custom found in the street bands of Louisiana.

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