Halloween is the time to let your hair down and dress up as whatever, or whomever, you choose. This Halloween, take your cue from the city of New Orleans. Rich in history and full of color and verve, New Orleans presents several possible themes for interesting costumes at your next party.
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The French played a big part in the history of New Orleans, and their influence is still felt across the city -- particularly in the French Quarter. Women may want to choose a French maid costume with stockings, a short skirt, frilly apron and a feather duster as a prop. Men can go for tight-fitting black pants, a horizontally striped shirt, a beret and a scarf tied jauntily at the neck. A moustache completes this look, as does a palette and paintbrush.
When people think of New Orleans, they inevitably think of Mardi Gras. Choose a costume that represents the biggest party of the year. Masks, feathers, glitz and glitter are a must for this costume. Accumulate plenty of beads to wear around your neck, just like during real Mardi Gras. Choose a harlequin costume with black and white diamonds and lots of red accents, or come as a court jester in a mutli-colored outfit. No matter what your costume, the more theatrical, the better, for Mardi Gras.
New Orleans has always had a connection to voodoo, so it's only natural to dress up as a voodoo priest or priestess -- particularly Marie Laveau, the most famous voodoo queen of all. Women may choose a white, off-the-shoulder peasant blouse; colorful head wrap; and a brightly-colored, long skirt. Big hoop earrings, lots of gold jewelry and a gris-gris pouch to hold charms and potions, worn around the neck, are must-have accents. Or come as a zombie, raised from the dead by a talented voodoo priest or priestess.
New Orleans is the pinnacle of Southern history. Slavery, plantations and pirates all played a part in this city's beginnings. Women may choose to come as a southern belle, complete with a hoop skirt and parasol; or dress as the madams who plied their trade in certain parts of town -- choose a velvet gown, heavy makeup and lots of jewelry to tempt the men to your house of ill repute. Men may want to come as pirates or swashbucklers, both important in this port city, or consider dressing as the evil fictional character, Simon Legree -- the ruthless slave master from the novel said to inspire the Civil War, Uncle Tom's Cabin.