All on a Mardi Gras Day


Mardi Gras Day is always a fabulously magical experience, and this year was extra special. My brother and his boyfriend were in town for carnival for the first time since 2009, so we went all out. It was also our tenant’s first Mardi Gras as a New Orleans resident, so I felt obligated to help her navigate the crazy. We ended up doing four nights of Uptown parades, hosted a pre-Bacchus party at our house replete with Chris’ Get Your Life Right Gumbo, cornbread and Jello shots (lololol), caught the Red Beans Parade on Lundi Gras, and left the house at 8 a.m. on Fat Tuesday to wander the French Quarter and Marigny.

Highlights from Tuesday include getting a choice downtown parking spot, seeing Solange walk past us as if she was gliding on a glitter cloud, running into a ton of friends, seeing a grown man naked on Frenchmen St. (not a highlight, but truly memorable), and getting five people home all in one piece. No one got lost, shit faced, or misplaced their pants. Mardi Gras Magic.

Okay, on to the costume details.

Crowning glory: I bought my hat back in 2011 but never figured out what to do with it. The colors are so vivid I knew the outfit needed to stand up to the topper. I made Thomas’ hat from scratch to complement mine. His hat looks fancy but it was relatively easy to make. All I needed was a buckram hat base (I used a cadet style), metallic blue fabric to cover the base with, a piece of foam board, and a metric ton of feathers and Mod Podge.

The shoes: I usually don’t get too hung up on my shoes since 1. comfort is paramount and 2. no one is going to notice them. Thomas, however, opts for matching shoes. I had a pair of lace-up boots that lost their luster but were still comfortable, so I spray painted them blue and glittered them up. The glitter/Mod Podge layer started to break at the stress points, but Thomas’ loafers managed to hold up.

His costume: My cardinal rule is to never repeat a costume on Mardi Gras Day. This year, we broke that rule by reusing his pants from last year’s getup. They were too perfect not to and it saved time and money. I added blue fringe and gold sequins to the back pockets to incorporate in the blue from the shirt. He bought the metallic blue shirt on Amazon and I found the vintage beaded belt at The New Orleans Costume Center. I added gold stretch fabric to the back so it would fit him properly. I like the cummerbund effect this had and it added interest and variety to what is otherwise just a t-shirt and tuxedo pants.

My costume: I bought the gold sequined bra from Trashy Diva, the crop top from Swap Boutique and the gold shorts from ASOS. Those shorts, by the way, were hideous when I first got them. They looked like glorified boxer shorts and did nothing for my legs. I took them in, added ruching and blue fringe on the sides and created a peplum with red and orange trim to hide the cheap looking elastic waistband. I originally wanted a gold ballgown skirt similar to the hot pink one I wore for our flamingo costumes back in 2012. I went with shorts because I like showing my legs and the shorts were inexpensive. The only ballgown skirts I found either looked cheap or cost more than I wanted to spend. Plus, I didn’t feel like making a skirt from scratch.

How much our costumes cost:

Total cost this year: about $320

Trim, etc…: about $170 for all the trim, feathers, his hat form, foam board and an X-acto knife

My costume: $33 bra, $20 shirt, $15 shorts

His costume: Shirt: $25, Evil eye applique: $35, belt $20

Where we saved money: I already owned my hat, the red fishnet stockings, the blonde wig and my necklace. We already had both pairs of shoes and his pants. I have a stockpile of thread, needles, and pins,  so I didn’t need to purchase sewing supplies. I also had some leftover sequins and gold appliques from last year, so I just used those. I tend to overbuy trim in case a piece needs to be repaired. I like to repurpose pieces for other costume events; I also loan costumes to friends on occasion, so it’s important to me to be able to reuse these things.

How we could have saved more money: Uh, it’s Mardi Gras. We go big or go home, and our asses never stay at home on Fat Tuesday. For me, it’s important to feel like I’m contributing to the splendid frenzy that it Fat Tuesday. See y’all on the parade route next year.


Wig Party at Eiffel Society

Y’all know that I love a good wig. Check out all of my costume posts here if you don’t believe me or read my guide on how to style a wig. So when I found out about the Wiggin Out Party at Eiffel Society I thought “what a great way to spend a Friday night!” Now the real question is which wig to wear. Don’t own a wig? Shame on you! Mention the Eiffel party at Fi Fi’s and get 10% off the wig of your choice.

Three from my *ahem* vast collection.

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Where Mardi Gras Happens

Mardi Gras is almost here y’all! Today is Lundi Gras, and to help celebrate a few of the Southern Fashion Bloggers are doing our March blog posts on my favorite holiday of the year. No matter if you live in New Orleans or not you can  celebrate in your own way by wearing the traditional purple, green, and gold colors or just wear something extra fanciful tomorrow.

I wore this outfit to work this past Saturday. I wanted to dress up but not get stuck working all day long in a costume so this was a pretty good compromise. Even if you don’t want to don a fully themed outfit having a few festive pieces is important at this time of year. 
Feathered t-shirt- Forever 21
Iridescent skirt- Tara Jarmon via Buffalo Exchange
Peep toe flats- Feet First

Now I had every intention of showing y’all a slew of costumes but between putting the finishing touches on my Fat Tuesday costume, catching parades and working I’ve had no free time to speak of. Instead I’ll share some of the pictures I took at Endymion, one of the best parades and certainly one of my favorites this season. 

As usual check out the rest of the Southern Fashion Bloggers posts to see how they’re livin’ it up!
Stylish3- The Blonde
Prototyle Mama-
Style Cakes-
NO(LA) More Chains-
Seams That Way-
Miss Malaprop-
Odelma Vintage-
Wanna participate in our April round of guest posts? Keep up with the Southern Fashion Bloggers on our new Twitter account at @southfashblogs.
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Wigging Out

I just bought two new wigs, which can only mean one thing. It’s officially carnival season!
I have a serious, serious addiction to wigs and fortunately I live in the best city for costuming so there are many opportunities to wear them.  Words can’t really describe the deep affinity I have for my hometown and everything associated with Mardi Gras. Even during my extended evacuation 3.5 year stint in Arizona I always took time off work for the most special day of the year.
Ya can’t really do Mardi Gras justice without a costume and ya can’t do a costume justice without a wig.
 I take my costumes and my fun seriously so listen up for how to do it right.
Wig buying:
A cheap wig will always look cheap but don’t be fooled by a high price tag either. Pick wigs that have a skin top (flesh colored plastic at the crown) and that are full, not thin to the point where your real hair shows through. Most synthetic wigs are made from  kanekalon which has a realistic look. Unless your hair piece is of the human variety don’t attempt to heat style it! Anything besides a blow dryer on a low setting will melt the plastic fibers.
For idiot proof shopping Fifi Mahony’s in the French Quarter can’t be beat. Uptown Costume & Dancewear on Magazine St. and Napoleon has a wide variety but their quality varies. Never buy a wig from a drugstore, especially if we are blood related.
Style It:
A hairpiece is much more presentable when it is styled. You probably aren’t going for a realistic look for a costume but little additions to your noggin will make the look more believable. Headbands, barrettes, scarves, and a strategically placed bobby pin can make a big difference. Even just two simple pigtails can really transform the piece.

Nurture it:
A good wig will last you a long time with proper care. Gently brush your wig before and after use to maintain its shape and don’t just wad it up and throw it in the closet when you are done!  I always store my wigs in a wig cap and/or the box they came in. If they get soiled or stinky you can wash them in warm water with a mild soap and let it air dry.
Make an outfit:
I typically think of a costume and then add the wig but you can certainly gain influence from the wig. If you have an outfit already picked out think about the style. Playing the part of a mermaid? Curly blue or green locks makes more sense than a fire engine red bob.
You don’t have don an entire costume but don’t just wear jeans and a t-shirt either. Make it a point to dress up a bit.
When you are trying on party wigs keep in mind that you can’t just throw one on and go! In order for it to really look good makeup is essential. Keep in mind you’ll want to wear more makeup than usual. Have a crazy colored eyeshadow? Now is a great time to test it out.  I typically wear faux lashes for added oomph.

You can also get more wig and costume ideas by checking out the costumes tag in the sidebar.

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style