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Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

Level Contributor
88 posts
23 reviews
Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

You guys were so gracious in helping me w/my restaurant choices, I thought you might could help me with packing. (My husband thinks I am crazy for thinking about this already!). We are going to be in NO March 3-6 (Thurs-Sun). I know the guys will take a jacket or 2 but I am clueless?????? We are staying in the FQ and will be doing lots of walking.

Blenheim, Canada
Level Contributor
10,657 posts
77 reviews
1. Re: Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

Ackisner--I took a light jacket, t-shirts, sweatshirt, light gloves, jeans...nothing spectacular! But my Mardi Gras was in February. I'd still suggest the same things. The wind can get really cold on Canal Street if that's where you'll be standing to see the parades. Have fun and catch LOTZA beads!!!!!

College Station...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
Level Contributor
13,351 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

Not much at specifying womens clothes. However, my favorite NOLA garment for February through April, and October through December, is a black light weight breathable fabric (important) windbreaker type rain (waterproof) jacket. If it's warm you can wear it over a lightweight short sleeve shirt, if it's cold you can wear it over a long sleeve heavyweight shirt or sweater, and if you don't need it you can fold it up into your (or in my case my wife's) purse. Something else that seems to come in handy for both men and women are nice black jeans; they are comfortable and casual, but will get you into all but a very few of the nice restaurants at night.

Level Contributor
70 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

I would advise clothing with close-able inside pockets and/or a hidden money belt.

Comfy (already broken in!) walking shoes or boots that you don't have too much invested in (because some places you may end up walking are pretty much a biohazard).

Definitely a good windbreaker, as the others stated....and gloves! (I HAD to buy some there last year, which wasn't convenient....and I'm not even easily chilled)

Costumes and/or flamboyant clothes are (arguably) somewhat important if you truely want to be in the Mardi Gras spirit. Don't be afraid to bust out some sequins or feathers, or something so awesomely Gaudi that you'd never be caught dead at home in it. That's what Mardi Gras is for! : )

Level Contributor
88 posts
23 reviews
4. Re: Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

Thanks all! Basically, I need to stop worrying about being cute and be comfortable. One issue is the weather...one day it is snowing and the next 70 degrees. I am certainly hoping for it to stay in the 70's.

12 more days!!

Kansas City
Level Contributor
5,990 posts
7 reviews
5. Re: Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

Just be cute in layered outfits ; )

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
479 posts
1 review
6. Re: Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

Ack -

This year Mardi Gras is about 3 weeks later than last year, so hopefully you will have warmer temperatures, but last year is was in the 30s on Mardi Gras morning. We were up early to get a good spot for the parades and you can wait a long time in between parades. My husband was happy to have his warm toque-like hat and I was good with a hooded fleece. We both would have appreciated some mittens, so I would recommend you slip a pair of cheap ones into your bag.

Yes, we saw lots of girls who were dressed "cute" with short dresses and heels but they were freezing their butts off , could not have been comfortable and looked miserable!

Be sure to make one of your first stops the French Market. You can buy some fun beads, masks, feather boas, etc. for really good prices for your Mardi Gras costumes.

Also, bring some bags for carrying your beads, like the reusable "green" shopping bags. On Mardi Gras day, I think we filled 4 of them! You can sometimes get lucky and score a bag from one of the floats (it's what they have their beads in) and these a fun souveniers. But I don't think you will regret bringing a few with you. (You can stuff all in one, for carrying on parade days). Lastly, we were super happy to have brought an extra (empty) checkable duffel bag with us. It was filled to the rim on the flight home, along with 2 "bead" bags we checked and stuffed luggage.


hamilton ontario
Level Contributor
14 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

are black jeans ok at Commanders, and what are some of the places where you absolutely have to be better dressed to eat it?

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
479 posts
1 review
8. Re: Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

Indacrease - there has been some disagreement about whether it's okay to wear jeans to CP. It seems to me that mostly the posters who say "no" are saying it from a sort of respect-for-the-classiness-of-the-occassion perspective. Without taking sides on that issue, I will say that I have seen men in blue jeans at CP a number of times. Certainly, you can walk in and be seated with black jeans. A reservation would probably be good. It would be nice, and maybe you would feel less self-conscious, if you are inclined to have that feeling, wearing something a bit nicer, dockers for men, slacks/skirt for women. But it's not like they won't let you in.

Antoine's website says "jackets preferred, but not required."

We had lunch at Antoine's last October on our last day in town. It was pouring rain. My husband was wearing blue jeans but a nice button down shirt and leather jacket. I was probably in slacks. No eyebrows raised.

Galatoires says: "Galatoire's dress code is business casual for lunch. No shorts or t-shirts. Jackets are required for gentlemen starting at 5 p.m. nightly and all day Sunday"

Arnaud's says jackets are "suggested for gentlemen" in the main dining room. We went there for dinner last before Katrina and showed up probably with husband in blue jeans, and we were slightly tipsy. Thought we reported to the "main dining room," we were seated for dinner in their more casual "Jazz Bistro" which was great.


Saginaw, Texas
Level Contributor
16 posts
16 reviews
9. Re: Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

Never stop worrying about being cute and stylish!! We are going that weekend and I am looking for fun, cute clothes to bring. :) It is Mardi Gras!!!!

Level Contributor
1,250 posts
53 reviews
10. Re: Help with packing for Mardi Gras weekend

Glad to know I'm not the only one...I started packing yesterday for our Mar. 5-9 trip!

So far in the suitcase: hubbie's Mexican wrestling mask, singlet, and feather-trimmed cape. My tutu and peacock-feathered top...Let's hope it's nice on Fat Tuesday!

But my best advice is to just go ahead and overpack. You're probably paying to check a bag (even if you can make it down in a carry-on, you'll want to bring stuff back, so it's worth it to have a big bag.) Once I've paid someone to carry my bag, they're gonna have some work to do! ;-)

Bring options since the weather can be capricious, and you might find something you'd planned to wear twice soaked in beer (or worse.)

And I vote with Mardigrasbound: the goal is to be cute while you're comfortable!

Bring the most versatile things you can: shoes that are comfortable but cute enough to wear out at night (wedges work best for me) and items you can layer up and down depending on the weather (sparkly tank, cute shirt, cardigan with a bit more sparkle, stylish scarf...?).