…welcome to DFW’s MARDI GRAS COSTUME IDEAS HQ!
HOW DO NORTH TEXANS CELEBRATE MARDI GRAS?
If you are new to Dallas, a long time resident or a native Texan who wants to join the fun, you need know how the locals celebrate and dress for Mardi Gras. Dallasites who love to travel might go to Galveston, Mobile, New Orleans, Shreveport/Bossier, Baton Rouge or even to Carnival in Brazil or Trinidad & Tobago and when they go, they go big.
Whatever the case, folks come into the shop knowing they can assemble outrageously detailed outfits worthy of Hollywood celebrities & VIPs before they travel. Many Texans, however, have learned that there is a myriad of fantastic Mardi Gras festivities worthy of overdoing to an extreme, right here in North Texas for both fun loving commoners and the more affluent.
Mardi Gras isn’t just for NOLA!
For some locals, Mardi Gras, in French means ‘another chance to party’ or to costume fanatics and party animals it means, ‘Show Time, Baby!’ No, not really. It actually means ‘Fat Tuesday,’ reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. Fat Tuesday is followed by Ash Wednesday and Lenten lasts 40 days and ends on Easter Sunday. The dates are different each year. Everywhere, including Dallas, Mardi Gras parties and events get started early in the year and offers costume opportunities for both the gregarious and the more modest celebrants. Know this, although Mardi Gras actually applies to Fat Tuesday, celebrations traditionally start in early January with parades, Krewe parties, gala balls and even weddings. When you go back over 100 years, one way that Texans celebrated Mardi Gras was with a masquerade ball and now, charity and gala balls abound. Dallas has become an amazing place to celebrate, in a huge variety of ways. Just remember, around here, bigger is always better. So, what can North Texans, whether new arrivals or fully integrated, expect from Mardi Gras celebrations in the Metroplex?
Mardi Gras is better ‘In Costume!’
Have you noticed that people who celebrate Mardi Gras in a fabulous costume always have more fun? Well, we are prepared with costumes and ideas you have never imagined. We encourage you to at least wear a jester hat, a crown, hideous oversized beads, a tinsel wig, ridiculous glasses, or all of the above, anywhere from a work themed party, to a themed bar crawl for some fun.
For greater opportunities to wear more serious costumes, you could attend public parades and parties or go to one of the many gala balls(search local event guides or see the DFW EVENTS GUIDE on this website). As you can expect, its sorta’ normal for Dallas residents to go over the top with their costumes, but its okay if you are more conservative. Either way, folks depend on Dallas Vintage Shop to find what they need. We have endeavored to provide you with several categories of Mardi Gras events for DFW Metroplexians to enjoy.
Mardi Gras Charity Events, Balls & Fund Raisers
Dallas is home to several Mardi Gras galas and charity fundraisers throughout the Metroplex. As a new Dallas resident or if you’re new to celebrating Mardi Gras, what can be expected at these parties? Also, what is the appropriate attire? When attending a formal gala or charity event, a black-tie gown and tux is appropriate, and often paired with a masquerade mask. This is traditional Mardi Gras gala attire. If you will be attending galas in NOLA, Dallas or elsewhere, it would behoove you to consider that you will be in attendance with some high society, socialites, celebrities(local or otherwise), and Krewe royalty, aristocracy, debutantes or those who aspire. Its a chance to rub shoulders, dress pretentiously and give generously to humanitarian, educational or other philanthropic causes that are favored by the hosting organization or Krewe.
Some people step up by dressing in the three main colors of Mardi Gras, or they wear more elaborate masks to stand out in a crowd. Traditional and conservative gowns and dresses can be elevated with elaborate jewelry and/or an elegant shawl or wrap as well. Expect to see some ‘Las Vegas showy’ and Hollywood red carpet inspired outfits. Nice accessories in Mardi Gras colors are desirable. We are loaded with such accessory and formal attire selections, which are safe, standard gala options.
Alternatively, effervescence rules during the Mardi Gras season. Very extravagant themed Mardi Gras costume balls and Mardi Gras Krewe costume balls may be more extreme and can call for some real ‘show stopper’ outfits. Some individuals(and you know who you are), wear whatever they want, to whatever event they want. Expect surprises.
Mardi Gras balls began in the 1700’s and by the end of the 1800’s, had found their way to Texas. These galas start on Twelfth Night (January 6th). At the first ball, a King Cake is cut, and whoever find the “Bean” or a ‘baby Jesus’ hidden somewhere inside the cake, hosts the next ball. This continues until Mardi Gras evening. Now, various Krewes host balls throughout the months from Twelfth Night until Fat Tuesday. In celebration, there are three main colors indicative of Mardi Gras. Purple to represent Justice, Green to represent Faith, and Gold to represent Power. These three colors represent the “King.” Dallas Vintage Shop is loaded with gala Krewe attire and Mardi Gras formal attire. You will find our encyclopedic collection of royalty jewelry, extravagant masks and other accoutrements are absolutely perfect for any Mardi Gras charity event, gala ball or Krewe event. Come and be amazed.
Mardi Gras Parades & Festivals
If you don’t want to go formal, we suggest you go to parades, which are often big ‘to do’s’ in local large & small towns alike. Parade costumes like jesters, show girls, pimp daddys, royalty, Voodoo, Hoodoo, devils and other innumerable crowd pleasers are unlimited at Dallas Vintage Shop. As a matter of fact, we kinda’ excel in these types of costumes. Mardi Gras is an explosion of creativity and our goal is to keep up. When you’re out and about, you never know when or where you might encounter a traditional Mardi Gras style wedding procession or funeral dirge with their ‘Second Line’ mourners & wavers.
Mardi Gras Krewes consist of members of organizations that celebrate this time of year with balls and parades. Each Krewe has their own history and tradition. Several of those Krewes have made their way into many of the most popular Dallas Metroplex neighborhoods. And yes, some of the local Krewes are steeped in as much tradition, fanaticism and exclusivity as anywhere else. Its a lifestyle. Sometimes pedigree is everything, but some Krewes are wide open for recruits & participants in parades and especially their charity events.
Parade themes change frequently or annually, usually having to do with history, mythology, entertainment, and legend(Check with local event calendars and official websites for specific 2020 themes). Dallas Vintage Shop can help find Krewe themed getups ranging from Greek & Roman mythology to period attire for Renaissance royalty, and more. The parade floats are filled with costume characters decked out in over the top attire, but it’s not just the actors that are dressed up. The attendees are usually encouraged to dress up and have fun too! We have plenty of outfits for all.
Expect to see sequin and metallic cloaks, feathered robes and capes, showgirl headdresses, glittering tinsel wigs, frivolous fascinators and humongous hats, jeweled and beaded royalty attire, glitzy modern metallic and flamboyant sports coats, pimped out tuxedos, colorful vests and ties, outrageous boas, giant beads, bobbles, crazy glasses and eclectic outfits that you could never imagine exists or be worn in such combinations. This actually describes the variety of ‘wow factor’ formal and costume attire that has accumulated at Dallas Vintage Shop. The intent is to show off and have fun. Do not forget about the Mardi Gras & masquerade masks to help you keep up the tradition. Our collection of masks is a site to behold, and it often takes an hour or more to thoroughly explore your choices. You need to allow yourself plenty of time to optimize your chance of getting the perfect mask or costume ensemble possible.
Mardi Gras Pub Crawls and Bar Scenes
Pub crawls and bar scenes can get a little sexy, corny or even cheesy and these events occour all over the Metroplex. These activities are open to creativity and the best outfits may be rewarded with healthy monetary prizes, notoriety and accolades. You don’t have to go all out though, even Mardi Gras slackers attire is acceptable in this crowd. Don’t be shocked if a funeral dirge streams through the club, restaurant, parade crowd or private party you attend. If you play a musical instrument, especially brass, and you like costumes, you might volunteer or hire yourself out to experience, first hand, one of the more amusing Mardi Gras phenomenons.
The club scene and bar crawl staple digs are sequins, satin, lume & showy, if not obnoxious, articles of clothing befitting happy hour or cocktail parties. Add some Mardi Gras beads, doubloons, a masks, a brightly colored hat, a sport coat, vest or tie and you’re good to go. Just remember a comfortable pair of shoes! We also recommend dressing in layers because the weather is unpredictable in Texas, as they say.
Mardi Gras Private Parties
Hope and pray that you get an invite to one of the more exclusive, private parties that Dallas is famous for. Expect an all out affair from costumes to decorations and try not to gawk! This year, the 1920’s will be a big theme for many parties because its the 100th year since the ‘Roaring 20’s.’ Fringe, beaded and fancy flapper dresses in purple, gold, or green will be in demand. We have tons of these as well as Mardi Gras flapper head bands, whimseys, gloves, wraps, broaches, suits, fedoras, top hats, vests, ties and even shoes in Mardi Gras colors. Our Art Deco & Art Nouveau jewelry and our beaded, sequin, tasseled kimono jackets, for the 20’s are exquisite. Other themes will include New Orleans French heritage, Cajun or Voodoo tradition & Carnivale Rio style celebrations. Our Victorian Goth clothing and accessory collection is unsurpassed. Mystery masquerade parties emphasize masks & costumes to conceal your identity. Expect Renaissance era royalty, nobility & aristocracy to show up anywhere from private parties to parades. The players, pimps & hoochies cannot be forgotten and you might even intersect a traditional Mardi Gras wedding procession or celebration.
Private parties can provide safe, family friendly fun or the chance to really go hog wild. Set your own limits. Most party invites will let you know what to expect. Just let us know your theme or costume idea and we can dress you to impress!
Celebrants, new and old, consider this, Mardi Gras is a time to have fun and feel good. Wear an amusing costume that makes you happy. Dallas Vintage Shop can help you find fresh ideas or help you complete or update your old Mardi Gras costumes and we can even suggest which Mardi Gras costume events work best for you!
Here is a small list of the big Mardi Gras festivities in the DFW Area
- 2020 02/09 Mardi Gras Shreveport Bossier
- 2020 02/14-02/15 Mardi Gras Galveston
- 2020 02/15 Mardi Gras Gala 2020
- 2020 02/22 Mardi Gras Texas Style!
- 2020 02/23 Mardi Gras Oak Cliff Parade presented by Origin Bank
- 2020 02/25 Mardi Gras New Orleans
- SEE MORE on DFW EVENTS GUIDE