Formals for Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is not just about the beads, parades and partying- well maybe partying is the biggest part of it- but it is also about the Mardi Gras Balls! In case you are not privy to what a Mardi Gras Ball is, let me explain. The women wear formal dresses and then men wear tuxes, you have to pay and be invited to go and they are the most fun that you will ever have during Mardi Gras.
Sometimes, however, you are going to multiple Mardi Gras Balls and you need multiple dresses. Here are a few that I have found in my search for the perfect dresses. Also- check out all of the sales going on since the new year began- not too shabby!
Tips discussed below:
- Long Gowns
- Bustle Your Dress
- Shorter the Heel the Better (this time only)
Should you opt for the traditional, classic gown, BCBG has tons of beautiful dresses, and it just so happens that they have wonderful sales after the new year (I just recently purchased a formal for $49!!!). This classic black dress is beautiful and perfect for a Mardi Gras Ball. One thing to keep in mind while you are shopping for the perfect dress is that it is inevitable that the floors will become more and more disgusting as the night progresses. The best way to insure that you do not completely ruin your dress is to get a dress that has a dark color on the bottom or at least a pattern. It does not have to be black, but I can tell you from experience in ruining many dresses at Mardi Gras balls, that dark and patterns are the way to go.
If you do ruin your dress, the best thing to do is bring it to a tailor to have them turn it into a cocktail dress. This has saved many of my dresses and given me more options when wedding season comes and you need a new dress every weekend.
Sexy and Colorful
Two things are for sure... there is no such thing as too sexy or too formal for Mardi Gras. You can definitely be too casual though- no short dresses are allowed. Mardi Gras is a very colorful holiday- purple, gold and green being the predominant colors. The color scheme is not limited to these colors, however (see my Mardi Gras hub for examples of all of the colors of the season). So, feel free to branch out and wear a crazy dress, the likelihood is that there will be a number of others who out-sexy your dress.
Sexy does not have to mean cut outs to your navel, any well-fitted dress that shows off your best assets, whatever they may be, is definitely sexy. Another tip for those form-fitting dresses is to invest in some spanks or some version of them (Target has a line). Not that you need one, but it is nice to not have to worry about accidentally exhaling and pooching out!
SHOES- the one time higher isn't better
I LOVE high heeled shoes. When it comes to feeling beautiful and sexy, nothing does it better than a 4-5 inch heel. However, at a Mardi Gras Ball, you will be on your feet for a minimum of 8-10 hours! This party starts at about 5 PM and does not end until 2 or 3 AM (or later). You may bring flatter shoes to change into, but it is not recommended to wear flip flops into the ball. There are dress codes, and the entire outfit does need to be formal when you enter. Many men bring tennis shoes or driving shoes to change out of their formal shoes, but rarely do you see women in anything other than maybe some dressy flip flops.
To play it safe and to ensure that you can keep your heels on for the duration of the evening, stick to 1-3 inch heels and make sure to get your dress hemmed to the appropriate length so that you are not tripping on your dress the whole night. Another idea is to get a bustle put on your dress so that if you do opt to change into flats during the evening, you can "shorten" your dress.
Piperlime has a variety of prices and many beautiful shoes. If you are not careful, you will be spending more on the shoes than you will on your dress!!!
Sometimes you can also find a wedge that looks like a strappy heel. Wedges are so much more comfortable than a stiletto and will be hidden under your dress for the most part.