Now that Mardi Gras has ended and you’ve stored your fanny packs and neon fur coats in the costume box under your bed, let’s take a step back and analyze the evolution of Mardi Gras fashion at Tulane. Outfits for carnival season here aren’t just special, they take dedication, perseverance, time, and effort. I mean this in the way that we piece together outfits six months in advance… or at least I do. But it wasn’t always this way; over the years, as the fashion world has evolved, college girls have gotten more prepared for Mardi season each year, the outfits have gotten more and more extravagant. So let’s travel back in time, all the way to 2014, the era of tutus and tube socks. 

Lila Day’s Instagram

This picture features two Tulane freshmen circa 2014, rocking their best Mardi Clothes, comprised of masks, kitschy tank tops, red, yellow and green tutus, and tube socks. Now please don’t think I’m throwing shade at these ladies, because I’m not. What I wouldn’t give to go back to a day where I could be fully clothed and simply dressed… ahhh:) These outfits were hip and groovy at the time, but they just wouldn’t cut it today in today’s age of Instagram. 

Now let’s fast forward to 2015. Tutus were still all the rage, but just for good measure, let’s throw some colorful and patterned leggings under them. Not to mention, cheeky graphic tees became all the rage. Don’t forget funky socks and colored hair ties. And enter fanny packs. These fits are definitely amped up when compared to the year before, but they still scream outdated. 

Moving on to 2016 and 2017, when I was a freshman: emoji leggings and fanny packs with phrases written on them were all the rage. “Rosé All Day” and “Mardi Pardi” were splattered across t-shirts that would hang over metallic leggings. I can’t stress this enough: leggings, leggings, leggings. That’s all anyone cared about. Check out this picture for proof! 

Ally Frankel

Now moving on to the more present outfits, 2018, 2019, and 2020 have brought neon furs, matching two-pieces, and bathing suit inspired outfits galore. As a junior, it’s pretty amazing to see the freshmen rocking well-put together outfits, but a part of me thinks they should pay their dues of wearing cringe-worthy outfits. Nonetheless, as I mentioned, we spend months and months on our Mardi Gras outfits, and I have the pictures to show for it. Camo pants with matching bucket hats have taken over, as well as reflective clothing items inspired by Kendrick Lamar.

Whenever I am choosing an outfit, I make sure to factor in accessories like hair pieces, jewelry, body and face gems, glitter, matching shoes, and a matching jacket. As my mother says, it’s all about the accessories. In the world of bags, the fashion trend has shifted from fanny packs that sit on your hips to miniature backpacks that only hold one lipgloss and your wallet. They’re not the most functional, but they’re cute. 

And please don’t think I’ve forgotten about boys, it’s just that there isn’t much to say about them; they wear jerseys and fraternity shirts. That’s about it! But we love them anyways.

God only knows what the future of Mardi Gras fashion will bring, but we can only hope that it goes up from here. Check back in one year to see what Mardi Gras 2021 has in store! 

Cover Photo: Rachel Wine