We want you guys to have a good time during Mardi Gras, but it’s no secret that, here in America, Bourbon Street in New Orleans can get a little crazy. Anybody can get drunk, sling beads around and perform vile, unspeakable acts throughout the night, but as a reader of of Iron & Oak, we know that you’re better than that. Here’s how to prepare for Mardi Gras with class, in a gentleman-like manner.
It may be nice to educate yourself about Mardi Gras before you head out and actually celebrate. Mardi Gras, also known as Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday, refers to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent in the Western Christian calendar. Mardi Gras marks the last day devoted Christians can eat rich, fatty foods before fasting for Lent.
All around the world, large festivals are held in celebration of the holiday. Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Mexico and the United States are just a few of the main countries partaking in the festivities.
Here in America, the holiday officially started in 1703 when French settlers arrived in the Louisiana territory before the States were officially established. The first organized Mardi Gras celebration began in what would eventually become Mobile, Alabama, the official capital of the Louisiana territory at the time. In 1720, Biloxi was made the capital of the Louisiana territory before New Orleans was finally made the capital in 1723. Mardi Gras has been a huge celebration in New Orleans ever since.
There are probably going to be a lot of women on Bourbon Street celebrating Mardi Gras in scantily clad clothing tonight. Whether you’re in New Orleans or not, this does not mean you should dress in gym shorts and your old college t-shirt. No. You should still class up, stand out from the crowd and look great.
After you get out of the shower and modestly apply your cologne, we at of Iron & Oak would recommend throwing on a nice, well-ironed dress shirt and pants. Skip the suit jacket because you’re trying to have fun, and if you’re actually in New Orleans, it may be a bit warm. If you’re celebrating around your local area and it’s cold out, we’d recommend some sort of pea coat for outdoors, but hang that coat up as soon as you get to the bar. You don’t want to conceal your sumptuous style.
We’d, of course, recommend a tie. Tie it any way you’d like, but our favorite is the full windsor. It’s just so big and bold, making quite the statement. If you also want to throw on a nice vest, feel free. If you can pull it off, vests add just a bit of class to your outfit without looking tacky.
Lastly, tie it all together with a great pair of shoes. Don’t be that guy who puts on his Sunday’s best and then wears sneakers. You’re not Kanye West. Get a nice pair of shoes, shine them up and you should be good to go. Women really pay attention to stuff like that.
Although it isn’t really important, as far as color options are concerned, we suggest sticking with Mardi Gras themed colors like rich purples, deep greens or subtle golds. Because, why not? You’ll look great, remain relevant to the evening and you won’t stick out like a sore thumb. You want to stand out from the crowd with style, yes. Just not in a negative manner.
Before you head out to the bar, maybe you’d like to have yourself a little drink. There are most likely going to be plenty of New Orleans-style drink specials at most bars such as the infamous Hurricanes and Hand Grenades. There will be plenty of time to partake in such drink specials later, but we’ll always suggest whiskey. In this instance, bourbon seems fitting. You know, because of Bourbon street. Try Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek or Basil Hayden. Drink it neat or on the rocks, however you’d prefer.
It may also be a good idea to eat before you head out and consume an exorbitant amount of alcohol. If you’re actually in New Orleans, there are plenty of treats for you on Bourbon Street and the surrounding French Quarter. However, if you’re not in town and still want to feel as though you are, here are some great New Orleans themed recipes from TasteofHome.com you may want to try. Show off your cooking skills by cooking them up for your friends or girlfriend before heading out.
Crispy Cajun Potato Wedges
Chicken and Okra Gumbo
HAPPY MARDI GRAS!
Great! Now you’re finally ready to head out to celebrate. Remember, you are a gentleman. So even if drinks are being emptied, beads are being thrown and breasts are being flashed, you still have to keep your cool. Don’t be like the hundreds of other guys out there who have given Mardi Gras a bad name over the years. Keep calm, cool and collect, be yourself and have fun.
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