Whether it's because of last weekend's Super Bowl or next week's Mardi Gras celebrations, we've got New Orleans on the mind. The birthplace of jazz and Creole cuisine, we love New Orleans' big, bold personality. So for a trip to the Big Easy, we've got great picks so you can dress the part.
Start your day with café au lait and beignets at the legendary Cafe du Monde in this light pink jacket ($49.95 by Topshop). The sweet color is balanced nicely with a chic motorcycle cut. For balmy temperatures, layer this rose-print muscle tee underneath ($17.80), worn with these distressed boyfriend jeans ($209 by J Brand), roomy enough for strolling around the Garden District, studded with grand historic homes. Add these coral booties with a chunky low heel ($285) for an added touch of color ($285), which also makes for a smart transitional buy between the winter and spring months. A cross-body bag, like this one in a neutral hue, is great for day ($198 by Madewell) when you might be ogling gorgeous vintage furniture and home wares at Perch. Lastly, add these dramatic tortoiseshell sunnies in a cool angled frame ($180 by Karen Walker).
Go with Mardi Gras' traditional colors (green, purple, and gold) when the sun sets by donning this fit and flare lime green dress ($129). Add patent black wedge sandals ($152), and pack this Mardi Gras butterfly feather mask (a steal for $5.99 at Party City) while earning your beaded necklaces on Bourbon Street, the main artery through the French Quarter. For a more polished alternative, head to Frenchmen Street, where venues like The Spotted Cat set the stage for live jazz. Bring along a canvas silver and black striped clutch ($95) and this little black cardigan ($76).
Stroll the Warehouse District to get a sense of an emerging New Orleans area. The now trendy hood with converted industrial lofts boasts art galleries down Julia Street and fabulous food on Tchoupitoulas Street like Cochon Butcher (must try: the Cochon muffaletta with house-cured meat). For the day, wear this bright orange gingham button-down ($64.50 by J. Crew) with moss-colored chinos ($155) and these Comme des Garcons sneaks ($105). A couple accessories like this black leather belt with cool trap closure ($125) and burnished green and brown wallet ($225) ups your style quotient. Cap it off with a little team spirit: this New Orleans Saints baseball cap ($36).
Bar-Hopping On Bourbon Street
Tuck these saxophone beaded Mardi Gras necklaces in your carry-on ($7.95). Loop a few on to hit the bars on Bourbon Street, in dark khaki pants ($39.95) and this locally minded printed t-shirt. (Morgus the Magnificient is a mad scientist character on a TV series that originated in New Orleans.) Add this zip jacket in navy for cooler night breezes ($24.50), and pull on these Mardi Gras socks ($4.99) to wear with camel colored boots ($114.01)
Where to Stay
With close access to Bourbon Street festivities but without being in the thick of the hustle-bustle, try the boutique jewel Hotel Le Marais. Of course Mardi Gras is high-season for the hotel, but go another time and you'll find a variety of specials like the "Live to Eat" package, perfect for a long weekend. Nearby, the year-old The Saint hotel is also within easy walking distance to the parade route. Or spring for a room at the Hotel Modern in the hipster-friendly Warehouse District, which sports sleek, minimalist lines. Conveniently, the hotel also hosts a viewing stand along the Mardi Gras parade route, tickets starting at $15.
Photo credits: Women Day: Top Left: Madewell Inc.; Bottom Left: Aritzia LP; Center: Forever 21, Inc.; Top Far Right: Barneys New York; Top Right: Madewell Inc.; Bottom Right: hm.com. Women Night: Top Left: us.topshop.com; Bottom Left: L-atitude LLC (DE); Center: Bebe.com; Top Right: Party City; Bottom Right: Neiman Marcus. Men Day: Top Left: Mr Porter; Left Center: BLACKBIRD INC.; Bottom Left: J. Crew; Center Top: neworleanssaintsteamshop.com; Center Bottom: J. Crew; Right: BLACKBIRD INC. Men Night: Top Far Left: us.asos.com; Top Left: Party City; Bottom Left: SKIP Nâ€™ WHISTLE NEW ORLEANS; Center: Zumiez; Top Right: Amolâ€™s Specialty Inc; Bottom Right: amrag.com.