Mardi Gras season requires a lot of preparation. You must be ready in mind, body and liver to endure all that New Orleans’ favorite holiday has to offer. One of the most notable traditions of Mardi Gras festivities is the crazy costumes. If you’re an Uptown college student looking to go all out this year without breaking the bank, this guide is for you.
1. Buffalo Exchange, 3312 Magazine Street
This quirky thrift shop buys, trades and sells clothes locally. It’s a street car ride away from Tulane’s campus and is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Super convenient and super affordable, Buffalo Exchange should be one of the first stops on your festival season shopping spree. They have a whole rack full of neon items, sequined apparel and crazy costumes that are perfect for a parade in the French Quarter. You can also trade in or sell outfits from previous years, making Buffalo Exchange an even more fiscally responsible choice.
2. Funky Monkey, 3127 Magazine Street
Like Buffalo Exchange, this boutique also features many recycled, reasonably priced items. It specializes in all things vintage and carries a wide variety of costume pieces. From jewelry to wigs to wacky shoes, Funky Monkey has it all. The selection is constantly being changed and updated, so if you can’t find something that fits your needs you can always try again the next week. While not quite as inexpensive as the local thrift shops, this boutique has some really unique options that are definitely worth the investment. It’s right down the street from Buffalo Exchange, making Funky Monkey the obvious next stop on your Mardi Gras costume-hunting adventure.
3. Miss Claudia’s Vintage Clothing and Costumes, 4204 Magazine Street
Widely known for its hip 1960s selection, Miss Claudia’s offers costumes galore. These pieces are truly unique, so you won’t have to worry about that awkward, disheartening moment when you run into 10 sorority girls on Bourbon Street wearing the exact same metallic leggings as you. The shop may be small, but it is jam packed with Mardi Gras apparel gold. The prices tend to vary, so while some items are total steals, others aren’t nearly as budget-friendly. However, since it’s right down the street from Buffalo Exchange and Funky Monkey, it would definitely be a convenient, worthwhile visit.
4. Bloomin’ Deals Thrift Shop, 4645 Freret Street
This shop is not as costume-oriented as some of the other options, however it is extremely inexpensive. I would recommend this place if you need basic Mardi Gras survival items such as comfortable sneakers or a raincoat. You already know these items aren’t going to make it back to campus in good condition (if at all), so you might as well get something cheap at Bloomin’ Deals instead of trashing things you already own and might want to wear again. They also offer “fill the bag” days where you pay a few bucks to fill up a whole shopping bag with as many items as you can carry. Not exactly a costume shop, but definitely worth the trip for the basics.