A Stinge’s Guide to Mardi Gras Part 2: The Outfit

Ok, so we’ve already talked about the best events for the budget Mardi Gras punter, but you obviously need something to wear to, because there’s absolutely no way you’re going to let a drag queen out do you, nope, not this year. You need feathers, you need rhinestones, you need sequins and you need leather. Unfortunately, all of those things are pretty pricey and a brand new showgirl outfit from House of Priscilla isn’t exactly in your budget, is it?


Really, all you need is a pair of sequin underwear and some feathers in your hair and you can look as fabulous as these men!

This is where it comes in handy to have a sewing machine and a few basic tailoring moves under your belt, which I’m lucky enough to have, but you might not – so, short of going starkers and hoping for a warm night, what’s a gay to do?

Well the theme is kaleidoscope, so we want loads of colour and sparkle and BOOM in your face-ness, obviously. So let’s get down to business. Just like Mean Girls-style Halloween, Mardi Gras is the one day of the year where it’s acceptable to wear as little as possible, so we’re going to run with that – because less clothing is cheaper, right?!

So I called in my friend Andie, who dresses drag queens for a living and she helped me round up some outfits, as well as imparting tips on where to find bargains and unexpected drag-fabulous finds that Ru Paul would want to shantay stay (and not sashay away)!

First up, go through your wardrobe. What do you already own? I have a wardrobe full of sequins, sparkles and feathers that I’ve accumulated over the years and it all still fits. Rather than go out and splurge on a whole new outfit, I have several base pieces to work with, including a pair of gold sequin shorts and a little feather skirt that I nicked from my mum’s wardrobe a few years back. I also have more hair accessories than you can poke a stick at and some really ridiculous neckplates.

Costume jewelry places like Diva and Lovisa are excellent for cheap pieces that make a statement – they have loads of bright, enamel, chunky jewelry to spruce up your outfit. Also they are stocked up on those over-sized flower headbands, which are perfect for Mardi Gras.


This one is super cute, has all the colours and can be purchased here.

Or you can go a little subtler with this little gem:


Yeah, that is an infinity bracelet that just happens to look exactly like the official Mardi Gras logo! How cute! And at $7.99, such a bargain! I am definitely getting myself one of these. It will go perfectly with the ridiculous pink, purple and green sequin extravagance that I intend to wear to the parade this year.

You can buy it here.

Image 1 of Gossard Egoboost Exclusive To Asos Sequin High Waisted Short

ASOS is trying to pass these off as ‘shorts’. Normally, I would argue this… but for Mardi Gras? Yup, they’re shorts. And they’re only $11 – click here to purchase these ‘shorts’.

But if those shorts are a bit too… underwear… for you, then here are some excellent compromises:

Image 1 of ASOS Cami Top in Disc Sequins with Mesh Panels____Image 3 of New Look Sequin Skater Skirt

This gold sequin top is fab at only $29, click here. For those who want to twirl their sequins, this skirt is a bargain at $15! Click here.

Image 3 of Vero Moda Sequin Stripe Top____Image 3 of ASOS Cami In Sequin Rainbow

This tshirt could totally be rocked by anyone, male or female or otherwise and it’s only $24, click here. The rainbow cami SCREAMS Mardi Gras and is only $34, click here.

Oh… what? You’re still thinking about those red sequin underwear shorts? Yeah, me too. I definitely want to make a statement.

The $5 bin at House of Priscilla is a goldmine, especially if you’re on the smaller side. Check out what Andie scored today:


There’s also a myriad of vintage and vintage-style stores at the Oxford St end of Crown St, including C’s Flash Back and U-Turn. (Grandma Takes a Trip seems to have disappeared… eek!)

Crazy Discount on Oxford St, near Slide and the Oxford St IGA, is also full of cheap accessories that you can easily customise with a trip to Spotlight.

Stores like Ice, Chic-a-Booti and Supre always have incredibly strange, costume-ready bargains to be discovered in the sale section, check out some of these finds:


This Ice mesh dress is $10, the Union Jack bustier is $7.95 and the lips dress is $40


This Sequin dress is $50, the cross cuff is $5 and the leopard print jumpsuit is $20


This fringe dress is $50, the tassel playsuit is $16 and the neon yellow skirt is $25

Kmart and Target both have excellent sale sections and dotted around the city are various bargain outlets, like Big Bargain, which are packed with sequins, neon neoprene and lace body suits and nothing is over $10! Seriously, you can pull together magic with a little digging – make it a fun day out with your friends! Just buy a bag of glitter or rhinestones and some fabric glue from Spotlight or Lincraft to pull the outfit together.

Happy Mardi Gras everybody!

What are you planning on wearing to Mardi Gras this year? Have you got any tips on where to find excellent Mardi Gras friendly bargains?