Captured

How to celebrate Mardi Gras like it's the 1950s

Hint: More clothes, fewer beads

Clowns mardi gras

It's Fat Tuesday, the final day of an annual celebration in New Orleans dedicated to beads, booze, and Rob Ford floats.

At least, that's the modern-day version of Mardi Gras. But the fete traces its history all the way back to ancient Roman times, when it was a rather staid Christian holiday meant to kick off the Lenten season.

While today's more bacchanalian incarnation still signals the beginning of 40 days of penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, the bead-throwing and costume-wearing are more modern interpretations.

So before donning a scandalous outfit and sashaying down Canal Street, take some inspiration from these 1950s revelers, who used plenty of creativity — and fabric — in crafting their Mardi Gras "fancy dress" looks:

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