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New Orleans Dress Code: Seasonal Style & Event Attire Secrets

Pack for the Big Easy with flair! Jazz up your suitcase—New Orleans style beckons you to blend comfort and pizzazz, no matter the season or fest. Let's parade through the ultimate wardrobe guide.

Tobi Miles
October 10, 2022

New Orleans is a vibrant city known for its colorful festivals and jazz music. Delicious creole cuisine and Spanish architecture are just a few points about this location that are extremely attractive to tourists.

There is no dress code in New Orleans. Casual attire is allowed everywhere in the city, including jazz clubs and Bourbon Street. Jeans, t-shirts, and boots are acceptable for men and women. Dresses and suits can be worn at night, but are not required. Pack rain jackets and boots in your suitcase to prepare for unpredictable weather conditions.

There are many exciting activities that you may be looking forward to participating in during your upcoming vacation to New Orleans. That’s why we’ve done all the hard work for you and compiled this comprehensive fashion guide for tourists. Read on for detailed outfit suggestions that will help you plan your entire trip. 

What To Wear In New Orleans

Credit: Cntraveller

New Orleans has a subtropical climate that is very humid. Rain can be expected throughout the year, as Louisiana experiences some of the most heavy rainfall in the entire country. 

When traveling to New Orleans, it is important to come prepared for any weather conditions the city can throw your way. If you follow the tips and outfit ideas detailed below, you can rest assured that you will have everything needed for a seamless travel experience. 

What To Wear In New Orleans In The Spring 

Credit: Gonola

The springtime temperatures in Louisiana typically fall between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, it is a good idea to pack jeans or pants, along with a light jacket that can be layered on top. 

Lightweight Jacket

A lightweight jacket is the perfect layering piece for New Orleans in the spring. While you may not need to wear it all day, it is helpful to at least have a sweatshirt on hand in case you get chilly. 

Jeans

Jeans can be paired with a tank top or short sleeve shirt for hotter days. They will also be ideal in the event of an unexpected rain storm or chillier weather conditions. When it’s colder outside, layer a sweatshirt on the top.

Rain Gear

As mentioned previously, it can rain at any time during your trip to New Orleans. Be sure to pack a rain jacket, boots, and an umbrella just in case you need it. While you can’t control the weather conditions, you can certainly be sure it won’t spoil your trip when you come prepared. 

What To Wear In New Orleans In The Summer 

Summer in New Orleans can get extremely hot, surpassing 90 degrees Fahrenheit on average. This time of year also sees the most rainfall through the months of June, July, and August. 

Light Colors

For the sunny and humid days, it is recommended to wear lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen. Light colors are best, as darker shades will attract more heat from the sun.

T-Shirt

When it comes to walking around New Orleans during the day, a short sleeved t-shirt will be your best friend. Go for a lightweight or moisture-wicking material to stay cool and comfortable. 

Shorts/Romper

Rompers are ideal for women to stay cool under the sun in humid conditions. Short rompers are ideal, and can be paired with sandals for walking around during the day. Men can’t go wrong with a t-shirt and a pair of shorts for most activities. 

Rain Jacket

In preparation for a possible rainstorm, be sure to pack a rain jacket or poncho to put over your clothes on wet days. It is best to pack an umbrella and rain boots in the likely event you experience showers at some point during your trip. 

What To Wear In New Orleans In The Fall 

Credit: Frugal Beautiful

New Orleans experiences some of its best weather in the Fall. For this reason, it is the busiest tourist season throughout the year. Visitors can expect warm and cool temperatures and weather that is pleasant overall. 

Long Sleeve T-Shirt

A t-shirt with long sleeves is an ideal starting point for a New Orleans outfit in the fall. Since temperatures will likely be chilly and not freezing, it is best to select a lightweight material for easy layering. 

Pants

Pants or jeans are ideal for visiting New Orleans in the fall. Since there is no dress code in most areas, you can choose whether or not to dress up in slacks for certain occasions. 

Sweater/Coat

A sweater or heavier coat will be needed on chillier days in New Orleans. This piece is essential for the evenings when temperatures drop as well. For convenience when walking between indoor and outdoor venues, choose a coat that buttons or zips in the front. 

Boots

Boots or sneakers will be ideal to complete your look, depending on the activities you have planned. Dress up a nice t-shirt and pair of jeans with boots or select a heeled pair to go with a skirt for more formal attire.

What To Wear In New Orleans In The Winter 

Winters in New Orleans are relatively cold, with temperatures dropping into the 60’s. There is rarely any snow in this climate, but layered clothing is recommended to stay warm during outdoor activities. 

Jacket

A thick jacket is a necessary component in your New Orleans winter wardrobe. Layer it on top of a long sleeved t-shirt or light sweater, and choose an option that is easy to remove once you get inside. 

Knit Hat

On cold or windy days, a knit hat will save your ears from the cold. Choose a color that complements your outfit to stay warm without compromising style. 

Scarf and Gloves

A knit scarf and gloves will keep your hands and neck warm as you explore everything New Orleans has to offer in the winter. When hopping between bars, restaurants, and music venues, these accessories can be removed and stored in your jacket pocket. 

Tights

While pants are the top choice for New Orleans winters, there are other options to wear for style or when the weather is mild. Women can bring warm tights to pair with a dress and boots. 

What Should You Wear In New Orleans In The Daytime?

The daytime weather in New Orleans will vary by season. In the height of the Spring and Summer, days are likely to be extremely hot and will be best experienced with light and minimal clothing. In the same season, tourists can run into a rainstorm, which will require additional preparation. 

For a trip to New Orleans during the warmer months, you will be comfortable in a single layer of light clothing. This can be a short sleeved shirt or tank top with shorts or a loose dress. As long as you are prepared for a sudden rainstorm with backup gear, this should be a sufficient packing list for Spring and Summer days. 

In the colder months, daytime dressing should include light layers. Pack a lightweight sweater or jacket that can be taken off if you encounter any heat or humidity. The style of the layers you wear during the day based on the weather can be adjusted based on the specific occasion. 

What Should You Wear At Night In New Orleans?

As expected, New Orleans can get chilly in the nighttime, regardless of the season. For this reason, it is helpful to have a few warm layers to incorporate into your outfit for evening activities. 

When visiting in the warmer months, consider packing a light jacket and possibly some tights for women. If you are going to New Orleans in the winter, you will want to bring a hat, coat, scarf, and some gloves to stay warm. 

What Should I Wear To Dinner In New Orleans? 

The most optimal outfit for going out to dinner in New Orleans will largely depend on where you are going. If you have a reservation at an upscale restaurant in the evening, it is recommended for men to wear at least a dress shirt and dress pants. Women should wear a nice dress with heels and additional layers if the weather requires it. 

For casual restaurants, it is more than okay to show up in whatever makes you feel comfortable. This can be a continuation of daytime clothing or a separate casual outfit that is dressed up slightly for an evening out. 

Do You Need Rain Boots In New Orleans? 

New Orleans experiences frequent rainfall and storms, which can be devastating without the right footwear. When traveling to the city, be sure to come prepared with rain boots just in case. 

This doesn’t have to ruin your outfit choice, either. You can choose a stylish pair of boots that will both match your chosen attire and protect you from the rain below. 

What To Wear To Nightclubs In New Orleans 

Credit: ABC13

New Orleans is a notoriously casual city, which provides an easy-going and non-intimidating environment for tourists. When planning for nightlife activities, there is no need to pack anything special outside of your normal wardrobe. 

While it is always a good idea to look your best when going out, there is no dress code that is strictly enforced at any of the jazz or night clubs in the city.

Blouse

A nice blouse is always a good choice for women’s nightclub attire in New Orleans. This versatile piece can be dressed up or down and will pair nicely with almost anything else you choose to wear. 

Dress Pants

Dress pants are ideal for both men and women to wear to the club. Men can pair some nice slacks with a polo shirt or button up, while women can wear a blouse on top and heels on the bottom. 

Boots

Boots are a great addition to any outfit for the club in New Orleans. Whether you put together an ensemble of jeans and a t-shirt or a blouse and skirt, the right pair of boots will enhance your look. 

What To Wear To a Restaurant In New Orleans

Credit: NOLA.com / Pinterest

The appropriate outfit for going out to dinner at a restaurant will depend on exactly where you are going. Just like anywhere else in New Orleans, there is generally not a strictly enforced dress code at a restaurant per se. 

It is recommended to wear the nicest possible pieces, but a casual ensemble is more than alright for a dinner date.

Jeans / Trousers

Jeans or trousers are acceptable to wear to most restaurant venues in New Orleans. Choose your nicest ironed pair with no rips or holes. Whether you are planning for indoor or outdoor dining, these staple pieces are interchangeable for many different outfit choices. 

Heels

Heels are an excellent footwear choice for a restaurant in New Orleans. If you are wearing a dress, the right pair of high heels will complete a formal look. They can also dress up a more casual outfit to make it acceptable for a night out. 

Button-Up Shirt

A button-up shirt is ideal to complete many different outfit choices for men and women. It can be worn with dress pants or opener up for a more casual look. Women can tie the front and pair with a skirt to mix it up. 

What To Wear To a Festival In New Orleans

Credit: Mardi Gras

New Orleans is a cultural center that hosts many festivals and similar events year-round. One of the most notable of these is Mardi Gras, which brings many people to the streets to experience the city’s vibrant culture and traditions. 

Costume

When attending Mardi Gras, it is almost mandatory that you wear a costume. While this is not strictly enforced at the door, it is an unspoken rule that those who are underdressed will stick out the most. 

Headdress

It is recommended to bring a colorful hat or headdress, or at least some kind of costume element. Even if it is something as small as a hair accessory or mask, the entire point of the event is for everyone to participate!

Casual Wear

If you are attending another event throughout the year such as a jazz festival, there is also no dress code. Depending on the venue and weather, women may wear an oversized band t-shirt with tights or a romper. Men can similarly wear a band t-shirt and jeans, or a classic short sleeve shirt with lightweight shorts. 

What Do You Wear To A Mardi Gras Party In New Orleans? 

A themed Mardi Gras costume party is a great way to have fun and get creative while visiting New Orleans. Traditional colors such as green, gold, and purple are recommended, and can be paired with accents like sequins and beads. There are no rules or dress codes, and guests are free to have fun experimenting with bold pieces they wouldn’t normally wear! 

What Do You Wear To A Jazz Club In New Orleans? 

Jazz clubs are just like any other venue in New Orleans without an enforced dress code. Guests are free to wear anything they want and will be allowed to enter with no issues. Jeans are a popular choice for attendees of jazz clubs in New Orleans. 

What Should You Wear To The Swamp In New Orleans? 

Swamp tours are exciting sightseeing opportunities in New Orleans. Guests can expect humid weather, and should dress comfortably in lightweight clothing.

Athletic shorts with a t-shirt or tank top is recommended. Be sure to wear something you wouldn’t mind getting wet or dirty.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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