Serving the guise-disguising needs of both the public and New Orleans-based film professionals, Southern Costume Company transforms patrons by outfitting them in hundreds of captivating costumes. Skim through the 9,000-square-foot studio and wall-to-wall racks of festive finery and period-inspired garb, many of which have been culled from Hollywood wardrobe collections. Dress up as your favorite American revolutionary for this Fourth of July, become a heck-raising harlequin for Mardi Gras, or surprise your nephew by coming to his bar mitzvah dressed as a Roman gladiator. Should questions arise about bothersome buttons or how best to evoke the style of runways past, knowledgeable staff members are on hand to arrange assistance on the floor or in the comfort of a private dressing area.
The in-house milliners at Fleur de Paris have been constructing headwear from straw, wool, and beaver fur for more than 30 years. Attracting bare noggins from across the globe, the French Quarter shop specializes in fine women’s hats customized to individual clients’ styles and doorway widths (prices range from $69 to $800+). Ward off sunstroke and moon beatings with a navy sun hat, festooned with a white-accent ribbon ($249). Lovers of pre-Depression finery can seek that green light in a sisal cloche ringed with a two-toned blue ribbon and hewn from natural straw ($249). The social event of the year, the Kentucky Derby brings scores of equestrian shoppers to the cranial stables of Fleur de Paris. Join their ranks with a black and gray 5-inch brim derby hat, crowned with a decorative black feather and flowers ($559). Fleur de Paris is also known for satisfying the hat-based needs of royal wedding parties, Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, Jenny Craig, and other fashion-forward celebs.
The guides at New Orleans Savvy Tours don’t lead narrative tours; they lead conversation tours. Each outing is a chance for them to converse with individual visitors, ensuring they take the time to reflect on and absorb each wondrous piece of architecture they encounter. Tours first meet in front of Andrew Jackson’s statue in Jackson Square, then set out to discover the French Quarter by foot. As visitors gaze upon centuries-old homes and local landmarks such as the Ursuline Convent and the Old Bank, they learn how to distinguish French architecture from Spanish architecture, how to classify different kinds of ironwork, and interesting factoids such as how a shotgun home differs from a Creole cottage.