18 February 2022
By Kristen Daly
Across the globe from Sydney to San Francisco to Sao Paulo, queer pride event season is shaping up to be major in 2022. We’ve faced many interruptions in recent times, but with so many exciting Mardi Gras or Pride events set to safely go ahead, the vibes, as they say, are strong.
Designed by and for LGBTQIA+ communities, these parades and festivals are a cherished opportunity to celebrate queer love and advocate for a more just world, where a rainbow of sexual and gender identities are fully accepted. They also promote freedom of expression through a kaleidoscope of colour, music, dancing - and incredible outfits!
If you’re attending as an LGBTQIA+ legend, it’s your time to feel free, fabulous and completely yourself. It’s also a chance for respectful allies to honour the spirit of Mardi Gras and Pride. With this intention set you can’t mess up your look; any style or trend is hot, if you’re rocking it. But there are some time-honoured themes to guide you as you outfit plan.
Tried-and-true styles like rainbow colours (ofc), sequins and sparkles and leather and lingerie looks are at the top of our inspo list - along with recent trends including co-ord sets and eclectic textures from mesh to crochet.
Covering new-season apparel, accessories and beauty, here are 12 Pride and Mardi Gras outfit trends we are loving and ideas for how to style them.
If you’re wondering what to wear to Mardi Gras or Pride and don’t know where to start, the party top is destination number one. She’s in her ‘jeans and a nice top’ era, but switch the jeans for a skirt or pants and take the nice top from a 5/10 to a 12/10 - now you’re ready!
This year we’re lusting over plunge-neck glow mesh pieces, and we wanna go bold with gold. The colour of trophies, lavish jewellery and rapper Lil Nas X’s three custom Versace ‘fits at last year’s Met Gala (yep still thinking about it), it’s our favourite party hue right now.
We’re also loving a Hollywood-worthy glam green moment. Think Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet in that silk chiffon jungle-print number (also from Versace - you know the one), or Britney Spears in the jewel-tone green top and booty shorts at the MTV VMAs (yellow snake optional). You may not break the internet like they did but you’ll be drowning in fire emojis.
Tiana Glow Mesh Halter Neck Top in Gold
Runaway The Label - Scarlett Top in Green
We. Are. Obsessed with our Kaylah Glow Mesh Dress - and not just in the original silver hue (which is striking), but this magnificent, multicoloured and iridescent version that reveals flashes of pink, yellow, green and more at every turn. A rainbow dress that serves rainbow but in a new and unexpected way? That’s Pride 2022 baby. We love classic rainbow stripes and logos, but it’s also fun to put a fresh spin on things and this number delivers.
Elsewhere, we can’t get enough of sparkly big-sleeve pieces that make us feel like we’re shimmying on a dancefloor to Donna Summer’s I Feel Love circa 1977. Disco for the win!
Kaylah Cowl Glow Mesh Dress in Multi
Charice Multi Sequins Pleat Shoulder Mini Dress in Multi Pink
Konoha Draped Balloon Sleeve Bodycon Mini Dress in Silver
At Showpo we care a lot about two piece and co-ord sets. What’s not to love? It’s an outfit all in one, which is a practical and affordable choice for your Mardi Gras or Pride, and the overall effect is designed for high impact. There are also so many choices this season, from sleek tops and pants in liquid-like sequins and metallics, to trendy rainbow crochet sets.
The dark horse winner, though, might just be our Shawndee two piece set. A silky smoking jacket and matching mini shorts, all in a kaleidoscopic patchwork of florals and artful prints? It’s luxurious, comfortable, all-gender-friendly and very Mardi Gras/Pride.
Imogen Bandeau Top Two Piece Set in Black
Sharleez Satin Trim Glitter Suiting Bralette Top & Glitter Tailored Wide Leg Pant in Metallic
Sheinna Crochet Two Piece Set in Multi
Shawndee Two Piece Set in Multi
Showing off skin at Mardi Gras or Pride is a time-honoured tradition! In a frequently very conservative world where non-straight, non-cis and non-binary bodies are still discriminated against, this is a blessing. We adore a classic plunging neckline or cut out, but adding an element of mystery through sheer clothing is also incredibly fun and sexy. This season go for a sheer party mini dress or take up the bra-as-top trend with a lace corset or bodysuit.
Lioness - Jean-Georges Sheer Mini in Black
It's All True Bodysuit in White Lace
Another look at the LGBTQIA+ history books reveals a longstanding subculture of BDSM, fetishes and other subversive forms of sexual expression. The most obvious aesthetic nod to this, aside from chains, whips and other tools of kink, is our old friend leather. It’s a Pride look that never fails, especially nowadays with so many faux leather options available.
Just ask cutie Troye Sivan, who donned a tank, faux fur throw and leather-look vinyl pants to Sydney Mardi Gras last year. Brava! This year we’re picking a black PU pair in classic matte, or with that shiny wet-look effect. Add a party top and heels and you’re ready to slay.
Ashton Straight Leg PU Pants in Black
Evanthe High Waisted Split Front Faux Leather Trousers in Black
Girly, a dirty word? Certainly not in the queer community. Lucky for the girlies, then, that there are so many fire looks in pink available this season. Fuschia, bubblegum and classic hot pink are still trending upwards, and they look divine paired with a satin mini dress, halterneck top or corset-and-skirt combo. Or take this power hue to the next level with a well-cut power suit. Add some blue and white, and you’re also repping the trans flag (iconic).
Runaway The Label - Bellanca Mini Dress in Hot Pink
By. Dyln Blair Corset & Koda Skirt in Pink
Eleasha Tailored Suiting Blazer & Tailored Pants in Hot Pink
Mesh is best, now and always! Soft mesh fabrics paired with second-skin silhouettes emerged as a huge trend a few years back and they’re not going away anytime soon. It’s a versatile look that shows off your curves while adding a little edge to your vibes.
Styled to perfection in recent times by the cool teens in HBO hit show Euphoria, especially trendsetter Jules Vaughn, played by Hunter Schafer, plain or printed mesh tops are our fave - but you can also be a mesh prince or princess in statement pants or sets.
By. Dyln Suki Bodysuit in Blue
Felix Mesh Pants in Multi Swirl
Rooney Long Sleeve Mesh Wrap Crop Top in Black Swirl
Now we couldn’t do a Mardi Gras/Pride outfit list without heels, could we? Reader, we wouldn’t dare. Our standout pair has to be these lace-up lilac heels by Public Desire. Gladiator-style wraparound straps, mesh detailing, a clear front strap and stiletto heel? These are simply sickening. But we’d also go for a pump in a pop colour (think corporate queen vibes) or a trendy strappy number with a slightly-more-practical block heel.
Public Desire - Spring Square Toe Mesh Lace Up Heels in Lilac
Billini - Luanda Heels in Green
Public Desire - Halley Heels in Pink Patent
Buuuut if you just can’t imagine walking that parade, standing for hours watching on or strutting around an afterparty in sky-high heels, a more practical boot or platform might be for you. With so many flat(ish) shoes trending right now, there’s no reason for comfy to equal boring. Our #1 pick is a slip-on or lace-up combat boot, preferably with a chunky lug sole. Go for goth vibes with a black look or mix it up with some tie-dye (another trusty Pride trend).
As our love for cinematic masterpiece Brokeback Mountain might demonstrate, we also adore cowboy boots as a queer aesthetic! They’re comfy and fun to wear but will also take that mini dress, playsuit or co-ord set look from meh to magic.
Want your feet to breathe a little? Consider instead one of this season’s biggest footwear trends: the platform shoe. Easy to slip on, and now available in fun shades like lemon yellow and fuschia, it’s perf for stomping around in AND rounding out your ‘fit.
Public Desire - Beau Boots in Black Croc
Dr. Martens - 1460 Pascal Tie Dye Boots in Shell Pink White Tie Dye Printed Suede
Therapy - Ranger Boots in Cocoa
Therapy Naomi Slides in Lemon
Need a final last-minute fix to take your Mardi Gras or Pride look from blah to iconic? Enter: the statement belt. Available in a range of styles, with oversized buckles, diamantes and drop-down chains all common themes, it exists simply to be extra. We’ll take three, please.
Saritha Chain Belt in Gold
Suesana Chain Belt in Gold
So you’ve sorted your cute Mardi Gras or Pride outfit, including clothes and footwear. Now you need some frosting! We love an effing huge pair of earrings or similarly sparkly jewellery, plus a statement bag to match. You’ll need that bag to protect a few things, so pick one that looks gorg but also has a sturdy top zip or fastening. And if you’re donning sturdy footwear don’t forget that other must-have accessory - some on-theme but comfy crew socks.
Billini x Natalie Anne - Olivia Diamante Star Earrings in Silver
Afrin Glow Mesh Bag in Pink
Apryl Socks in Blue Glitter
Last but not least - we know you wanna give face and hair this Pride season! Some god or goddess-level makeup may be involved, and it doesn’t hurt to get your bod glowing too (especially if you’re showing off a lot of it). The main rule here is there are no rules. Do your hair or leave it be, go bare faced or use the entire palette - no matter what you’ll be stunning.
We love a luminous shimmer for our eyes, cheeks, torso, legs, etc (we could go on), and a hairstyle to get them all talking. For those of us with long tresses, mermaid waves are still a key trend - and you know they’ll look cute with that party top, sheer dress or statement pant.
Mermade Hair - Mermade Pro Waver 32mm in Pink
MCoBeauty - 12 Shade Eyeshadow Palette in Cherry
Salt By Hendrix - Body Glow Golden Hour in Gold
That’s it readers - our 12 personal best Mardi Gras and Pride style trends. Now get to your event, have fun and cause a little commotion! <3
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