Trinidad Carnival Packing Guide

Packing Guide for Trinidad Carnival

Welcome to my Trinidad Carnival Packing Guide for your Trinidad Carnival experience!

Carnival is one of my favorite events to attend in Trinidad and I’ve gone several times now. Part of this amazing experience is dressing up and being able to express yourself.

Read The Ultimate Guide to Trinidad Carnival for more tips on planning your Trinidad Carnival Experience!

This post was updated on 10/26/2023.

See my Trinidad Carnival packing guide for everything you need to bring to prepare for the road!

1. Fetes

Machel Montano concert fete for Trinidad Carnival
Machel Montano Concert
Soca Brainwash Fete in Trinidad during Carnival
Soca Brainwash Fete

If you’re coming to Trinidad and Carnival, you may be attending fetes or the parties leading up to Carnival season. I recommend going to ones that interest you so that you can start to get into the Carnival season before Carnival Monday and Tuesday. 


Fun night concerts with DJs and musical performers are great ways to get started in the carnival season.

  • Revolve Concert Looks – Check out these Revolve looks for ideas for outfits to wear for concert events. Remember to wear something comfortable for tropical weather.



Festivals are fun events in preparation for carnivals with food stalls, drinks, DJs, and so much more. These can go all day and into the night. You’ll want to wear something comfortable and cute!

  • Revolve Festival Looks – I love two-piece outfits for day festival looks. Revolve has many options for you to choose from based on your festival’s theme.

I wear sparkly Converse or white tennis shoes for nicer events to be comfortable and complete my outfit look.

  • Glitter Converse – These are my go-to shoes for comfort, style, and sparkle for the carnival season.


Wet Fete

Wet fetes are fun; you’ll get soaked with water, paint, or powder. Make sure you wear something you don’t mind tossing, as it can be hard to get paint out. You can wear regular shoes, but waterproof shoes are more comfortable as you get soaked. Keep your phone in a waterproof casing.

  • Frankies Bikinis Sports Bra – My favorite mid-length bikini top for wet events.
  • Free People Shorts – I love these cute shorts that are fast-drying and comfortable to wear during a wet event instead of denim.
  • Amazon Water Shoes – These water shoes are perfect for staying comfortable while you get wet so you can avoid soaking shoes and socks.
  • Amazon Fishnet Tights – Tights that you can add to spruce up your outfit.
  • Amazon Bandana – This can be added to your outfit to keep the dust and particles out of your mouth.
  • Amazon Waterproof Phone Case – A waterproof case is needed if you plan to bring your phone to the event, see my tip below for whether you want to purchase this item or not.

We were provided a waterproof casing for our phone at the wet fetes I attended.

2. J’ouvert

J’ouvert is a carnival-like celebration that occurs early Monday morning before Carnival Monday. People will throw mud, oil, paint, and water. Be prepared to get dirty. 

You’ll want to wear something you can throw away if needed. I recommend a light-colored top and bottoms so you can see the color show up on your outfit. For shoes, similar to a wet fete, you can wear cheap waterproof shoes or old tennis shoes you don’t mind throwing away.

See below for other elements to add to your outfit.

  • Amazon White Bikini Sports Bra – If you want a white top to show off the colors, this Amazon option is great, if you prefer black, see above for my Frankie Bikini top option.
  • Free People Shorts – I love these cute shorts that are fast-drying and comfortable to wear during a wet event, instead of wearing denim.
  • Amazon Water Shoes – These water shoes are perfect for staying comfortable while you get wet so you can avoid soaking shoes and socks.
  • Amazon Fishnet – Tights that you can add to spruce up your outfit.
  • Amazon Bandana – This can be added to your outfit to keep the dust and particles out of your mouth.
  • Amazon Plastic Cap – If you are planning to attend Monday Carnival, add or bring a plastic cap to protect your hair and spend less time washing out the mud and paint.
  • Amazon Waterproof Phone Case – A waterproof case is needed if you plan to bring your phone to the event, see my tip above for whether you want to purchase this item or not.

3. Carnival Monday/Tuesday

Costume for Carnival Monday in Trinidad
Monday Carnival Costume
Costume for Tuesday Carnival in Trinidad
Tuesday Carnival Costume

Carnival Monday and Tuesday are the main events for Trinidad carnival. When you register with a section in a band, you secure your spot and costume for Tuesday.

Below are some other items you want to consider wearing for Monday and Tuesday on the road.

Monday Wear

Registering for a band will secure a costume for Tuesday’s Carnival, but you will wear your an alternative outfit that you purchase on your own for Monday’s Carnival. In the past, Monday wear used to be a lot more casual. But Monday Wear has evolved into a more creative take on your attire. 

If you’re choosing your clothes, I would opt for tights, shorts, and a top, either a bathing suit or a tank. You can always dress this up with sparkly tights, hair, makeup, or other accessories.

If you want to purchase a Monday outfit from a Monday wear designer, there are several designers you can support by purchasing from them. 


I purchased my Monday wear costume from S E A T A R A, and I highly recommend looking at her Monday wear and seeing if something matches your style!


Tuesday Costume

By registering for a section in a band, you are also purchasing your Tuesday wear costume based on the section/band you chose. There are usually three options for Tuesday wear, frontline, backline, and men’s.

Frontline is the more expensive and elaborate costume with the large feathered back piece. The backline is the less elaborate costume with sometimes a smaller feathered backpack. Males have their costume that they purchase. 


Purchase the costume based on how much you want to spend and how elaborate you want your costume to be. Remember, if you purchase the frontline with the large feathered back piece, you carry that piece for all of Tuesday. 


Comfortable Shoes

Other than your costume, the most important part of your costume is comfortable shoes. I emphasize comfort, as you are standing/walking/dancing from morning to night with few chances to sit and relax. The shoes you wear will reflect how you will enjoy your carnival experience, as comfortable shoes mean you won’t notice when your feet get tired.


The best option is good walking/running sneakers. My favorite walking or running shoe brands are Asics, Brooks, and Hoka. While they aren’t the most stylish, these will provide the best comfort.

You can find stylish sneakers to match your costume if you want your sneakers to dazzle along with your outfits. These sparkly shoes can give you both style and comfort for the road.


Other than sneakers, you’ll see a lot of people on the road wearing boots. Boots complete the look, in my opinion, but are by no means necessary. As with your sneakers, your boots should also be very comfortable and allow you to stand and walk for over 8 hours. 

I have yet to find boots I recommend for wearing all day. But some good brands to look at are Doc Marten, Carnival Kicks, or you can look at Amazon.


Reminder to make sure your shoes are broken into before you wear them for the first time on the road if you buy something new!



Another element for your Monday and Tuesday costume is good-quality tights. Tights help complete your costume look but are not necessary. I recommend wearing them with your Monday and Tuesday costumes, and you can add them to wet fetes or J’ouvert. You should also buy several pairs for each day, as they can rip.

If you bring your bag for the road can hold an extra pair of tights, in case the ones you’re wearing rip. Depending on the look you want, you can choose from various styles, fishnet, full coverage, or another. 

  • Amazon Stockings – These stockings are full coverage if you don’t want any skin on your legs showing.
  • Amazon Fishnet – Fishnets are what I see on the road the most and are a popular option for tights.
  • Amazon Sparkle – I wore these sparkle tights for my Monday outfit to add some shine to my look.

On both days, my tights ripped once I put them on the mornings of Monday and Tuesday. While it wasn’t a huge deal, I wish I had backup tights to change into during the lunch break. 


Nippie Covers

You will most likely need nippie covers with your costumes. You’ll use the covers for your Monday wear and Tuesday costume if you don’t feel like your costume gives you good coverage. I would bring a combination of small and large sizes so you have a variety based on your costume coverage.


Thigh Bag/Belt Bag/Festival Bag

For Monday and Tuesday, you’ll want to keep your phone and the items you choose to bring on the road safe and secure. I recommend using a Thigh Bag to hold your items as it will keep them secure, keep your hands free, and won’t show as much in your outfit in photos. 

  • Etsy Thigh Bag – These thigh bags stay secure and come in multiple colors to match your outfit.
  • Lululemon Belt Bag – With a belt bag, you can rotate the bag part around so that it faces the back and doesn’t show up in pictures. Remember to keep an eye on it so no one tries to open it and take your things.


The Caribbean sun is no joke, and since you’ll be out all day, you will want good eye protection from the sun. I would not bring your most expensive pair at the risk of them getting lost. If you’re uncomfortable bringing nice sunglasses, you can always wear cheap ones. But if you can, wear polarized sunglasses and reduce light glare and eyestrain.



A hat isn’t required unless your hairstyle calls for one. You can bring a hat for other day events for more protection from the sun. For males, a hat can be a nice addition to your outfit. 


For 2023 our band male costumes, the guys received two hats with their costumes: one for Monday and one for Tuesday.


Mini Fan

A mini fan is an optional item to bring. It is not necessary. I used mine on the road on Monday and Tuesday, which helped cool me down.


Fete Patches

Another optional item is that you can get the fete patch once you’re in Trinidad. Fete patches are a hangover patch to save you from headaches and hangovers. 

4. Hair & Makeup

Hair and makeup for Monday Carnival in Trinidad
HMU for Monday Carnival

Putting extra effort into your hair and makeup helps complete your carnival look. You by no means need to do extravagant hair or makeup, but it is the icing on the cake to your outfit. 

You can do your hair and makeup or hire an HMU artist for Tuesday and/or Monday. If you want to hire someone, reserve them ASAP, as artists book up quickly for carnival season.

Some items other than your regular hair and makeup I’ve listed below to consider and bring (you can also bring these to your HMU artist to incorporate).


Make sure to have some looks saved to show your HMU artist. Plan your HMU time to give yourself enough time to get to the road when you want to reach.


Face Gems/Body Glitter

Your Carnival Tuesday outfit will likely have jewels or bedazzles on it. You can incorporate these colors and designs into face gems to add to your eyes or face. You can order these on Amazon or ask your HMU if they have any.

Your outfit is bound to leave some skin exposed. Add body glow or glitter to your skin to add some extra shine.


Touch Up Makeup

When you do your makeup or have your HMU do your makeup for Monday/Tuesday or even any other event, you’ll want to make sure you use techniques to have your makeup last all day through sweat and length of time. 

Depending on the band you register with, you can pay extra in your section to have a touchup makeup artist. Before returning to the road, these artists can touch up your makeup during your lunch break. If you want to bring your touch-up items, below are some items you can include in your bag on the road.


Hair Extensions

You or your hair stylist can add hair extensions to add volume and length to your hairstyles if there is a particular hairstyle you are going for. See below for two price points of extensions I’ve used before.

5. Flag

Last but not least, bring your country flag to jump up and wave!

This is a broad list of what items you should consider bringing for your Trinidad Carnival experience. You can always add or subtract to your list depending on your preferences.

Remember, Carnival is a time to express yourself, and incorporate your creativity and feel to your looks to where you’re most comfortable. The most important part of Carnival is to stay safe and have fun!

I hope this list helped you prep for your Trinidad Carnival experience!

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Packing Guide for Trinidad Carnival
Packing Guide for Trinidad Carnival

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