It's really crazy that all of us are so worried about our hats when this party is really nothing but a big drunk fest. They did serve food but I never found it; it's just drink, drink, drink. So after an hour, most men won't remember you have a hat on! This is a pretty good group that dates back to the 1870's, so it's bizarre and disconcerting to see your usually uptight lawyer passed out. I don't agree with any of this type of behavior so I'm not condoning it; in fact, I personally am very careful to present myself in a lady-like way. But it makes for funny stories about lawyers later! During Mardi Gras, it is very accepted here in general. Quote from my mom, "How tacky!"
Still, back to hats- it's fun to walk through the streets of Mobile donning a hat. Most of the Mardi Gras celebrations revolve around the parade and then a very formal ball afterward. There are a few groups that will hold a more casual reception with suits and hats, like the one I'm going to. It's something different I really look forward to!