One ubiquitous sight at New Orleans Jazz Fest is what's affectionately known as red bean shirts from Bayou Wear tropical clothing, though this year instead of red beans and rice the shirts are covered with What-A-Melon watermelon imagery, right down to the hand-sculpted seed buttons with bits of newspaper peeking through. The shirts, dresses, and scarves are available on-site at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival merchandise booths, or at the Art4Now site.
The pattern is splashed across lightweight dresses, umbrellas, camis, shirts, and (appropriate for foodies at the festival) aprons. Artist Kathy Schorr designed this year's fest shirts as well as all the past styles, and 2014's style is awash with geometric splashes of red and green in a fleur-de-lis pattern with seeds scattered throughout. The shirts are $49, camisole is $45, Z Skirt is $45, camisole $45, sun dress $49, apron $35, and the umbrella lined with melon burst pattern is $38.50.
Other whimsically-named favorites, with the red beans and rice as the granddaddy of them all, are: Gator!, Accordion Acadian, Crawfish By You, Moonlit Magnolias, Second Line Umbrellas, Hot Licks Guitar, Fleur de Jazz, Nom de Plume, Pianos at Sea, NOLA Camo, Birds of Paradise, Jumble YaYa, and Splendor in the Brass.
Brightly-colored Jazz Fest bandanas are also available at stands on-site and vary from year to year as a wearable mementos. Pick one up for any use, from headgear to sopping up fest messes.
Art4Now also offers a highly-collectible vintage poster series dating back decades, including Congo Square Posters, Jazz Fest Posters, and PosterCard sets. The posters, Bayou Wear merch, and annual Jazz Fest T-shirts are all under the same tent at the festival, with garb and posters selling briskly from day one until the final note is played and before next year's shirts, bandanas, and works of art are barely a gleam in an artisan's eye.
Read more on the all AXS Jazz Fest Guide