Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Random Pageant Tip #3

Totes and Tote-ables!

Everyone probably already knows the basics of pageant packing, like writing your name on everything, taking your own mirror and putting those valuable gowns in durable, zip-up garment bags, but state pageants take special consideration!

The tip is to have a tote bag to take some items back and forth everyday and also think about what other items you should pack double.

At Miss Ohio you sort of have two home-bases: your host home and your spot in the theatre dressing room. There are some items you might always need at both places, so you may as well have double instead of lugging it back and forth or risking forgetting it. IE: I always kept a travel sized toothbrush and tooth paste in my "pageant tool box." Of course, the judges can't possibly smell your breath or see how clean your teeth are, but it just made me feel better. Another example is lotion; it would be a catastrophe to forget that at your host home on swimsuit night, so a separate bottle never left my pageant stuff.

Everyone is different, so think about what YOU are going to need most, where you're going to need it, and whether it can be travel size vs. full size.

Then there are the things you simply have to take back and forth from the theatre every day, like your make up or your iPod. Don't count on your purse doing this job. Every day will be different and you never know what else you'll have on board, like reading material or an extra pair of shoes and a sweater... Choose a designated tote bag.

When I competed at Miss Ohio USA they actually gave us tote bags and all we could take to the theatre was one garmet bag and whatever fit in that tote. I don't think Miss Ohio has any such rules about what you carry around; however, in recent years I have heard there are rules about what sort of container you can leave at the theatre. I don't think plastic drawers were allowed last year. Some contestants will have more room than others and you won't know your space situation until you get to Mansfield and move into the theatre. Try to deal with the container rules and the unknown as best as your can and pack for the theatre in the most organized way possible!

Some contestants like to put everything for each phase of competition together in a bag or box (shoes, jewelry, undergarments). I've seen contestants have pictures of their entire outfit so the chaperon can easily look at it to see what goes together. I used clear fishing tackle boxes for my jewelry, then wrote on the lid with what outfit that piece was to be worn. The more organized you are and the better you communicate with your chaperon, the easier your quick changes will go during the competition!

On last random packing tip, I found that address labels are really great way to mark some items! Just make sure it can't be easily peeled off if it's something valuable!

Leave a comment if you know the container rules for Mansfield this year or to share your best pageant packing tip!


  1. Hey Abby, great post! I was wondering if you could re-post the packing list from last year (whenever you find time, of course, I'm susre you're super busy)? It was sooo helpful. Thanks!! =D


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