Pageant Packing List and TIps

Below you'll find a broad packing list, followed by reminders from Miss Ohio's Contestant Chairperson and then my packing and survival tips!

The Obvious Competition Attire

Competition Evening Gown
Walk on gown(s)
Talent Outfit/Costume
Onstage Question Outfit (if different than interview)
Opening number outfit
Other production number outfit(s)
Interview outfit
Jewelry for each
Accessories (including hair stuff) for each
Shoes for each
Under garments for each, including... padding!

Other Miss Ohio Week Attire 

Sign in/Miss Ohio Festival Outfit (shoes/jewelry)
Parade Outfit (shoes/jewelry/hat)
Shoe me your shoe?/Pursonality?/other required craft project?
Outfit for Teen pageant (shoes/jewelry)
Dress to wear to Coronation Ball (could be outfit listed above)
Extra suit/outfit for luncheon(s)?
Pants/shorts/skirts of the designated color for rehearsal
Casual shoes for rehearsal
Accessories (belts/ jewelry/etc) to jazz up the rehearsal shirts
Socks, undies, appropriate under garments
Sweatshirt/hoodie/jacket/scarf as to not freeze to death in the always cold theatre

Tricks of the Trade

Safety Pins
Sewing Kit
Panty Hose
Breath Mints
Duct Tape/Packing Tape/"Hollywood Tape"/Double-sided Tape
Power Strip/Extension cord
Corn starch (you'd be surprised how sweaty your back gets under the hot lights, especially on talent night.)
Firm Grip/butt glue
Extra Mirrors
Spray on Tan/Bronzer/Extra Towel
Thank you notes/pens/stamps
SlippersSheet (to put on the floor at your station to catch dropped items and keep your feet and gowns clean)
Baby Wipes
Stain Remover
Hand Sanitizer
Pillow/Small Blanket for theatre
Copies of your paperwork
Cut of your talent music
Favorite mug/tea bag/throat spray (for singers)
Favorite [inset whatever dancers need here]
iPod/MP3 player/headphones


Hair care: Straightener/Curling Iron/Hot Rollers/Blow dryer/Hair Spray/Comb/Brush/hair pins/accessories
Razor/Wax/Depilatory Cream
Skin Care: Face Wash/Toner/Moisturizer/Cremes/Mask/etc...
Sunscreen (especially for the parade!)
Make up Removers
Exfoliates/Body Scrubs
Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash/Loofah/etc... for host home
Travel size toiletries to leave at theatre
Dental floss/Toothbrush/Tooth Paste
Perfume/Body Spray
Body Lotion/Foot Creme/etc...
Feminine Products/Midol
Lashes/Lash glue
Q-Tips/Cotton Balls
Nail Glue/Fake Nails/Nail Polish/Nail Polish Remover

Random Stuff

Emergency Cash
Workout videos for host home/hand weights/etc...
Tote bag to carry back and forth to the theatre
Cell phone charger/iPod charger/etc...
Shoe inserts/Gel insoles
Pictures of friends and family/journal/bible/etc...
Favorite stuffed animal or pillow for host home
A small gift for your roommate, host and chaperon!

Obviously not everyone will need/want to take everything listed here but I've put my must-haves in bold.

Miss Ohio usually provides

A steamer (the chaperons are AMAZING with steaming the gowns! Love them!)
Food (There's usually a nice assortment of fruit and snacks at the theatre, but bring your own if you're picky.)
Water bottles (In the past refillable bottles have been provided)

Reminders from Miss Ohio's Contestant Chairperson
  • Be flexible to change.
  • Be appreciative – the two words “thank you” means a lot.
  • Be organized.  Everything MUST be ready when you arrive. We do not have a seamstress on call.
  • Remember space is limited at the theater.
  • You must always be in the company of an official chaperon or hostess when you talk to anyone.
  • No alcohol is permitted and no smoking.
  • Smile.  Have a good time and enjoy yourself.
  • Only necessary phone calls are permitted.
  • Please be on time.  DO NOT keep people waiting.
  • Laptops may be used at your host home only.
  • If you do not want to wear your competition evening wear for closing on the evenings you do not have evening wear competition, you may want to have two walk on gowns for closings on preliminary nights.
  • You may want to have a sweatshirt or lightweight jacket to wear at the theater when the air-conditioning is on as it can be cold.
  • No Cell Phones, Pagers or Laptops will be carried with you, or brought to the theater
  • We will have make-up artists and hair stylists at the theater on show nights for assistance, but not for full make-up and hairstyles.
  • Your local crown will be worn on preliminary nights closing numbers only.
  • All contestants must go to the Coronation Reception. You will be introduced and your ED or parent will be asked to greet you as you are announced. You may wear a cocktail outfit or an evening gown to the reception. It is your choice.

Abby's Tips

* LABEL EVERYTHING!  Return address labels are handy to slap on some things. 

* Think about what you're willing/will need to carry back and forth and what you should have double. IE: I recommend travel sized skin care, toothbrush, tooth paste, deodorant and blow dryer that stay at the theatre, whereas my makeup, iPod, etc were always in a tote bag with me everywhere.

* Take your iPod to talent rehearsal; you'll have to stay in the theatre during your whole flight, so think about and listen to YOUR talent instead of paying attention to the other womens'.

* A robe and slippers to wear in the dressing room imperative!

* During pageants, I couldn't live without my double sided tape! I used it for everything - on the heel of my foot to keep my shoes from "flipping," on my slingback straps to keep them from falling off my heel, on my clothing to hold things in place...

* Out of respect for your host home, take your own towel designated for use while applying your sunless tanning lotion or spray, as to not stain their towels orange!

* Do not try any new products during Miss Ohio week! Only use self tanners and face products that you already know work for you. IE: a friend recently had a painful honeymoon because she couldn't get her single-lash eye glue off! ;) Make sure you test everything!

* I don't know why, but it seemed like backstage at Miss Ohio someone was always asking for nail polish remover. Also, baby wipes and my mini blow dryer were life savers more than once.

* On Swimsuit day, make sure you're not wearing pants that leave a mark across your stomach.

* Yes, you should plan on winning, but it's also smart to have a coronation ball outfit ready and at the theatre Saturday night. (Make sure your phone is with that outfit; you'll want to make calls while you're being held between the end of the pageant and coronation ball intros, if they do it that way again this year.)

* Mirrors in the dressing room are FEW. There are only three full-length mirrors nailed on the walls. Again, it will depend where your station is, but if there's room for one of those tall, light weight $2 mirrors, I recommend it.

* BE ORGANIZED!  There are multiple ways to do it; pick one and be consistent

  •  Some women put everything for an outfit (shoes/jewelry/undergarments) together in a plastic container or large zip bag.
  • Some women take a Polaroid of herself in each outfit so the chaperon knows what goes together.
  • I used to put all my jewelry in a clear plastic tackle box and write on the lid with a sharpy above each slot, identifying each piece.
  • Large Rubbermaid "totes" or plastic three drawer units are handy, but not always allowed.  Ask what sort of storage unit you can have.