Pageant Must-Haves: Part 2
In my previous blog, I described some of my pageant must-haves. But each woman is unique and has a different set of must have items, so I thought it would be helpful to reach out to my pageant sisters, the Mrs. International 2018 contestants and get their feedback for items that they found helpful during pageant week.
Lisa Shannon, Mrs. South Dakota 2018 recommends you bring a “sweater or jacket for the cold theatre and shoe inserts.” This is great advice because the theatre we rehearsed in could get a bit chilly from time to time. I brought my jacket that I received from TitleWear.com that said “Mrs. California International 2018.” That way I was warm and fashionable. Shoe inserts are wonderful as well but make sure you try them on ahead of time to make sure they are comfortable and fit your heels well.
Jennifer Fillmore, Mrs. Oklahoma International 2018 suggests you bring, “a pair of yoga pants or leggings… to keep your legs warm.” She also says that wedges and flats can be very helpful if your feet need a break during the week… and trust me, they will. One last things she added to this list was to pack “bug spray.” I had not even thought to bring that but if you are prone to mosquito bites, you might want to pack this to be safe.
Another must-have is a Pageant “Emergency Kit” which was a suggestion submitted by Laura Schmidt, Mrs. North Dakota International 2018. She shared that inside her kit were the following items: double sided sticky tape, Wonder Lobe earring tape, super glue, extra rhinestones in any color of your wardrobe that you may need, heel grips for the bottom of your shoes, safety pins, tide-to-go pen, bandaids, and 2nd skin gel squares. The best part is, all of her emergency kit items fit inside a shoe box. Mrs. Virginia International 2018, Tisha Jiles Downing, seconds the idea of bringing safety pins adding, “Some people had their opening number dress zipper break. Thank God I had an abundance of them.” Mrs. Mississippi International 2018, Brittany Abigail Huffstatler adds that a portable sewing kit is a must!
Spring Lee Gray, Mrs. South Central International 2018 says a key item to bring is “moleskin.” Moleskin is a heavy cotton fabric, woven and then sheared to create a short, soft pile on one side. This can be a life saver for your feet if your heels are giving you blisters or pain. You simply cut the mole skin into the shape and size you would like, then you peel off the back to reveal the sticky side, and put it directly on your shoe where the pain is coming from. I also have used moleskin on the back of clip-on earrings to help with ear discomfort.
Carmen Jewel, Mrs. Pennsylvania International 2018 wanted to share some things she learned from this past year at Nationals. She says she’s glad she brought a “portable steamer and extension cord.” I couldn't agree more! I bought a small travel sized steamer on amazon and it was a lifesaver. I particularly like the small steamers over the larger more expensive ones because I feel they help me target wrinkles and creases in a much more efficient manner.
Carmen also recommends taking lots of photos. She said looking back she wishes she had captured more of the moments during our week at Mrs. International. The Photographer, Paula Preston, takes photos during the week but she can’t be everywhere at once, so taking your own photos is a great idea.
Lastly, I think it’s really important to try on everything you’re planning to wear in advance and walk around for five to ten minutes. I suggest this because things can fit differently when you’re actually walking around in them. For example, this year many of us tried on our opening number shoes that were mailed to us courtesy of The Competitive Image. When we put them on at home they fit great, so I packed them up and never wore them again. Fast forward to rehearsal a couple days before the competition and a lot of us were having issues with the back strap sliding down when we walked since our feet were moving forward in our shoes. This was a bit stressful because we were dancing in the opening number so as you can imagine, it’s pretty important that our shoes didn’t fall off. That is why Erica Maureen Carder-Reidy, Mrs. New York International 2018 suggests you purchase shoe straps which are designed to keep your heels close to your foot.
I hope this list of Must-Haves is helpful to all of you as you’re beginning to pack for Nationals!
Together We Rise,
Your Mrs. International 2018