We’re all so thankful for pageant moms (and dads!) who keep us together during pageant weekend. For new pageant moms, it can be difficult to know what to bring along for any and every crisis that can pop up over the weekend.
We’ve asked our official Texas Pageant Coach, Amber Brown from Crown Captors, what all pageant mommas must have on hand in case of emergency. Check out what she says are must-haves! (Read: 10 Signs That You Are in the Presence of a Pageant Mom)
10 Things Every Pageant Mom Should Have on Hand for Pageant Weekend
1. Sewing kit
It is shocking how frequently you’ll need a sewing kit during a pageant week. Whether it’s a major wardrobe malfunction like a broken zipper backstage or your pageant girl lost a little weight and now her outfit doesn’t fit perfectly, a sewing kit can definitely come in handy.
“You never know when you’ll need to make a minor last-minute alteration,” Brown said. “From buttons to hems and everything in between, you won’t be sorry when you invest in a travel-sized sewing kit.”
For those pageant moms out there that double as seamstresses, it can also be a great idea to bring along a sewing machine to the hotel. This is really only practical if you are driving and have room in the car for the sewing machine. If you can find a way to swing it, a sewing machine could be a lifesaver.
In addition to the sewing kit, bring additional thread colors that match every outfit your contestant will wear over the weekend. You do not want to sew up a white outfit with pink thread because you forgot to pack the white thread. Save yourself the trouble and double check that you have matching thread for every outfit! (Read: How to Mend a Torn Dress Backstage)
2. Safety pins
Safety pins can work in a pinch if you do not have your sewing kit handy. Whether it be a wardrobe malfunction or a sash that keeps falling off, a safety pin can save the day. Safety pins come in different colors, so try to get a variety pack of silver, white and black safety pins. It may also be helpful to have a few different size safety pins on hand so you are prepared for whatever comes your way.
3. Bobby pins
Most, if not all, pageant girls use bobby pins to keep their hair in place. Whether for competition or keeping your hair in pin curls, those little bobby pins are miracle workers for hair. They are also really easy to lose once you take them out of your hair. Make sure you have enough bobby pins for the full pageant weekend (or week) and bring an extra pack.
A pro tip is to get bobby pins that match your pageant girl’s hair color to make sure they aren’t visible from the stage or the interview room. You may have to shop around, but if your contestant has blonde hair, look for blonde bobby pins. It can make a world of difference when you’re trying to hide them from sight!
4. Tide pen
Accidents happen and things can spill onto your contestant’s wardrobe. Avoid the meltdown that will ensue when food, makeup, hairspray or anything else falls onto the outfit your contestant is about to walk on stage wearing. A Tide pen can lift stains out in minutes and leave the outfit good as new.
“For that fallen speck of powder that smudged on to the outfit and left a not-so-obvious imperfection,” Brown said. “It’s great for your peace of mind that you can deter stains from becoming minor disasters.”
Another great product to keep on hand for deodorant stains is dryer sheets. If your contestant has white deodorant marks all over her outfit, simply lightly rub the dryer sheet on the marks and they will lift from the fabric. (Read: How to Clean Your Sash)
Let’s face it, pageant weekends mean very long and busy days. Between rehearsals, competitions, and hair and makeup appointments, there is not always enough time to eat a meal during the day. Stop your contestant (and yourself) from getting hangry by carrying small snacks with you.
The best kind of snacks to carry is something with protein. Protein keeps your energy levels up and keeps you feeling full longer than sugary snacks will. Whether it’s peanut butter and apple slices or a pre-packaged protein snack pack, you’ll be glad you brought something to munch on throughout those long days. (Read: How to Make Easy Healthy Snacks)
6. Headache medicine
Speaking of long days, another saving grace is headache medicine. Long days with not enough (or too much) caffeine can cause massive headaches, which is the last thing you need when you are trying to get your contestant ready for competition and on time for rehearsals. Whether it be aspirin or NSAID pain relievers, you are going to want to bring along some headache medicine “because pageant week can go from 2 to 10 in a heartbeat.”
7. First aid kit
Similar to headache medicine, a first aid kit is essential for any ailments that may pop up during the week. From scraping your leg while falling backstage to twisting an ankle, accidents happen and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Come to pageant weekend with a fully stocked first aid kit on hand. Make sure you have everything from band-aids to upset stomach medication because you just never know what ailments can occur during pageant weekend.
Traveling with pageant wardrobe can be tricky, especially when flying. It is likely you will have to roll or fold pageant gowns, interview suits and any other competition wardrobe you might have. While it is great for convenience purposes, it is not so great for keeping the wardrobe wrinkle-free.
Some pageants will have vendors that you can pay to steam your contestant’s wardrobe, but some will not. Either way, it never hurts to bring along a portable steamer to your pageant. You can find portable steamers online at most department stores or even on Amazon. (Read: 6 Things that a Pageant Director Doesn’t Always Provide)
9. Extra copies of paperwork
Queens (and their moms) should be prepared for anything and everything, including your paperwork getting lost. Pageant directors have a lot going on and sometimes things can get lost in the chaos. Save yourself the stress and worry of pageant check-in and have extra copies of everything.
If you were supposed to submit six copies of your contestant form to the pageant office before arrival, make sure you have at least six copies with you for pageant check in. It also never hurts to keep an additional copy for your contestant to review before going into interview. Doing a light review can remind your contestant of all the things she wants the judges to know.
It also is beneficial to keep blank copies of all the pageant paperwork. If another contestant does not have their paperwork and the director does not have blank copies, you can help them out and show the director you are prepared and ready to take on the queen (and queen mom) role. (Read: Pageant Lessons: Pageant Check In)
10. Backup competition outfits
This one is not always easy to swing because pageant wardrobe can be expensive, but it is definitely worth doing if possible. We have all seen it happen, two girls show up to the same pageant with the same exact outfit. Now, instead of focusing on performing their best, the contestants are worried that they will not stand out because of their outfit.
There’s also the possibility that outfits can rip or be damaged in rehearsal or backstage. Avoid the stress and frustration by having a backup outfit for competition. Not only will you be prepared for the worst, you will have peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens, you have a plan B.
Pageant moms have one of the hardest jobs during pageant weekend but, having these 10 things can make it all a little easier. Did we include all of your must-haves for pageant weekend? Let us know below!