Viva Las Vegas is almost here — and I have NO IDEA what to bring!

Ladies, I see you there. Yes, you. You’ve dug deep in your closets to find anything resembling a suitcase, and you have packed them full to the brim. Who cares if your sweetie-pie has room for their clothes — you’ve got shoes and petticoats to pack!

As a former Miss Viva Las Vegas contestant, I can completely understand: If you’ve never been to Viva Las Vegas, or perhaps it’s been years since you last went, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed! What should you bring? What shouldn’t you bring? What if you have photo shoots planned? There’s so much to consider!

Take a break. Step. Away. From. The. Clothes. Now, take a deep breath. Let’s tackle this together!

First of all, what exactly is Viva Las Vegas, and what even goes on there?

Viva Las Vegas is the world’s largest Rockabilly festival. Each year, it attracts thousands of people from all over the world to The Orleans Hotel and Casino for what ends up to be pretty much the best time ever. Multiple stages for music, hundreds of cars and hot rods, burlesque dancers, pinup girls, and huge pool parties – you will be lucky to get any sleep! You can find all the details and start planning your weekend here:

Now that you know this is nothing but a good time, let’s plan our wardrobe…

During this four day event, I have seen girls dressed to the nines all day long, and girls who choose a more casual look during the day and spice things up at night… and girls who keep it casual and comfy no matter what. There is truly no right or wrong here. Be confident in knowing that whatever you choose to wear, you are going to be just fine and fabulous.

I can tell you honestly, I learned a very hard lesson my first year of going, and that is: comfort is everything. That very first year, I had booked several photo shoots throughout the weekend. I basically missed a LOT during the daytime fun, exhausted myself early, and brought so much extra stuff that I did not even unpack, just to lug it all home again — with swollen feet and a hangover. Had I known what to expect, I probably could have saved myself a lot of trouble! So let me tell you a bit more about the details of each day:

Daytime Style: Keep it simple, comfortable, and fun!
The daytime is filled with shows, shopping, the car show, and lots of events going on at The Orleans. I now choose to wear cute but comfortable clothing, day dresses or shorts, and I save the heels for the evening. It’s also completely acceptable to leave your hair in pin curls under a scarf all day if you so choose. Think about it: we are all pinups, we are all rockabilly and vintage lovers, we get it.

So, take a look at that schedule and pick out your 4 daytime looks. Will you be going to the pool party? If so, plan that into your daytime looks as well. Do not stress, and do not over-do it.

Evening Glam: Razzle Dazzle ’em
For the evening, a lot of people (including myself) tend to glam it up. Vegas can be a very glamorous town at night, and a lot of us just love to live it up with a little extra glitz! Thursday night tends to be a more casual evening than the rest, so save those fancier looks for Friday and Saturday nights.

That’s right, you only need 3 evening looks.

In total:
You should have 7 outfits (plus what you’re traveling in, obviously). Doesn’t knowing exactly what you need take a little stress off? Once you have your outfits planned, pack your undergarments accordingly. Do you need strapless bras or a bustier? What about stockings and a garter belt?

See, you’ve got this.

But — but — I have shoots scheduled!

Of course you do! What a wonderful opportunity to work with incredible photographers that you might otherwise never get a chance to work with! This does not mean that all logic and reason should go out the window. You do not need to bring your entire closet, trust me! Most photographers are going to allow 1-2 looks per shoot. You should already know what theme you’ll be shooting, or the location of the shoot to plan your 1-2 looks around. And, yes, you should have your looks planned for your photographer — do not rely on them to also be your stylist.

So, select what you want to wear for your shoot. If it is a brand new outfit, I highly recommend trying it on in advance and making sure it fits just the way you want! Also, consider if you need anything special for your shoot: certain color lingerie, pasties, or a perfectly matched pair of earrings. Keep it simple, and keep it easy on yourself and your photographer!

Clearly, I need to bring 80 pairs of shoes.

No — no, you do not. As I mentioned earlier, comfort is everything. During the day, save your feet some stress and wear flats, kitten heels, or even low wedges. You will be walking much more than you will even realize, and believe me: your feet will let you know when they’ve had enough. If you run around Viva in heels for four days and three nights, your feet will hurt, they will be swollen, and you might miss out on a lot of fun!

Save the heels for the evening, and again, remember to wear shoes that won’t rip your feet up. Perhaps pack some band-aids in your purse, and plan to soak your feet in ice water when your night is over. That little tip might just save your feet for the whole weekend!

Let’s finalize the packing plan!

I like to give my outfits one final glance-over to make sure I have everything. I lay each outfit on the bed, and match it to shoes, a belt if it’s needed, undergarments, and what jewelry I plan to wear with it. Then, in the suitcase it goes!

And, yes, I will match more than one outfit to a pair of shoes to help save on space and weight of my luggage. If you are driving, you do not have as much to worry about. But, if you are flying at all, there can be hefty fees and stress added to your travel if you overload your suitcases. Save yourself the headache and try to pack as lightly as you can. Besides, I would rather leave a little extra room in my luggage for all the goodies I’ll find while shopping at Viva Las Vegas!

I hope this little post helps some of you calm your nerves about packing for Viva Las Vegas. Honestly, I still get nervous, but writing this post certainly helped me to remember that this is all about good fun! I would love to hear from you, so please leave comments or questions below!


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