Viva Las Vegas weekender

How I Pack For VLV

10:40 PMDollie DeVille

I have been asked so many times how I pack for Viva Las Vegas. I did a post on it previously, but thought I would get into a little more detail. I am lucky enough to drive to Vegas, so my packing style reflects that. Way before I actually start packing, I make a list. I actually have a basic list saved that I always start with. My basic list breaks down into categories like- Makeup, toiletries, electronics, etc. Then I have stuff I need for any trip listed by category, for example:

Toiletries: Tooth brush, tooth paste, floss, deodorant, etc.
Make-Up: Foundation, blush, fake eye lashes, mascara, etc.
Electronics: Cell phone, charger, camera, memory card, etc

This basic list is always about a page long. Then I go in and modify my basic list for the vacation I am packing for. For example, for VLV I add things like sewing kit, tide pen, hotel confirmation, business cards, etc.

Once I get my basics down, I move on to clothing. I know men would already be lost, but being good at lists is what makes women different. I normally already have some outfits options in my head because I have been “saving them” for quite some time. I make this list well in advance so I know what I am wearing to Viva, so that I don’t choose to wear it some other time. I personally like my Viva outfits to be brand new to me, so it feels more special. If something doesn't make this list, I know I can consider it for a pre-party, post party or some weekend show. Sometimes I try stuff on about a month or so before and snap cell phone pics in them. That helps me know what looks good on and what goes with what. Once I have my options narrowed down I move on to placing them in order.

I chose to organize my outfit options for each day under Day, Night, and possibly a Late Night outfit if my night time outfit is terrible to dance in. Then I break it down into what clothing I will wear, what shoes, what purse, what accessories and maybe a note on a hairstyle that would look good. I do this all as I sit in front of my computer because I can style things well in my head (I’m a wiz with color matching), but that may not work for you. Here is an exact copy of a section of my current list, for Thursday:

Thursday Day: (Hooch and Smooch): Fish print dress with matching bolero, navy blue wedges or striped espadrilles, white orchid hair flowers, teal fish purse, white fish necklace/earrings, bakelite.
Thursday Night: White fringe dress, gold, silver or white shoes. Gold glitter Lucite or gold lame clutch. Gold or black flats for dancing? Big 60’s hair.

So once I have outfits for each day sorted out, I print the list and am ready to start packing. I normally start pulling things as I see them and throw them onto my rack or suitcase. Then the week prior I officially start packing. I take my list and start moving down the line and pulling all of the items on the list. This is the first time I actually look at the outfit together as a whole and make final selections on shoes, purses and accessories based on what I like best. Once I have it pulled I place it in one spot and cross it off my list. Once everything on the list is accounted for in a pile I start organizing it.

I keep all dresses and some separates on hangers and place then in one single garment bag. I put shoes (with tissue paper in the toes to avoid crushing), purses, small separates, and undergarments in my suitcase. I roll the clothing to prevent wrinkling. I place fragile things like sunglass and hair flowers inside the purses. I also throw random things like my sewing kit and business cards in there just to use the space. It may not be glamorous, but I put all of my makeup into one plastic zip lock bag, hair stuff in another bag, and toiletries in another bag. Then I place all of those bags on the outside pocket of my suitcase, just in case they leak. I put my electronics into another outside pocket of the suitcase so they are easy to find. I also have a train case. I place all of my Bakelite and other jewelry (wrapped in tissue paper) into the train case. Lastly, we bring a big rolling ice chest to hold all of the booze for our room bar! That is pretty important. Also, before I leave I reprint my list and throw a copy in my bag. That way I don’t have to use my drunkie brain, I have a list of what I am wearing each day!

When I actually get there, I have a system to carry it all. It’s sort of a rule that I can only bring what I can carry in one trip. Sooooo….that is why I use a modern rolling suitcase that holds a lot. My vintage ones, while cute, are not as practical. I prop the handle of the suitcase up, place the train case right on top of the suitcase and then hang my garment bag off of the top of the suitcase handle (looping the tail end up so It doesn’t drag). That way I can carry everything with one hand. Then I have one free hand to carry booze! And there you have it!

So there you have it! I hope you have enjoyed this crazy detailed post about how I pack!

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  1. Damn gurl. I wish I was less crazy artist and more organised! My method is to pack my husbands pelican cases with as much as they can hold (and ours are huge so I fit a lot!) and then I figure it all out depending on my mood each day. Flying with one suitcase always gives me a panic attack. Where will I put the hot rollers?!

  2. You're so organised it makes me swoon. I love it! This week as a part of a course I'm doing I had to ask my colleagues what they thought my 5 strengths were and they all said organisation. But I think you rival me!
    I'm not going to VLV this year, and have never been, as I just can't afford it what with being in old England. One day though! For now I can't wait to see all of your wonderful photos and I hope you have an amazing time.
    Rowena x

  3. We are coming back for 2015, and I am already shopping! I am buying up vintage fabrics with big plans to sew most of my daytime outfits, but it is very restricting to have to bring everything from Australia and have to travel with it afterwards, so my suitcase will not be as huge as I would like. Thanks for such a great post!

  4. Viva Las Vegas! I was there last year for my boyfriend's birthday and I took a lot of useless luggage with me. Believe me I needed only a pair of nice shorts and a small dress. Now I am moving to another apartment and I have troubles with the packing process. Wish me luck!


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