As some veterans of Viva do, I shop for Viva all year long. I am always looking for a "WOW" dress that I call a "Viva Dress." I always have many contenders, and the choice is difficult. Despite what some people believe, you can wear the same dress twice at Viva, but I like to skip at least a year between wearing it again. Memorable dresses are that, memorable.
Now we are going to talk about packing and what you want to bring. For those flying, the baggage limits in place now make it harder to bring everything you want, so you have to economize. About a month before Viva I make a list of everything I want to bring, and having the philosophy that I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it, I drove to Vegas last year.
Lets talk about the things you will need to bring with you, or the things I bring:
1. Day outfit for each day you will be there. This can be as casual as jeans or as dressy as a vintage sundress. Whatever you are comfortable in.
2. Cocktail dresses for each night. Saturday is traditionally the fanciest night, but I like to dress up every night and often don't decide which is the Saturday outfit until Friday or Saturday that I am there. If you want to buy a really special repro dress, check out this website: Whirlingturban. Whirlingturban makes custom fit vintage reproductions where you can pick your own fabric, or you can browse the pre-made dresses in the boutique. Of all the reproduction companies out there, Whirlingturban uses the most vintage like fabrics and techniques in the construction of their garments.
3. Bring at least 2 pairs of Jeans. I sometimes bring 3, since I change into them late at night to dance at the record hops.
4. T-shirts or casual tops. Rockabilly band shirts, striped t-shirts, custom car shop shirts and cute vintage blouses will go well with the jeans.
5. Something to sleep in, unless you are with your man and have kids and have the opportunity to sleep naked for once!
6. Undergarments, and I don't just mean panties and bras. Be sure that if you have some special dresses that you also have the proper foundation garments to go under them. I bring a Spanx, long line bra, strapless bra and open bottom girdle and stockings. Socks if you plan on wearing sneakers!
7. Shoes! I try to pack shoes that can be worn with more than one dress, but last year I failed at that and wore different shoes with each dress. Don't forget sneakers and some cute sandals to wear at the car show and with jeans.
8. It is good to bring one jacket if you plan on leaving the casino. Vegas in April is unpredictable. Sometimes very hot and sometimes cold at night. If you plan on going to Frankie's bring something hawaiian to wear.
9. Swimsuit for the pool party. This year the pool party is every day, so you can bring more than one suit
10.We all need our cosmetics, I recommend bringing the basics and some extra flash you wouldn't normally wear, like falsh eyelashes.
11. Hair stuff...your hairbrush, good shampoo (you will be there for 4 nights, at least) hair pins, curling iron and if you drive like me, hot rollers. Bring some extra barrettes and ponytail holders. If you think you are going to do a wet set, put that out of your head. If you are going to wet set your hair while at Viva, you are doing it wrong and should give up your room at the Orleans for a someone who wants to have fun and be up all night dancing. Don't forget hairspray or any other styling products you use. There is a Target located a few blocks away, and you can always cab over if you forget anything.
12 Jewelry! Plan out the jewelry you are going to wear with your dresses. make sure you have something safe to carry it in and bring it in your carry-on. I wear almost all costume jewelry, but I still put it in my carry-on when I fly, just in case.
13. Purses. I bring a few evening bags to match my shoes. Something that will fit my cash, ID, credit card, phone, cigarettes and lighter.
14. Hair accessories. We all like a pretty flower in our hair. If you don't have a cute one for your outfits, you can make one quickly or buy one from the dozens of vendors who sell them.
15. Don't forget Sunscreen! It is essential at the car show.
16. Band-aids and pain reliever may come in handy. Also make-up remover.
17. Camera and extra memory card and the charger.
18. Safety pins for wardrobe malfunctions.
19. Extra dress our outfit in case your wardrobe malfunction can't be repaired with a safety pin. One year the zipper on my dress broke at the car show. I was very fortunate to have one extra outfit to put on so I didn't have to buy one and could still look cute in a dress at the car show.
Don't fret if you forget anything. There are over 100 vendors selling everything from vintage goods to corsets and pomade. Your man can get his hair cut at Rob's Chop Shop and they now have salons doing vintage hair-dos.
If you fly, try to have some extra room in your suitcase for the goodies you will pick up. I hope this has answered some questions to the Viva Virgins, and reminded Veterans not to forget anything.