Pageant Trunk Shows: What you need to know before you go!

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For veterans in the pageant field, “trunk show” is common terminology. For our newbies out there, trunks shows are incredible ways to find unique gowns or get inspired by the latest in pageant fashion.  A trunk show is a special sale where designers or vendors present select merchandise to consumers at a specific venue or event. Sometimes new merchandise is shown before it is made available to the public. A few of the more prominent trunk shows available in the pageant industry are from designers like Sherri Hill and Mac Duggal or stores like La Casa Hermosa. Typically, state directors will bring a few trunk shows to their state for contestants to peruse. Trunks shows usually don’t have bargain prices, but the selection is generally top-notch. There’s no junk in the trunk! Keep reading to learn how to make the most of your next trunk show visit!

  • Make sure you are honest about your price range when the associates ask you (since they will). Nothing is worse than falling in love with a $5,000 gown when your budget is $250.
  • Bring photos. Have an idea of what “look” you are going for. You don’t have to stick with it, but it is helpful for the owners to know what kind of dresses they should pull for you.
  • Also, definitely BRING YOUR SHOES WITH YOU! A) you need to know how it looks with those shoes and B) If you end up buying the gown, many times they offer in-house alterations so you have to have your shoes so they know if the gown needs to be hemmed at all.
  • Also, go to the trunk show with your hair and makeup nicely done. You want to get the full effect of how you will look in the gown so if you show up in sweatpants with your hair a mess, it is less likely you will feel as fabulous in the gown as you should.
  • Make an appointment. Trunk shows are usually one weekend only and the closer you get to the pageant date, the closer they fill up.
  • While trunk shows are generally a great one stop shop for pageant preparations  it doesn’t mean they are the only place to buy your gown. The key is to buy a gown you LOVE, not Like. If the trunk show doesn’t have what you were looking for – ask the owner/associate if they have a store you can visit.
  • Bring someone who’s opinion you trust—avoid showing up with an entourage. Not only will there not be enough room for all of you, you don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen swaying your decision
  • Budget for accessories because there will be some fabulous jewelry on display.

Need help finding a trunk show in your area? Leave us a comment in the section below!

  • Casey C.

    Hello I go to school in Albany, Ny and also from NYC. Where could I find trunk shows in those areas