How to Look Fairlicious

Being a fashion conscious gal, what to wear to the Iowa State Fair every August is quite a dilemma.

And since fair season is upon us in America (Iowa’s starts today!), I’m assuming you waste brain cells on how to be a fashionably functional fairgoer, too (Right? RIGHT?)


Straight out of the pages of Vogue, I know.

Always my own fabulous fair guide, I long to look cute while trekking between the livestock barns.  Prancing around cattle, sheep, horse and swine areas is extremely difficult – especially if you’re trying to avoid manure of any kind.


Tiny. The Grand Champion bull weighing in at 3,012lbs.


Sorry if you have a big, sweaty ass but NO BUTT FANS, mmkay?

Skinny swine he's not.

Non-starving swine.

I want to look cute stuffing my face at corn dog stands (and doughnut, giant tenderloin, fried Oreo, cheese curd, funnel cake, fried butter, kettle corn, taffy, fried snickers, gyro and anything you could imagine on a stick stands).

Best breakfast ever.

Best breakfast ever.


Hells yes.

Fuck no.

Fuck no.

I long to look adorable for the famous butter cow (don’t stand in the Disney World long line – just whiz up to the center, say excuse me (Iowans are suuuuper nice), snap a pic and get out).

Butter Cow

Yep. It’s really just a life-sized cow sculpted from butter.

I strive to be attractive while standing in line, alone (because no one in my crew will ride with me) to enjoy the double ferris wheel and see a sign that says “NO SINGLE RIDERS.” So it’s imperative I look fab for the third kid in a family, who is also always a single rider.

Sky Wheel

It’s best if you don’t see the dude who constructs this masterpiece before you ride, FYI.

Happy to be a very embarrassed 11-year-olds first date.

Happy to be a very embarrassed 11-year-old’s first date.

As I attend the best state fair America has to offer (in my expert opinion) it’s important that I am not only looking fairlicious, but I must also be able to conceal the unavoidable eight pounds slowly gained in one day (it can seriously happen).

So here’s what to wear to your favorite state fair (but seriously, you should just go to Iowa’s and call it a day).

Rule one: Cute but comfy shoes.


Even feet used to wear and tear will feel the wrath of the standing, eating, walking, eating, running (to get one last corn dog before the stand closes for the night), and eating.  I never do sneakers unless I’m working out, therefore I have found that wedge flip flops work best. They keep your feet breathable in all kinds of weather and add a bit of support for arches.

Look semi-chic while side stepping the pig manure.

Rule two:  Wear a fabulous outfit with an expanding waist band to compensate for the endless overindulging.


I typically wear a dress that will not make me look 12 months pregnant after 12 straight hours of fair food. I find a-line dresses the best for keeping it cool and letting it all hang out (especially for times when you about knock the Iowa State Fair Queen down, due to chasing her through the Art building and then almost making her pass out from your own “I’ve been at the fair for 9 hours” aroma).


One authentic state fair queen and one poser.

Or I’ll wear a skirt (I loathe shorts) with a belt, sure to adjust to the eight new inches around my gut by the end of the day.

Grandpa's Belt

Grandpa’s belt comes in handy!

Rule three: Carry a multi-purpose bag.


I find that a cross-body bag is the most useful because I’m constantly in and out of it for my phone (everyone wants that caloric Facebook update, right?), a drink of water (or Captain),  sunglasses (constantly in and out of buildings) and retrieving Pepto Bismol (every hour on the hour).

BJ Bag

The keeper of all things fair.

Rule four: You must be willing to look like an ass at any/all times.


Attempt to wear all

Flaunting my newest accessories.

Unabashedly carry every single item you picked up with you

Taking up an entire park bench due to the massive amounts of free shit we had to have and therefore lug around for hours, all the while stuffing our faces in the hopes a blue ribbon gets pinned on us for being the best fairgoers ever.

And that, my friends is how you remain functionally fashionable while being fairlicious.

But just remember…

You are what you eat.

You are what you eat.

Now go and have a corn dog (or four) for me.



40 thoughts on “How to Look Fairlicious

  1. Christopher S. Malone says:

    Oh, quite the fair it can be said from afar. The New York State Fair is definitely another one for the books. You have until the beginning of September to get up here and see what you’re missing out on.

    • What?! I need to make a state fair tour schedule…that way I can really go all out and rank them in order while gaining 321 pounds in one summer. I think this is a brilliant idea. Are you going to the New York fair?

      • Christopher S. Malone says:

        Oh, yeah. I have two more tickets to use up after going once already.

        That would be an awesome idea for a bucket list item, hitting all 50 states and their state fairs. I am up for that challenge.

      • Then lets make it a dual bucket list challenge and do it together. Game on!

  2. You just set that 11 year old’s bar pretty high. I think you ruined him for all future girls.

  3. authormbeyer says:

    I love the Iowa State Fair! I haven’t been there since the 1980’s. The Texas State Fair, no matter how big it is, is only second best. I suppose that’s because I grew up in Wright County Iowa.

  4. SerachShiro says:

    You always look good but the first picture is gorgeous and I love grandpa’s belt, very fashionable ! the whole fair must have been very fun and I would like to put my mouth into a corn-dog, so fairlicious 🙂 !

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