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.



How to Make an Ass of Yourself at the Iowa State Fair

Believe me, it isn’t hard (I know you agree if you read this blog regularly) to make a complete asshole of myself.  Especially while thoroughly enjoying everything the great state fair of Iowa has to offer every August. It’s my favorite day of the year (aside from Christmas and my birthday, naturally) and I will be gracing the fairgrounds with my presence the day after tomorrow. Look out!

Wanna make an ass of yourself, too? Here’s how…

First start the morning off right with a freshly grease soaked corn dog.

First dog of the day

Breakfast of champions.

Then take every photo opportunity that you possibly can.

Milk strong

Who needs a milk mustache when you can carry a calf?

Never give up

Yes. I’m a grown ass woman. Consider yourself mooooooned.

Once your cheeks are tired from all of the smiling, stop and get a snack. Like cheese curds. And make it two orders because if you decide to share one, they’ll be gone in 32 seconds flat and you’ll be pissed but still go back and stand in the 24 person line for the second order. So just get two to start with, OK?

Cheesin' out over cheese curds

Two curds are better than one.

After gaining the first three of thirty pounds you’ll be packing on during the day, chase (rather, waddle) after the Fair Queen and beg for a picture with the beauty. All I could think about in the photo was how fresh and clean the Queen smelled, while she probably wondered why I practically had my head on her shoulder (I was trying to knock her crown off and dethrone her – because let’s be real. There’s nothing sexier than a bloated, short, blonde wanna be fair queen, is there?).


First stalker experience for the newly crowned Queen.

Because your crew chased after you while running down the Queen, they’ll be all hot and bothered. Instead of carrying a personal fan around the hot fairgrounds, just dump cold water down your back. This is especially a nice trick if you are wearing a white t-shirt (smarts run in my family).

Personal air conditioning. Dump water down back.

Personal air conditioning by dumping water down one’s back. Now where’s the wet t-shirt contest?

Next up, drag your crew to the line longer than the opening of a Southern Chik-fil-A restaurant. Seriously, there will be about 231 people lined up to see a statue of a cow. Made out of butter. And it’s fantastic. But when you roll with me, you end up sneaking (maybe rather acting like you’re on the phone, looking for your buddy who’s in the front – oh, hey you!) your way up into the middle of the line for the one picture you’re going to snap but without having to wait the 35 minutes to do so.


This would be so good melted.

The butter cow sighting will throw your appetite into a frenzy.  So the next stop on the face stuffing train is a gigantic pork tenderloin (which is the equivalent to heavenly greasy goodness here on Earth).

Porking out on pork tenderloins.

The three pigs. Porking out on pork tenderloins.

Upon consuming the 42,657th calorie of the day, you need to sit on your ass and ride the Ye Old Mill, which is the Iowa State Fair’s oldest (you will immediately see why, as it seriously goes about .001 mph around in a circle) permanent amusement ride, which is intended for dating couples but I always like to be the third wheel and spoil the romance.

Scariest. Ride. Ever.

Most. Romantic. Ride. Ever.

After ruining the romance on the Ye Old Mill, I find it enchanting to pose with the leftovers of what I have been consuming all day.

You are what you eat.

You are what you eat.

Which means I will most likely leave the fair looking like the largest boar in the state of Iowa.

CBXB at the end of a long day at the fair.

CBXB at the end of a long day at the fair.

What cures the “I’m getting fat blues?” An icy cold cocktail and a bedazzled cowgirl hat of course.

Only a pinky out will do

Lifting a pinky will immediately lift your heavy spirits.

Once you’re back to feeling like your foxy self, it’s time to hit up the Midway full of carnies and rides that you’re not sure you should get on once you lay eyes on the dude who put it together upon arriving at the fairgrounds two hours prior.

Tah Dah!

Tah Dah!

But since you’ve had a cocktail (or three) you throw caution to the wind and hop on the double ferris wheel.

Double Ferris Wheel

Double wheels of fun.

Except that after every member of your group turns you down as a tandem rider, you have to go alone and wait for another single rider. Which in my case is always the embarrassed 12-year-old boy who wants the world to swallow him up whole on the spot when I whip out my camera and start snapping pictures.

First date for the youngster. Poor thing

First date for the youngster. I’ve scarred him for life.

The whirl of the wheel and carrying your buckets of loot throughout the enormous fairgrounds will make your stomach start screaming for food again (duh).

Carrying buckets of loot

Heavy lifting requires severe caloric intake.

Perusing for the last snack of the day may take a toll on you, realizing that the day of fun is coming to a close.

Last dog of the day

Last dog of the day? Say it ain’t so.

But once you’ve settled on a last meal of a corn dog, donuts, lemonade and a fried Snickers, life doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Fair Fun

Caution: the bench may break if one more fried food is added to the mix.

On the (what seems like a 65 mile) walk to the car, stop and gaze at the fireworks (like you didn’t just seem them a month prior for the Fourth of July) that end each day of the fair.

Parting is such sorrow

Parting is such sorrow.

And with a tear in the corner of your eye, hang out of the sun roof and snap a blurry shot of the double ferris wheel you just rode, while ruining a 12 year old’s dating life for the next six years.

I seriously didn't just see fireworks over the fourth of July

I have to wait 364 more days ’til next year!

And that my classy friends is how you show your ass (or make yourself memorable – however you want to look at it) at the Iowa State Fair.

I’m available for tour guiding – but it will cost you. Probably a corn dog.

Or six.