‘The Bachelor’: What are Contestants Told to Pack?

The Bachelor contestants are only allowed to bring two suitcases with them to The Bachelor Mansion. They have to pack formal wear for at least 10 cocktail parties and rose ceremonies, and outfits for all seasons, as they may be visiting such exotic locations as Portugal or Denver, Colorado.  

Heather and Colton | Rick Rowell via Getty Images
Heather and Colton | Rick Rowell via Getty Images

Formal wear  

Prior to their arrival to The Bachelor Mansion, contestants get a list of items to bring. And once there, producers make sure that no one’s wearing the same outfit and that everyone’s wearing something that will look flattering on camera.  

“You’re by yourself in a hotel room and you come with a dress and probably a backup dress,” Jaclyn Swartz, who appeared on season 16 of The Bachelor, as well as Bachelor Pad and Bachelor in Paradise, told Fashionista. “The stylist Cary Fetman and a producer will come around to [your] room and they’ll approve the dress for the first night. That’s usually to make sure no two girls are wearing the same dress.”

“[The producers] would never be like, ‘Oh, that’s ugly. Take it off,'” added Jaclyn. “They would say, ‘It’s just not translating well on camera. You should change, but that’s to benefit you.'”

The producers are checking for less-than-flattering shapes and patterns. It’s the first night, after all. All those clothes the contestants purchased, borrowed, and packed would go to waste if they’re sent home the first night and producers want to give everyone a good shot.  

Former Bachelorette contestant and former Bachelor Sean Lowe wrote in his book that contestants aren’t allowed to wear “stripes, small checkered patterns, big patterns, and solid white.” These rules are in place because the above-mentioned patterns and colors don’t look good on camera.  

Date outfits

So we know contestants are told to bring their best formal wear, but what about date outfits? Dates can range from workout activities to picnics to racecar driving–how do contestants know what to wear on their date since it’s a secret?

According to former contestant Sharleen Joynt, in addition to the clues given on the date card, a producer will give the woman(en) chosen for the date a vague idea of what they should wear.  

“Before dates, a producer will tell you more or less what you need to wear,” Joynt wrote on her blog. “Nothing that will give away the activity, but vague things like, ‘Something comfortable you can walk in.'”

What contestants wear when they’re not on dates

What do contestants wear when they’re not at a cocktail party or on a date? It’s a little different for everyone. While some women like to be camera-ready at all times, others prefer to be comfortable.

“I wore these blue Juicy sweatpants every day,” Alexis Waters, a former Bachelor contestant, told Vox. “When I wasn’t going on a date, I didn’t care. There were girls who were glam every day, and then there was me, no makeup, chugging Pedialyte [for hangover help].”

Read more: ‘The Bachelor’: What The Contestants Eat At The Mansion

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