By Lexie Carleton
Evening gown is my favorite portion of pageantry! I love the feeling of being elegant and poised. I love having my hair done like a queen, and the dramatic look of great stage make up. Yet, you can’t forget it's not all just for fun. If you plan on competing for the crown, there are certain things you must know. Read on for my tips to impress the judges.
Judges notice right away if a gown doesn't fit properly. First, the length of the gown. You should not be able to see your feet, not even when walking. Next let's talk about tailoring. Your gown needs to be tailored to make sure that there are no awkward gaps or unflattering bulges. Lastly, be sure the gown as an even hemline. The difference is in the details! To score highly in formal wear, make sure the gown has an even hem, is an appropriate length, and fits you to a "T".
Style of the gown itself is very important. Make sure the dress does not overpower you. Judges want to see a pretty gown on a gorgeous girl not a gorgeous gown on a pretty girl. The dress does needs to flatter your body, but it must be age appropriate too. Avoid slits for girls younger than the teen division. Also remember age appropriate when it comes to necklines. Older girls can get away with a little cleavage, but make sure it is not distracting. Shape of the gown is also important. There are a bunch of different silhouettes such as mermaid, a-line, ball gown, sheath...the list goes on. I have seen each style win a competition. There is no perfect pageant silhouette, only the perfect shape for each unique girl. Pick one that makes you feel incredible.
Another big factor that comes into account when choosing your perfect gown is color. A gown should compliment the skin tone and still stand out. Color can also aid in age appearance. If the girl tends to look to older, stick to brighter colors or pastels like pink or sky-blue. To look older lean more towards darker colors. Also, always think about your personality. If you're calmer, stick to the cool colors, but if you're a little more outgoing, let the gown speak for you.
You don't have to spend a fortune on an amazing gown. There are a bunch of designers but don't get caught up in the brand game. One thing I will say, make sure you get more bang for your buck. Also, avoid sketchy online companies. I can't begin to tell you the horror stories I've heard! If you are stuck, contact our national sponsor, Perfection Boutique (you can find them on Facebook) and they will help you choose that perfect gown!
All in all I think the most important thing of all is this: feel fabulous in what you wear on stage. Feel fabulous, and you will look fabulous, and the judges will definitely notice!