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How To Prepare For Your Pageant

Updated: Jan 25, 2020

Now that you've signed up for your pageant, it's time to start preparing for your pageant. Keep reading to find out what to wear, how to practice and what you should and shouldn't be posting on social media before the pageant. 

How to select Pageant wardrobe

When you're preparing for your first pageant, picking a pageant wardrobe that represents you can be a daunting task. While we can't tell you exactly what will fit your personality, we can give you a few helpful tips to develop your unique "look."

Classic and fashion forward is the way to go

When choosing a gown for a Ms. pageant, you want to select something that you would wear to a black tie event, formal ball or gala, but you want it to be very fashionable. Think elegance and sophistication and something you might see in “Vogue,” rather than something appropriate for a prom that you’d seen in “Seventeen.” This is one major area that more mature women tend to make mistakes in when they are new to pageantry.

Confidence comes over "tradition"

You do not have to wear enormously high heels just because you are competing in a pageant. If you are not comfortable wearing a five inch platform, you are under no obligation to do so. Wear the heels that you can walk in and that make you feel confident, even if it is a lower heel than what you’ve seen in other pageants, or on other contestants.

Know your pageant

Research the pageant you are competing in and try to determine what that pageant’s particular style and brand is. If you see contestants and titleholders wearing modern, form fitting gowns with slits, then they are going to be more open and fashion forward. But, if you see women wearing gowns with long or short sleeves, moderate necklines and less skin showing, then your pageant leans more to a conservative type of brand.

This is not a business interview

When selecting an outfit for your pageant interview, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you should wear a business suit. A pageant interview is a place to express your unique fashion sense, so don’t don a navy blue pencil skirt and matching blazer. Feel free to wear a flattering, feminine sheath dress or a fabulous jumpsuit in bright, fun colors and be conservative on the jewelry.

Plan ahead

What is the easiest way to keep your outfits looking amazing during the entire pageant? Take the time to prepare and organize your wardrobe. Before the pageant starts select your outfits – don’t forget the shoes and accessories. Then, photograph them so you can remember exactly what you’re wearing for each event or competition Put them into your pageant notebook for reference during the competition weekend. When you're settling into your pageant hotel room, set up your competition wardrobe in the order in which you'll wear the items. Say goodbye to day of wardrobe jitters! 

Invest in alterations

What is our number one pageant wardrobe pet peeve? When a contestant’s wardrobe doesn’t fit. It doesn’t matter if your dress is jersey, satin, chiffon, a-line or mermaid. If the dress fits incorrectly it will take away from your moment on stage. Alterations can be expensive – but they make a huge difference. This extends beyond just your evening gown. Each clothing item you wear during the pageant, especially competition clothing, should be tailored to fit you perfectly. The last thing you want is for your judge to be more focused on your interview dress that's just a tad too big and completely tune out your answers. Your wardrobe should never distract from your performance and fit will play a big part in that.

Don't let it wear you

The last (and most important) wardrobe tip – make sure you wear your wardrobe, don’t let it wear you. If you put something on and the focus goes to your top, shoes, earrings or dress – and not to you – don’t wear it. This is certainly not to say your clothes need to be boring, but they can't be distracting. Your outfits need to show you off, not the other way around.

The best way to avoid this is to put on each clothing item you intend to wear during the competition and stand in front of a full length mirror. Pay attention to where your eye sight falls first. Did it go to your neon shoes? How about your busy printed dress? If it falls anywhere other than your face, your item might be a distraction. You can also ask a friend or family member to do the same thing. Another important point to remember is that clothing can look different in motion than it does stationary. This is where your friends, family or a coach will help you. Put on your clothes and walk toward them, as if you were in an interview or onstage. They will know if your printed outfit or shoes are too distracting if that's where their attention goes. 

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