When choosing a pageant gown color, carefully consider how each possible gown color flatters your hair color and skin tone.
The Right Pageant Gown Color for Skin Tone
Color analysis enables a contestant’s wardrobers to understand the skin tones they are dealing with. Knowing that the girl’s complexion has golden or blue undertones, or is ruddy or sallow, helps in the selection of colors and shades that are most flattering.
Keep in mind that colors come in an entire range of shades, each of which will behave differently on an individual. Take reds. One shade of red, perhaps an orange-red, could look awful on a contestant, while a wine red might make her look radiant. According to experts, any girl can wear any color, but the shade of that color must be correct for her hair and skin tones.
“I have found over the years that there isn’t a woman who cannot wear all colors,” observes Annette Gerhart. “It depends on the shade of that color and on her makeup. Of course, there are certain shades that will be more becoming, but find the right tone and you can wear any color.”
That right shade will bring a healthy glow to the face, minimize shadows, make eyes and teeth appear bright, and flatter the hair coloring.
Don’t Limited Yourself With Preconceived Ideas
Although hair color, both the girl’s natural shade and any dyes or highlights, helps determine the most flattering gown colors, don’t limit your early choices with preconceived ideas about what colors you’re “supposed” to wear. “I don’t think any hair color is limited,” asserts Kathleen Munson, who has written several books on modeling. “I think you need to explore the possibilities and find what’s best for you.”
Pageant Gown Colors Winners Wore by Hair Color or Skin Tone
The right pageant gown color can fabulously play up a gorgeous hair color or skin tone. If you are blessed with a lovely darker skin tone, accent that beauty with a color that highlights your skin tones. Similarly, if you have beautiful hair, use your gown color choice to focus attention on your hair.
The following is a list of the evening gown colors worn by major pageant winners, according to their hair color or skin tone:
White, black, pink, coral pink, mint green, baby blue, yellow, aqua/turquoise, red, beige, royal blue, and gold tones.
- Example: We love the look of classic white gowns on blondes, as epitomized by Susan Akin, Miss America 1986, who was breathtaking in a fitted white beaded gown with fur cap sleeves.
White, ivory, turquoise, pastel aqua, pink, peach, black, lilac, yellow, red, medium blues, beige/skin tone, magenta, bright green, gold lame, silver, floral print, and rainbow chiffon.
Example: While we love white gowns, we adore brunettes in white gowns, as illustrated by several titleholders who we consider to epitomize white gowns worn perfectly:
- Miss Earth 2011
- Miss America 2009 Kati Stam
- Miss America 2005 Deidre Downs
- Miss America 1997 Tara Dawn Holland
- Miss America 1988 Kaye Lani Rae Rafko
- Miss Universe 1987 Cecilia Bolocco
Women of Color / African-America / Asian / Bi-Racial / Dark Olive Skin Tone:
White, red, black, turquoise, gold lame, lilac, ice blue, peach, gold beading, silver beading.
- Black: Miss America 1995, Kimberly Aiken, a woman of color with stunning facial features, wore a simple, elegant, black fitted gown with sheer sleeves – a choice that emphasized her beautiful face and refined image.
- Red: Red is also a fabulous gown color on woman with darker skin tones as show by Miss Universe 2000 Lara Dutta (Miss India) and Rachel Smith, Miss USA 2007 (bi-racial), who accented their beautiful skin tones with a vibrant, but simple red gowns that let their showcased their beauty.
- Yellow: Yellow is another color that we think is simply stunning on women with dark skin tones, as shown byCaressa Cameron, Miss America 2010 and Miss America 2004, Ericka Dunlap.
Redheads / Auburn:
White, kelly to hunter greens, medium pastel aqua, turquoise, and black.
- Example: Miss USA 2011, Alyssa Campanello, a vibrant redhead, wore a bold jewel green sequin pageant gown.
To determine your best evening gown colors, be creative. Consider (but don’t be held captive by) the results of color analysis, and experiment with dozens of colors, from those that already command your closet to those you’ve never tried before. Your evening gown is your portrait.
Color yourself beautiful.