Pageant Jewelry for the Evening Gown Competition
A contestant’s pageant gown, the right jewelry and shoes add the winning touches that complete her look.
As the accessory closest to a contestant’s face, her pageant jewelry must be impeccable. “Accessories are the frame to the picture,” says pageant clothier, Thomas Tolbert. “Jewelry enhances and finishes the look. If it overpowers you and you look at the jewelry before you look at her face, then it’s wrong. You’ve got to consider the neck-line, the girl’s weight, her hair, and her eyes. There are a lot of things to be considered.”
The dress design, facial shape and size and hairstyle are the most important factors in selecting earrings to complement a total look.
“I don’t so much look at her face as I look at her overall appearance from the head to bust area,” says Kati Fish. “If she has a long neck and she is wearing a strapless dress, she can wear a really long earring. If she is wearing a dress that comes up high around her neck or close to the neck, you don’t want to have long earrings. You’ll want more of a button style.
If a girl has a small face and she’s wearing a flowing gown, I’ll get a more dainty earring, as opposed to someone who is going with a completely beaded look with very full hair.”
As you can see in the photos below, winners have earned the crown wearing a wide range of earring styles. However, in recent years most winners have opted for some variation of the popular chandelier style
The Right Earrings
Contestants often make mistakes in their choice of earrings. “They should be in good taste and the right size,” says Zola Keller. “Medium, not these massive things covering up the whole ear, and not those ‘dusters’ hanging down to their shoulders. If the earrings are too big and gaudy, that’s the first thing the judge is going to see. They’re not going to pay any attention to what she is wearing below that, because the earrings got the first attention”
“When I get a girl ready,” Zola continues, I don’t want one thing to be picked out: ‘Her earrings are too long’ or ‘Her earrings are too big.’ I don’t want the judge to even notice them. I want the judges to look at the girl overall.”
Formal Hair Accessories
Formal hair accessories like an elegant crystal barrette can be an attractive accessory with a simple gown, such as a black velvet strapless gown. However, other items of jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, and ankle bracelets, shouldn’t be worn because they clutter the picture.
Avoid anything that pulls judges’ attention off your face.
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