Your Gown Reveals Your Suitability to be the Winner
Judges do consider what a contestant’s gown says about a her suitability to be their winner.
The moment she steps onstage, a contestant’s gown style and color reveal volumes about her:
- personality (is she reserved or flamboyant?)
- attitude (does she like to command respect or shock?)
- image (is she a Grace Kelly or a Kim Kardashian?).
Obviously, a racy red sequin pageant gown with a plunging neckline is going to send judges an entirely different message than a feminine flowing pink-lace-and-chiffon number, or an elegant strapless black velvet gown.
Try On Lots of Different Styles
The only way to find that ideal gown, says Zola, is, “Try on a hundred different gowns-gowns with sleeves, without sleeves, halters, strapless. You’ve got to try on.”
Thanks to recent changes in evening gown guidelines to discourage cookie-cutter beaded gowns and encourage simplicity, entrants can successfully wear a wider range of styles in competition. “I think pageants are becoming a little more open-minded now,” says Debbie Brown. “I love it because now, if you look good in a beaded gown, you can wear a beaded gown. If you have big hips and you look better in a chiffon skirt, then wear a chiffon skirt. You’re not going to score lower. It’s okay to wear what looks good on you.”
“Sell yourself as an individual in an elegant situation.” — Rex Holt of GuyRex Associates, coaches to a strong of Miss Texas-USA, Miss USA winners