What Do I Wear To A Beauty Pageant?

What Do I Wear To A Beauty Pageant?

May 2, 2021
By Trisha Bantigue

If you ask 100 pageant veterans as to what is one of the hardest things when it comes to prepping for a pageant, 99 would probably say: planning your wardrobe. Planning for any event is stressful enough as it is, but what about an event where you have to plan for multiple outfits where you actually have to stand out? Now that’s something to worry about, right? Well, don’t worry as we’re here to help you.

Most people tend to overlook that there are various outfits you need to have prepared even before finals night. There’s more to pageant styling than just your main evening gown and your swimsuit, as most pageants start days, if not, weeks before the final night of competition. We always say that, if you want to win the crown, you gotta dress your best from day one.

What you wear before the pageant is not scored, but at the end of the day, it’s important to always have a queenly presence in every room you walk into in order to give a breathtaking first impression. Whether you’re competing for a local pageant in your hometown, or competing at one of the big leagues such as Miss USA or Miss Universe, it’s important to look and feel like Elle Woods after winning her first case.

Okay, now let’s get down to business. We’ll list all the outfits you have to prep for if you’re competing for a beauty pageant.

Orientation outfit

For your first day at orientation, this is usually your first chance at showing off your amazing style to the pageant organizers, sponsors, and your new pageant sisters! This part is almost semi-professional but also semi-glam. It’s a mix between an interview outfit and a fun-fashion outfit in my opinion. You want to walk in and feel like a strong independent woman who’s about to win the crown.

What I recommend is a glam and sultry jumpsuit/romper, that is sometimes considered “too revealing” for interviews but nonetheless, perfect for orientation. Here are some options I found:

This elegant and sexy white jumpsuit by Mac Duggal screams “POWER”. It’s almost a bold statement of “I showed up and I came to win.”, all while carrying a sense of elegance with each step.

This white romper by Rachel Allan is a slightly more youthful and sultry option from the previous. The train adds a touch of drama, but still not too much. The only thing though with these long capes/trains, be careful not to trip any of your pageant sisters because the most important part of the pageant journey are the friends you create along the way :)

I love how this gold Mac Duggal jumpsuit has a Greek goddess vibe written all over it! I don’t know about you all but everyone looks gorgeous in a sheer champagne color.

Interview outfit

Interviews are becoming more and more my favorite part of the pageant as I love seeing the cross between beauty queen and CEO vibes. I also enjoy seeing girls becoming more adventurous in their choices all while being exquisitely chic. Depending on the pageant system, it’s good to be mindful as to how much skin you want to show. Some systems definitely lean a bit more conservative, and especially if you are in the teen division.

We don’t personally believe in these archaic views on “appropriate dress codes” when it comes to appearing professionally, but I want to give a warning for girls who are going to compete in systems who find that showing too much cleavage is “distasteful”.

There are two things you can wear: short/knee-length bodycon dresses or power jumpsuits.

If you want to go for the vibe of “I’m going to run for president while simultaneously being red carpet worthy, here are some options:

A sleek style that never fails to impress the judges, are the knee-length body con dresses that fit your body like a glove and add a Princess Diana feel. These are your classic interview dress outfits:

Evening gown

Now, since usually the opening number dress and the swimsuit segment are usually provided for by the pageant’s sponsor, and they will most likely assign what you wear, we’re going to skip right ahead to the evening gown segment!

I will preface this section by telling you that there are literally thousands of variations that can be THE perfect evening gown for a pageant girl. I will not have the time nor the white space to even tell you all of them, so I’ll recommend 3 different types of evening gown trends that I’ve been loving recently.

This remarkable green piece by Ashley Lauren is everything we are obsessed about when it comes to fully beaded mermaid gowns. First, the color is strikingly eccentric while carrying sophistication. It will definitely catch any judge’s attention and will give you a queenly presence. More similar ones here:

Bright solid colors and asymmetrical dresses

Look at how stunning our Miss Earth USA 2021, Marisa Paige Butler, is as she glides on the Miss USA stage with this emerald green showstopper. Ladies, this is honestly iconic and a steal. Highly recommend snatching this ASAP. More similar ones here:

Unique and bold patterns

Miss Las Vegas USA 2021, Lan Do, looks incredible in this red mermaid with unique patterns. It has managed to balance between a classic look and being spontaneous. This shade of red also looks amazing on her! Any ladies with killer arms, this dress will look really good on you! More similar ones here:

We’re biased here at Queenly, but we definitely think that evening gown is always and forever will be the best segment in a pageant. Everyone is always at the edge of their seats when it comes to awaiting to see each pageant candidate’s evening gown reveal. We love a showstopper every single time, and this makes most of us so anxious in guessing what a competitor will wear.

Every outfit is important in your overall pageant fashion impression, but nothing is more iconic and more defining than your main evening gown. What we’re learning is that women are taking on more bold colors, patterns and are no longer afraid to show more leg than what we’ve been used to. We are loving all the slits that we see on the international and national stages, and please ladies, keep ‘em coming!

That’s all I have for you for this blog post. Be sure to check out these beautiful pieces on Queenly being sold by queens like you!

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