Wardrobe is always worth considering. It’s a contestant’s worst nightmare to arrive to the first pageant rehearsal in sneakers and an oversized t-shirt you wore to the gym in college only to find all the other girls dressed in their Sunday best – even though the paperwork said to dress ‘comfortably.’
“Comfortable” is a relative adjective. To pageant girls, it means to skip the Jessica Simpson shoes for their Michael Kors wedges and exchange rhinestones and lace for spandex and silk.
In today’s episode, I’m going to teach you how to decide what to wear to your pageant rehearsal. In a competition, you have to be your best all the way around. You have to exude excellence from the very beginning – that means planning your wardrobe so it’s up to snuff with the competition… in fact, it is better than the competition.
You’ll want to select all of your rehearsal outfits in advance and pack them according to the day you’ll wear them. I recommend having your outfits start off more subdued and then save the dressier ones for closer to the pageant day. It does two things: First, usually you’ll be doing more movement in the earlier days like learning the dance and stuff so you’ll want to be more comfortable and second, as you get closer to the title, you’ll want to step up your game and feel more like a queen.
Also, consider the branding of the pageant itself. Miss International and Galaxy pageants are very glitzy and high-glamour; think: rhinestones galore. The Miss USA pageant is high-fashion model-type, so less rhinestones and more Calvin Klein appeal. The Miss America system is somewhat more conservative than others but still stylish and high-class.
The trick here is to envision you’ve already won. What would you wear
if you already won the title.
I want to break down three easy steps that will take you about 60-seconds to consider and help you plan your wardrobe for a week or more of pageant rehearsals.
First, name your style.
I call my style, “professionally-fit.” Most days of the week, I’m rockin’ lulu leggings and a brightly colored blouse. When I go shopping, I have a vision in my head, maybe even a Pinterest board on my phone to consider if what I’m about to try on or buy fits my style. If not, I skip it. If yes, move onto step #2.
Second, consider the context
Of course, you’ll consider the context being the fact that you are competing in a beauty pageant, so you can’t win if you’re wearing loafers and a ripped t-shirt from 7th grade. So, there’s that. But what I mean here is to consider what you’ll be doing in rehearsal on each day. If you’re learning the opening number dance that day, you’ll want to wear something more moveable. If you’ll be in the freezing cold auditorium from 7am to 7pm, wear lots of layers.
Third, make it cover-ready
This is the final step. You’re in the dressing room fully clothed in your new potential outfit. I want you to consider this: if someone took your picture and posted it on the front of your favorite magazine, would you approve? Always wear something that you’d approve of in photos because you will be photographed and you will regret flats, pants that are a size too big, and a pilling sweater.
Most rehearsals request that contestants wear snappy casual clothes – that’s something you’d wear on a first date or on a night out with the girls. Usually jeans, trendy top, fashionable accessories. Some pageants, like the Miss International Pageant have a culture of glitz and glam even in the rehearsals. Since there is no talent portion of that pageant, it’s easier to wear a cocktail dress to rehearsal – and many of them do. I didn’t.
Great outfits to consider for any pageant rehearsal are: Jumpsuits, rompers, sheath dresses – they are classy, trendy, and easy to dress up and comfortable for all day sitting, standing and dancing in.
What you wear will largely impact how you feel and ultimately, how you preform on stage that week. So, get yourself together, dress it up, step into your future title. Don’t over-think it, of course, but don’t forget it either.
Because, that, my dear, is how you win a pageant.
For more great pageant training, enroll in the Free Pageant Course