The evening gown competition is the most well-known area of competition in the pageant world. The evening gown phase brings imagines of contestants gliding across the stage in beautiful dresses exhibiting grace and poise.
Pink is a great color for younger contestants since it is fun, girly, and youthful. However, for older contestants, this can be a tricky one.
With a pink gown, there are many elements an older contestant has to take into account in order to successfully pull off the color. A Miss, Ms., or Mrs. contestant does not want to come across to the judges as trying to look like a younger division contestant. (Read: Top 5 Tips for Choosing a Winning Gown)
How to Choose the Right Pink Pageant Dress
With a pink gown, the shade is the most important. Unlike other colors, pink is not universally flattering. It can look great on some and terrible on others.
Miss Oklahoma USA 2015 Olivia Jordan arguably started the pink gown trend when she won the title of Miss USA 2015 in the couture ballgown pictured above. She took a risk at a national pageant by staying true to herself and picking a gown in a color that had generally been a no-no in the Miss category. This inspired many designers and contestants to wear their own version of the iconic gown.
There are many reasons why this gown works. However, the biggest is the shade.
Olivia chose a pink jewel tone. Jewel tones are always a safe shade to stick with since they are normally universally flattering, especially if a contestant has a paler complexion like Olivia. The jewel tone also flatters her beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes.
A jewel tone is also more appropriate for older contestants. Pale and hot pinks tend to be favorites in young divisions. Choosing a darker tone allowed Olivia to be super girly but still mature. (Read: Miss USA 2015 Pageant Dress: HIT or MISS?)
This does not mean, however, that older contestants cannot wear lighter shades of pink. For example, Miss World Philippines 2016 Catriona Gray wore this pale shade on the Miss World stage. The pale shade complements her olive skin tone. It also contrasted nice with her dark brown eyes and hair.
Her detailing is also key. Since the shade is pale, it is easy for the gown to be washed out by the bright stage lights. The embroidery gave the gown dimension and shading under the lightening so the color stood out.
Hot pink can also be successful. For example, Miss Uruguay Universe 2016 Magdalena Cohendet dawned this hot pink gown during the Miss Universe 2016 preliminary evening gown competition. It is hard to wear hot pink without reminding everyone of a gumball.
However, her shade of hot pink is a perfect contrast to her olive skin. The deeper shaded glitter detailing was perfectly placed to accentuate her curves. She also had bits of silver to catch the light in a way to further show the contrast and create a beautiful hourglass figure. (Read: Top 10 Evening Gowns from Miss Universe 2016)
The styling of the gown is also important. Younger divisions have more conservative styles. Since this is where pink is more often seen, people tend to automatically associate it with younger contestants. Having an age-appropriate style is another key element of a pink gown.
For example, Laney Edwards, Miss Peach Blossom 2017 and USA Elegant Miss 2017, wore this gorgeous gown when she won both pageants. (Read: The Secret to a Memorable Evening Gown)
The gown is appropriate for a Miss as it is very revealing and structured to accentuate her beautifully toned curves. Her long hours of rowing at Clemson University show in her gorgeous arms and abs to die for. The covered bust offers just enough coverage to balance the revealing illusion torso and and keyhole illusion neckline.
The skirt is perfect. The color is baby pink, a color often seen on the youngest of contestants. It offers just enough sweetness to balance out the high slit, showing off her envious legs.
Another great example of adopting a style to be appropriate for a Miss contestant can be seen on Miss World 2016, Stephanie Del Valle of Puerto Rico . She wore a pale pink ballgown. This style is almost exclusive to very young contestants. However, she too styled her dress in an age-appropriate way.
The plunging v-neckline and keyhole cutout along with the cutout sides show just the right amount of skin. This is an appropriate contrast to ball gowns associated with younger contestants.
The structure of the skirt is also important. The skirts of younger contestants’ ball gowns are almost always straight, ruffled or three-tiered. This multi-tiered skirt accentuates her beautiful long legs, which is appropriate for the Miss division. (Read: 5 Stunning Gowns from the Miss World 2016 Fashion Show)
Details, Details, Details!
The smallest details can also help make or break a pink dress. For example, Miss Tennessee 2016 Grace Burgess chose this hot pink number for the Miss America 2017 evening gown competition.
The shade of pink is very loud. It is easy to only stare at the dress and not Grace. However, the plunging v-neck reveals just enough skin to balance out the pink color. The shoulder detailing also helps draw and keep the attention on her beautiful face. (Read: Miss Tennessee 2016 Evening Gown: HIT or MISS?)
Another great way to wear pink is to do so in only the details of the dress. For example, Miss Ohio USA 2017 Dinaleigh Baxter dawned this gorgeous black gown with a pink cape.
The black gown is figure-hugging, perfect for a Miss division. However, black can be boring. Dinaleigh avoids this with the gorgeous pink cape. The pink adds a beautiful contrast the the black gown and makes for a memorable look. (Read: Miss Ohio USA 2017 Evening Gown: HIT or MISS?)
Regardless of the gown a contestant chooses, the most important thing is that she feels beautiful. If the contestant feels beautiful, it shows on stage.
Need to find your next dress? (Read: Top 10 Pageant Stores of 2016)