The Miss America 2017 preliminary evening gown competition has wrapped up, and the contestants are on to the final phase. The evening gowns presented during the preliminary competitions were stunning; however, they were also a little predictable. (Read: Miss America 2017 Preliminary Winners Recap)
There were a range of styles and colors and the trends from this past year were predominate in each contestant’s gown. Capes, ball gown skirts, uniquely shaped plunging necklines, and the contestants’ favorite color for evening gowns this year, white, were all seen during the preliminary evening gown competition.
Style-wise, there wasn’t a single gown that surprised me, but there were definitely some total hits in the bunch.
This class of Miss America evening gowns is a reminder that it is the contestant’s job to stand out and make her evening gown her own. Otherwise, she risks blending in with the crowd.
With that being said, here my favorite and least favorite preliminary evening gowns from Miss America 2017…
Miss America 2017 Preliminary Evening Gowns
1. Miss Tennessee, Grace Burgess
Grace was the only contestant who chose a fuschia evening gown and her color choice could not have been more spot on. This color complements her bronzed complexion and light hair perfectly. This evening gown features nearly all of the trends from this past year and it could not showcase Grace’s body any better. I can’t wait to see more from Grace tonight.
2. Miss Michigan, Arianna Quan
Arianna looks jaw-dropping in this white column silhouette and overskirt combination. I love the way the stark white color contrasts against her tan skin and dark hair color. Arianna’s overall presentation is spot on.
3. Miss Hawaii, Allison Carol Nanea Chu
Allison was one of two contestants that selected a yellow preliminary evening gown, and she definitely stands out. The mermaid silhouette hugs her figure to perfection. The simplicity and pure elegance of this evening gown is everything.
4. Miss Maryland, Hannah Brewer
Photos do not do this evening gown justice. Hannah is a vision of sophistication in this burgundy evening gown. I love the combination of both velvet and satin fabric within this gown. The addition of both fabrics adds dimension and detail to an otherwise simple gown. A keyhole plunging neckline was a step outside of the box and I absolutely love it on Hannah.
5. Miss Alaska, Kendall Bautista
I definitely expected to see a lot of white evening gowns at Miss America this year, but what I didn’t expect was this creative high neckline featured on Kendall’s gown. The neckline caught my eye immediately and the shape of the neckline leading down into a high waistline gives Kendall a perfect hourglass figure.
6. Miss New Mexico, Stephanie Chavez
Looking bold in royal blue, Stephanie’s evening gown did not disappoint. The detailing on the skirt of this column silhouette is eye-catching but subtle enough not to take away any attention from Stephanie’s beautiful features. This evening gown is one to remember.
7. Miss South Carolina, Rachel Wyatt
The intricate floral detailing on Rachel’s evening gown is not to be ignored. Rachel is the perfect image of grace and elegance in this nude and light blue gown. The plunging vee neckline adds sex appeal, while the light blue overskirt keeps the gown youthful. Her overall presentation is flawless and I can’t wait to see her bring it later tonight.
8. Miss Ohio, Alice Magoto
Alice’s evening gown screams “Future Miss America”. This gown is elegant, sophisticated and all around beautiful. The ball gown skirt and cap sleeves do wonders for Alice’s shape. My favorite part about this evening gown is the bodice. Notice, this gown features two waistbands, one wrapping around her natural waist and another seated on her hips.
9. Miss Wyoming, Jordyn Hall
Jordyn commanded the Miss America stage in this bright red evening gown. The iridescent fabric reflects the stage lights, showcasing the pink and purple tones within the gown. This column silhouette and overskirt combination could not fit Jordyn’s body any better. Perfection!
10. Miss Arkansas, Savvy Shields
Although simplistic, Savvy’s evening gown is attention grabbing. The jet black color of this gown immediately catches the audience’s attention and holds it. Selecting a black evening gown is a bold move, but an excellent choice on Savvy’s part.
11. Miss Rhode Island, Shruti Nagarajan
Sophistication meets sex appeal. This evening gown includes all of the features to make it a hit, and it moves effortlessly as Shruti walks. The drop waist and bodice detailing is beautifully done and brings all of the attention up to Shruti’s face.
12. Miss Texas, Caroline Carothers
It is the chiffon train that makes this gown a hit. The light and flowy chiffon offsets the heavier floral fabric, maintaining balance throughout the gown. The combination of these two fabrics makes the gown classic and modern. Caroline radiates in this gown!
13. Miss Massachusetts, Alissa Musto
Alissa shines in this stark white evening gown. The column silhouette is perfect for her slim frame, and a spaghetti strap sleeve is a great way to shake things up. My absolute favorite part about this evening gown is the side gathering that leads down into a one-sided train. This is a unique detail that helps her stand out from the competition.
14. Miss Indiana, Brianna DeCamp
Brianna was born to wear this pale pink evening gown. The mermaid silhouette hugs every curve of her toned body. I cannot say enough how much I love the shape and style of this gown. Horizontal patterns and designs are difficult to pull off, but Brianna does it well.
15. Miss Florida, Courtney Sexton
Courtney chose to wear the same gown she wore when she was crowned Miss Florida 2016. This is one of my favorite gowns from the Miss America state winners because of its originality. The unique shape of the bodice and the long sleeves make this evening gown a standout.
16. Miss Nebraska, Aleah Peters
Aleah resembles a greek goddess in this elegant white and gold evening gown. Although simplistic, this evening gown shines on the Miss America stage. I love the addition of the gathering at the waist that acts as a waistband, slimming her waistline and giving her an hourglass shape.
17. Miss Nevada, Bailey Gumm
Bailey shines in this silver evening gown. The detailing on this gown catches the eye and holds the audience’s attention. The scalloped design along the sweetheart neckline matches the half-circle design throughout the gown. This simple detail maintains fluidity throughout the entire look.
18. Miss Kansas, Kendall Schoenekase
I loved the way this evening gown looked on Kendall when she was crowned Miss Kansas 2016, and I love it now. She has the perfect figure for a mermaid silhouette. My favorite aspect of this evening gown is the unique, square plunging neckline. This feature gives the gown a unique and original element.
19. Miss Iowa, Kelly Koch
It doesn’t matter what she’s wearing, Kelly always radiates on stage. However, this mermaid silhouette and high neckline combination do wonders for her figure. The high neckline and illusion mesh help her torso to appear longer and slimmer. It also brings all of the attention up to her face, keeping all eyes on her.
20. Miss Oregon, Alexis Mather
White seems to be the color of choice among many Miss America contestants this year. Alexis’ gown, similar to Miss Kansas’, also features a square neckline. However, my eyes are drawn to the unique detailing across the sleeves of Alexis’ evening gown. It is a classy and subtle way of adding detail, and a little sparkle, to an otherwise simple gown.
21. Miss North Carolina, McKenzie Faggart
I’ve seen a lot of white and gold or white and silver combinations on the Miss America stage so far this year. This color combination is classy and elegant, which makes it perfect for Miss America. I absolutely love the movement of McKenzie’s evening gown. It moves effortlessly as she walks, almost as if she is floating across the stage.
22. Miss Missouri, Erin O’Flaherty
Erin’s fiery red evening gown gives her the perfect hourglass figure. The vertical seams elongate Erin’s torso, helping her appear taller and leaner. My only concern for this dress is that I don’t visualize it on stage at Miss America – I see it more on the Miss USA stage.
23. Miss Virginia, Michaela Gabriella Sigmon
Wow! This royal blue evening gown draws the eye the second the lights hit it. The bodice of this evening gown is perfect for Gabriella’s toned figure; however, I am not a fan of the skirt. I feel that this particular shape and fabric combination do not do Gabriella justice. I would like to see her in a mermaid or ball gown skirt that moves more freely as she walks.
24. Miss Alabama, Hayley Barber
I love the way this evening gown pools around Hayley’s feet and moves effortlessly as she walks. The fabric of this gown is everything. However, I did not love the shape of the lower bodice on Hayley’s body. I feel that it looks a little awkward, and I would like to see this evening gown with a crystal waistband around her natural waistline.
25. Miss Mississippi, Laura Lee Lewis
Laura is a vision in white. This evening gown is stunning and the fabric cascades down her body. But, although this gown is beautiful, it does not stand out to me. I would like to see this evening gown in a different color such as a deep red or blue.
26. Miss Illinois, Jaryn Franklin
Halter necklines and keyhole cutouts were far and few at Miss America 2017, but the few that I did see, I loved. What I didn’t love about Jaryn’s evening gown was the ruffled skirt. The ruffles are a little too large, making them distracting to the eye. They have great movement; however, they take away from the contestant.
27. Miss Colorado, Shannon Patilla
White was an excellent color choice for Shannon. It contrasts well with her dark skin tone and hair color. I do not feel that this silhouette was the best choice for Shannon’s body shape. The cap sleeves and high neckline shorten Shannon’s torso, and the gown does not appear to fit her well within her waist.
28. Miss Louisiana, Justine Ker
Justine’s body looks fantastic in this white and silver evening gown. I liked this gown when she wore it when she was crowned Miss Louisiana 2016 and I like it now. This was a great preliminary gown choice for Justine; however, because I’ve seen this gown before, I would have liked to see Justine accessorize the look more to enhance her overall presentation.
29. Miss Kentucky, Laura Jones
The lace and crystal detail along Laura’s gown’s bodice is stunning. However, I found myself disappointed as I looked further. This evening gown does not do Laura’s body justice. You cannot see her incredible curves. My suggestion to Laura is to go for a more fitted silhouette.
30. Miss Utah, Lauren Wilson
Lauren’s evening gown features a column silhouette that hugs her toned figure perfectly. I love the simple crystal detailing on the neckline of her evening gown. My one suggestion in regards to Lauren’s gown is to replace the thick halter sleeves with a sweetheart neckline. Lauren has broader shoulders, and the halter sleeves draw too much attention towards them.
31. Miss Vermont, Rylee Field
This column silhouette does wonders for Rylee’s body. I love the way the fabric effortlessly moves as she walks. However, so many evening gowns were similar at Miss America 2017, and as I mentioned previously, it’s the contestant that has to make it unique and I’m not seeing that from Rylee.
32. Miss West Virginia, Morgan Breeden
Morgan’s styling choices and overall presentation are on point! I also love her choice of a vibrant evening gown color. She stands out among the other contestants in this bright yellow shade. What I don’t love about Morgan’s gown is the style. I would like to see Morgan in an evening gown with a mermaid silhouette to accentuate her curves.
33. Miss South Dakota, Julia Olsen
The many layers of this evening gown make it a beautiful gown to see modeled on stage. However, because of the gown’s many layers, it can overpower the contestant wearing it. Julia is getting lost within the fabric and I find myself focusing more on the dress than on her.
34. Miss North Dakota, Macy Christianson
Macy picked the perfect evening gown silhouette for her body shape; however, I do not feel like the details do her justice. An evening gown’s details should accentuate the contestant just as much as the rest of the features should, and if that doesn’t happen, the contestant risks getting lost within the gown.
35. Miss Montana, Lauren Scofield
Lauren’s color choice is a breath of fresh air! I loved seeing this bright shade of blue on the Miss America stage. She definitely stood out in this unique color choice. But, I did not love the gown itself on Lauren’s body. It does not accentuate her body in the way an evening gown should due to the shape and design of the skirt and bodice.
36. Miss New Jersey, Brenna Weick
Brenna has the perfect hourglass figure in this beige evening gown. But, I find myself focusing more on the details and the skirt of the evening gown than on Brenna. The evening gown is a little heavy in detail and distracts the audience from what really matters: the contestant.
37. Miss Idaho, Kylee Solberg
This dynamic evening gown was a standout during the Miss America 2017 preliminaries due to its unique detail and style. I love that Kylee took a chance and decided to wear a bold evening gown; however, I do not feel that this particular evening gown was the right choice for her.
38. Miss California, Jessa Carmack
Jessa’s evening gown is stunning and was a beautiful choice. But, I feel that this gown is a bit too casual for the Miss America pageant stage. I would like to see Jessa in an evening gown with a little more detail.
39. Miss Arizona, Katelyn Niemiec
After seeing Katelyn’s evening gown from her state pageant, I must admit that I was a little disappointed in this one. Katelyn always looks beautiful; however, I do not feel that this burgundy shade complements her well. I would like to see her in a brighter shade of purple.
40. Miss Connecticut, Alyssa Rae Taglia
Alyssa looks gorgeous in stark white; it complements her dark skin tone and hair color well. But, I do not feel that this is the right evening gown for Alyssa. This evening gown does not give Alyssa much shape, and her perfect figure deserves to be showcased.
41. Miss District of Columbia, Cierra Jackson
Cierra’s personality shines bright on stage. Her physical presentation is spot on! However, I would like to see this evening gown with a crystal waistband along her natural waistline. This would enhance her hourglass figure and give her more shape overall.
42. Miss Maine, Marybeth Noonan
I really like the bodice of this evening gown and the silhouette on Marybeth; however, it was her styling choices and overall presentation that stopped this look from being a hit. I have liked to see Marybeth style her hair down instead of in an updo hairstyle. The bodice of her gown is simplistic and would look best with her hair down, around her shoulders.
43. Miss Delaware, Amanda Debus
This red wine color is absolutely stunning on Amanda. She has certainly found her color. What kept this look from being a hit was the tulle skirt. Tulle skirts are usually seen on younger contestants, and it keeps the overall look from being Miss division appropriate.
44. Miss Georgia, Patricia Ford
I really liked this evening gown when Patricia wore it at her state pageant; however, I don’t feel that it’s Miss America stage ready. I would like to see Patricia in an evening gown that commands the stage, drawing all attention to her such as a ball gown or a column silhouette and overskirt combination.
45. Miss New York, Camille Sims
I couldn’t decide at first whether this evening gown was a total hit, or a total miss. Unfortunately, it weighed one way more than the other due to it’s distracting striped pattern. I love this light blue shade on Camille; however, I am unable to focus on Camille herself because my eye is distracted by the pattern.
46. Miss Pennsylvania, Samantha Lambert
The bodice on Samantha’s evening gown complements her well. I love the two strapped tank sleeves; they are a unique twist on typical tank sleeves. But, what didn’t work for me in regards to Samantha’s evening gown was the silhouette. This column silhouette does not give Samantha’s body the shape it deserves and for that it is a miss from me.
47. Miss Puerto Rico, Carole Rigual
I would love this gown on a younger contestant. It is elegant and beautiful. However, this is not the evening gown that I would have chosen for Carole. I would love to see Carole in an evening gown with a mermaid or column silhouette.
48. Miss Washington, Alicia Cooper
The silhouette and neckline on this evening gown were excellent choices for Alicia. She definitely stands out in this deep red shade. But, I feel that she gets lost within the floral pattern throughout the evening gown. If this gown had been a solid color, I would have loved it all around.
49. Miss Minnesota, Madeline Van Ert
This deep red wine color was a popular color choice among contestants as seen through their evening gowns. This color complements Madeline’s fair skin and brown hair well. Although unique, I did not love this particular gown on Madeline. I don’t think that this is the correct silhouette or style she should wear for her slim frame.
50. Miss Oklahoma, Sarah Klein
Emerald green is one of my all time favorite evening gown colors to see on stage, and it is an excellent color for Sarah. But, I found it hard to focus on Sarah’s natural beauty because I was distracted from the pattern throughout her gown. Had this pattern been more subtle, I would have liked the gown more overall.
51. Miss Wisconsin, Courtney Pelot
Had the bodice of this evening gown been a different color it would have been a hit. I love the way the black complements Courtney’s fair skin and brown hair; however, I feel that the gold bodice blends in too well with her complexion. I would like to see this entire evening gown in black.
52. Miss New Hampshire, Caroline Carter
Red is always a great color for girls with light hair; however, aside from the color I am not a fan of this particular evening gown on Caroline. I would like to see Caroline in a satin evening gown with a tiered skirt. This would enhance Caroline’s overall presentation.
After seeing all of these gowns, all we can see is WOW! We can’t wait to see the women compete tonight in the final competition.