The greatest memory of my beauty pageant dresses shopping experience was in the "drawing room." I had just won my first local title. My director at the time was great friends with a very well known gown designer, and he was going to make my dress for states. My director proclaimed, "whatever you design for Mayra has to scream for roses!"
And so the design process began.
Now, I realize that not everyone has access to, or funds for, a custom-made gown. I was very fortunate to have everything paid for. If you do have a way to afford a custom-made gown, I have a fantastic interview coming with my favorite designer. I will share it with you soon. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you can be the first to meet him here on Pageant-Girl.com.
If you are purchasing from a boutique or department store, you'll be happy to know you'll find a beautiful gown that is just perfect for you. Just remember these tips to "mentally prepare" yourself for successful shopping:
I have seen many girls spend a lot of money on very beautiful dresses. But their thinking was that just because it's expensive, and made the financial sacrifice, the judges will take that into consideration and throw them a few "kudo points." No. It doesn't work that way. Judges have no idea what you spent on a dress, and many times you can get a $50 dress and make some alterations, and it will look like a million bucks! But there is not a competition for who spent the most money on a beauty pageant dress. Pageantry could be be a very expensive hobby this way, but it doesn't have to be.
Whether you come from a privileged home or you're struggling to make ends meet, everyone likes to save money. Here are a couple of tips I've learned along the way.
Just as the judge will not know how much money you spent on a dress, they will also not know if the dress was bought "gently used." Pageant girls who have competed before usually are very open to reselling or renting their gently used, and gorgeous beauty pageant dresses. Gowns, swimsuits, interview, talent, jewelry, shoes...you can get just
about anything you need from a consignment website or from contestants you already know. You can even rent a gown and return it when you are done. You can get beautiful designer and one-of-a-kind dresses for a fraction of the cost buying resale or rent. So give that a try before buying something full price.
Something I learned quickly is a lot of stones = a lot of money! Beauty
pageant dresses and shoes that are beautifully stoned are super expensive, the more "bling," the more "chaching!" You can save a lot of money by stoning things yourself.
For example, you can take a plain pair of taupe shoes used for swimsuit competition, glue crystal AB rhinestones across the ankle strap and the toe strap and they quickly turn into a very familiar, more expensive pair of evening wear shoes! Be aware that the price of rhinestones alone can be high, but in the end it will save you money. You can also save money on the rhinestones by purchasing them in bulk. You can glitz up any piece of wardrobe by adding more rhinestones!
Girls who either
make their own pageant dresses or redesign something they found off the rack would impress me more, as a judge, than someone who spent $6000 on a one-of-a-kind dress. If you are a design star, go for it! What a great conversation piece
that will be in the interview.
I must say that patience and creativity is required! Shopping clearance, looking around, searching for resale, and stoning pageant gowns and shoes can be a chore. However, putting the time in to saving money was always worth it for me!