Step-by-step guide for selecting a winning pageant interview outfit.Solid colors and classic, fashionable design elements are essential for a winning pageant interview outfit!

Now that you’ve signed-up for your pageant, you’re going to need a winning pageant interview outfit.  So how do you pick out a fabulous outfit that creates the perfect impression?  Just follow this simple step-by-step guide and you’ll look fabulous while answering your pageant interview questions!

1. Style – Select an outfit that is fashionable, without being too trendy.  Don’t pick something that is over-designed or so “busy” that the judges remember the outfit, but not the girl!  Look for classic styles with a few design elements such as a flounce at the hem (to highlight great legs), interesting detailing on the sleeves (great for standing panel interviews), or an interesting neckline (particularly attractive for seated one-on-one interviews).  Think Jackie O’ or Audrey Hepburn here.  Pick an outfit that highlights your strengths without being too boring or too trendy – that’s the key to pageant interview style!

2. Color – When selecting your outfit, pay particular attention to how the color works with your skin tone and hair coloring.  Make sure the color is neither too bright nor too dull.  If you always get compliments when you wear certain colors, consider purchasing an outfit in one of those colors.  While typically, Teens don’t wear black and Mrs. contestants don’t wear pink, go ahead and bend the rules if the suit looks age-appropriate for your division.  The important thing is to wear a color that flatters you!

3. Fit – There’s nothing more disappointing than a fabulous contestant in a pageant interview outfit that doesn’t fit.  Allow time in your pageant prep schedule to take your outfit to a good tailor and have it properly tailored.  If you have a seated interview, make certain there’s enough width in your skirt or pants to sit comfortably.  If it’s too tight, it will wrinkle and pucker when you sit.  Your outfit should also fit well in the bust and waist area, without pulling or gaping.  The best length for a dress is either just below the knee, dead center on the knee, or just above the knee; mid-thigh hems are no longer in style.  By getting the fit right, you’ll leave a positive impression when answering your pageant interview questions!

4. Price – As a pageant coach, I’ve had pageant interview students win in $1,500 pageant wardrobes as well as $99 clearance outfits.  The trick is to make sure you are purchasing an outfit with good quality fabric that’s well constructed.  Look for fabric that holds its shape and doesn’t wrinkle easily.  Check the shoulder area and side seams to make sure there’s no puckering.  It really doesn’t matter if you spend a fortune or buy something off the sale rack; the important thing is to find an outfit that will hold its shape, lay well on the body, and hold up to any necessary tailoring.

5. Shop Early – Have you ever had the experience of absolutely needing a new outfit, but you just couldn’t find a thing at the mall?  And then, another time, when you’re “just browsing”, you find tons of fabulous outfits?  Well, don’t put your pageant interview outfit shopping off until the last minute and risk not finding what you’re looking for.  Start shopping early and allow plenty of time to find the perfect choice and matching accessories!

You’re going to look FABulous!