PARTY QUEEN / Jun 30, 2024


What’s one thing that all pageant winners have in common? Gorgeous, queen-worthy gowns that are as elegant as the women wearing them.

Whether you’re stepping onto the pageant stage for the first time or a seasoned contender, you deserve a beauty pageant outfit that will blow everyone away. We’re here to dish the secrets to selecting the perfect attire, specifically your pageant interview outfit—the evening gown you’ll wear when you advance to the Q&A part. (We say “when” and not “if” because we believe in you!). Plus, discover five gorgeous dresses that will make everyone heart-eyed and ensure you walk away with the crown.

How to Put Together the Winning Beauty Pageant Outfit

Drawing inspiration from women’s gala attire—think floor-sweeping, next-level formal gowns—is a solid starting point. But to win, you’ll have to be more precise with your pageant interview attire. Let’s walk through the basics of choosing a gown that’s truly fit for a queen.

Understand the Pageant’s Specifics

What type of pageant are you participating in? In smaller-scale competitions, simple looks like solid-tone dresses are perfectly fine. But for bigger events such as state-level Miss America pageants, you'll need something more elaborate to make an impression.

Additionally, each competition may have its own set of rules and expectations. For example, some events may enforce a theme, while others may have strict guidelines concerning modesty. Taking the time to clarify these expectations can significantly enhance your chances of winning the crown.

Accentuate Your Features

While a dress may dazzle on the rack, it might not be the perfect fit for your unique physique. Different dresses flatter different body types, so wear what works best for you.

When selecting a beauty pageant outfit, focus on playing up your best features. Want to accentuate your teeny-tiny waist? Wear a gown with a corseted bodice to cinch it further. Conversely, say no to styles that highlight areas you'd rather downplay. For example, if you’re not a fan of showing off your décolletage, consider a dress with an illusion neckline.

Ultimately, the goal is to choose a beauty pageant outfit that exquisitely sculpts your body. By doing so, you can step onto the stage feeling confident and ready to win.

Study Trends and Follow Them Wisely

Timeless styles will always be beautiful, but on the stage, trendy dresses are more likely to bring you closer to victory.

In the past, sleek, solid-tone ensembles may have captivated the crowd, but fashion has evolved. Embellishments—be it beads, sequins, crystals, or rhinestones—are now stealing the spotlight. This, however, doesn’t mean your dress should be dripping in adornments. It's still crucial to strike a balance, as too many embellishments can easily overwhelm rather than impress.

In terms of silhouettes, we’re still seeing a mix of body-sculpting styles and billowing gowns, so it’s safe to go with either. When in doubt, take cues from the beauty pageant outfits of past winners to gauge what may appeal to the judges.

Choose Flattering Colors

Wondering what color pageant dress wins the most? Many beauty pageant experts claim that white takes the crown, closely followed by red and blue.

However, the best advice we can give you is to choose a color that complements your skin tone. If you have warm undertones, shades like red and yellow will bring out your inner beauty. On the other hand, blues and purples are ideal for cool-toned ladies.

5 Beauty Pageant Outfits That Deserve the Crown

Pageants can be a nerve-wracking experience, but selecting a beauty pageant dress doesn’t have to add to the pressure. If you need some style inspo, here are five stunning gowns to show the judges that you deserve to win.

1. This Red Mermaid Dress with a Deep V-Neckline


Get the Look: GL2939 - Illusion Deep V-Neck Glitter Sequin Mermaid Long Dress

Let everyone know you’re here to win by wearing a beauty pageant outfit in the color of power: red. This shade, favored by many Miss Universe queens in the past—such as Olivia Culpo, Sofía Aragón, and Catriona Gray—ensures you grab everyone’s attention from the moment you step into the spotlight.

Exude confidence in this deep-V neck dress, adorned with sequins that cascade to the floor in a chevron-like pattern. Reminiscent of Miss Universe 2021’s winning dress, it features layers of mesh that add volume to the skirt, creating a flattering silhouette. The neckline maintains a touch of modesty, making this dress perfect for more conservative events, while the embellished belt cinches the waist for a snatched look.

2. This Romantic Blue Dress with a Feather Accent

Sweetheart-Glitter Ruched-Side-Mermaid Dress-w/-Feather-on-Strap

Get the Look: GL3140 - Sweetheart Glitter Ruched Side Mermaid Dress w/ Feather on Strap

Thigh-high slits have been a mainstay on the pageant stage for many years now, and it’s no wonder why. Not only are they easier to walk in, but they can give you legs for days and make you look more statuesque. Plus, they provide you with the perfect opportunity to show off your fabulous shoes!

Slip into this sweetheart dress and be a vision in blue—a color beloved by many winners, including Miss Universe 2015. Its ruched bodice offers a body-sculpting effect, while the glittery fabric adds the right amount of sparkle without overwhelming the look.

The feather detail infuses this beauty pageant outfit with whimsy, but not without purpose—it draws people’s attention to the main attraction: your beautiful face! And when you turn, you’ll reveal a criss-cross back that’s just begging you to recreate Gigi Hadid’s iconic hair flip at the Jacquemus 2020 show.

3. This Barbie Pink Glitter Mesh Dress with a Waist Drape

Glitter-Mesh-Mermaid-Long-Dress-w/-Detachable-Side-Waist Drape

Get the Look: GL3459 - Glitter Mesh Mermaid Long Dress w/ Detachable Side Waist Drape

Own the pageant runway in a gown that proudly says, “This is my stage.” In an electrifying shade of pink, this mermaid dress features specks of glitter that sparkle under the lights. The crystal-covered corset and ruffle detail draw attention toward the waist, while the skirt kisses the floor, making you look like you’re floating down the runway.

The true showstopper of this beauty pageant outfit is the side waist drape, adding even more volume and visual appeal. Flowy and light, it’s perfect for swishing dramatically during your walk, ensuring you captivate the crowd with every step.

4. This Soft Yellow Sweetheart Dress with Puff Sleeves


Get the Look: GL3155 - Jewel Sweetheart Mesh Mermaid Dress w/ Detachable Short Puff Sleeves

Radiant doesn’t even begin to describe how you’ll look in this beauty pageant outfit. With its sunshine-yellow hue, it offers a fresh and youthful vibe—perfect for those seeking a carefree yet sophisticated look.

Though puff-sleeve gowns might not dominate the stage like sleek or billowy ensembles, they promise to make you unforgettable. The detachable sleeves add a hint of drama, while the crystal-encrusted fabric ensures you dazzle from every angle.

5. This One-Shoulder Dress with a Cut-Out Bodice

One-Shoulder-Floor-Length-Tulle-Skirt-with-Lace-Bodice-and -Sheer-Waist

Get the Look: GL1094 - One Shoulder Floor-Length Tulle Skirt with Lace Bodice and Sheer Waist

If you've been keeping an eye on beauty pageant outfit trends, you may have noticed that peek-a-boo details have been a staple on the stage for many years. Glimpses of skin under sheer fabric are just oh-so-feminine, lending a touch of flirtiness to one’s attire without being too risqué.

Made for the pageant stage, this one-shoulder number features a cut-out bodice that tastefully shows off your waist. Its tulle skirt flares out to create a mermaid-like silhouette, while the combination of lace and crystals creates a visual effect that’s sure to win everyone’s hearts.

Shop Winning Beauty Pageant Outfits by GLS Collective

Now that you know how to choose a beauty pageant outfit, it’s time to go shopping! At GLS Collective, we’ve curated a vast selection of crown-worthy gowns fit for the queen that you are. Explore our collection to find a dress that makes you look great and feel like your most confident, powerful self—because that’s the real secret to winning.

Once you’ve picked out a dress, all that’s left to complete your look is the crown—so go and get it, girl!

Check out these other resources to ensure you put together the perfect pageant outfit:

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