The biggest lie in pageantry is that judges do not judge your evening gown.
The majority of directors in the industry encourage their judges not to "judge the dress" but rather judge the girl in the dress. Judges are supposed to score the contestant based on how she wears the evening gown yet time and again we see the coorelation that the girl who has the dress that is on trend, properly tailored and accentuates her in a way that maximizes her strongest attributes wins or scores VERY high in this phase of competition.
With the 2018 season still underway here are the best pageant dresses from 2016 - 2017. They are categorized below based on age divisions and year. Use the table of contents below to drop down to your desired section.
10. Devon Mattingly, Mrs. Kentucky Ambassador 2017
This elegant and sophisticated gown worn by Devon Mattingly wowed the judges and the audience alike. The simple and tasteful design highlights Mattingly's natural beauty, and this mature and lovely color is perfect for any Mrs. contestant. The subtle glam of this gown is what makes it truly breathtaking.
Mattingly also has a tattoo sleeve on one arm and, due to the design of this dress, was able to easily cover it up for the evening gown portion of the competition, a choice most tattooed pageant contestants choose to make for the night. Who says you can't have the best of both worlds?
9. Ashanti Friels-Paz, Mrs. Southeast American Beauty 2017
This marvelous red gown was a wonderful choice for Ashanti Friels-Paz's beautiful skin tone. The red makes a bold statement on stage while the bottom of the dress has a unique design that adds an extra element of femininity. The cut of this dress is also something to be admired. The modest, yet flattering design is appropriate for any age but especially stuns on this gorgeous Mrs. titleholder!
8. Judy Leger, Mrs. Haiti International 2017
Tjuana, the owner of the Orlando, Florida, based company Stitched by Radically Classy, made this intricate gown in just one day. While wearing this gown, Judy Leger became the first ever Mrs. Haiti International to make the prestigious group of top 16 finalists. Though we know her successes are due to her inherent beauty on both the inside and out, this dress was the icing on top of the cake for her performance at the worldwide competition.
7. Anne Forester, Mrs. Utah United States 2017
This dazzling royal blue gown makes a statement on the beautiful Anne Forester. This color is always a good choice when attempting to stand out on stage. The elegant neckline is gorgeous on Forester's small frame. The subtle movement of the gown brought the look to life as the contestant walked down the runway. Forester could not have made a better choice for herself than this showstopping, yet simple evening gown design.
6. Lauren Ziegler, Mrs. United States 2017
The Mrs. United States crown is among the most coveted in the world of Mrs. pageants. With this prestigious title comes tough competitors all vying for their chance. All this being said, it is no surprise that Lauren Ziegler's Mrs. United States competition gown was the cream of the crop. The mermaid silhouette flatters Ziegler's slim figure. This modest and elegant white gown has a gorgeous neckline that paired perfectly with her regal updo.
5. Mekayla Fawn Eppers, Mrs. America 2017
The classy and feminine sweetheart neckline on Mekayla Fawn Eppers' pageant gown is reminiscent of some of the Reem Acra designs worn by Taylor Swift years ago on the red carpet. This is not surprising at all since this gown is definitely red carpet ready and fit for even the biggest names in Hollywood! No woman could go wrong with this timeless design. Also, what is that phrase you always hear floating around pageant land? White wins?
4. Alice Lee Giannetta, Mrs. World 2017
This intricate gown shows off Alice Lee Giannetta's amazing figure and looks like it belongs in a fairytale at the same time. This dream dress juxtaposes a subtle color with a bold design. This unlikely combination creates a stunning and unique design that was perfect for Giannetta's winning night. The mystical appearance of the dress pairs beautifully with the stunning Mrs. World crown. Giannetta clearly has an eye for fashion and elegance.
3. Deidra Murphy, Mrs. Washington America 2017
Deidra Murphy is a vision in white in this stunning Sherri Hill gown. The plunging neckline and dynamic details make this dress hard to beat. This angelic dress combined with Murphy's even more angelic face is a recipe for beauty and grace. Sherri Hill gowns are among the most photogenic pageant gowns in the world, and this design is certainly no exception!
2. UyenVi Bui, Mrs. Vietnam World Ambassador 2017
It doesn't get more striking than UyenVi Bui in this jaw-dropping, bright red evening gown. The red color paired with her jet black hair is mesmerizing. We can see that Bui clearly made the right choice when choosing a gown. The plunging neckline, bright color, cinched waist, high slit and dramatic ballgown skirt are each bold choices but somehow all look perfect together. Good combinations can be the key to pulling off the most daring looks.
1. Nune Kobyatskya, Mrs. Russia International 2017
This fun color and design mixed with Nune Kobyatskya's elegant hairstyle shows this titleholder's dynamic taste. This bold and exciting dress makes her this year's top evening gown winner. The gown gives her a flower-like appearance that is both feminine and shapely. Her hourglass figure is perfectly highlighted without overdoing it. This woman clearly knows a beautiful evening gown when she sees one!
10. Ms. Full-Figured NC 2017, Ashley Johnson
Ashley Johnson looks like an absolute DIVA in this yellow gown. The gown is fitted perfectly and hugs her body in all the right places. There is so much detail in this gown with the pattern at the top of the bodice, which helps to balance her shape from the large bow at the bottom. The fabric of the bodice made her shine on stage when the lights hit her.
9. Ms. Universe 2017, Tammy Caison
Tammy Caison looks like a dream in this gold dress. I love this dress because it is so unique and unlike anything I've seen on the pageant stage. This gold and silver fitted gown not only features a patterned top but it also has a fringed bottom! I get major Old Hollywood glam vibes from this gown. Caison's simple styling is just what this statement dress needs to look its best.
8. Ms. Royalty International 2017, Sylvia Leszanczuk
Sylvia Leszanczuk's dress is exactly what I think of when I think about 2017 pageant dresses – a combination of glamour and elegance. This white gown features a fitted dress with a skirt overlay on it. The deep v-cut neckline with an illusion panel is a great way to keep this dress looking like a sophisticated, Ms. level gown. Leszanczuk's styling is simple and elegant, allowing her to be the main attraction on stage!
7. Ms. Black USA 2017, Kennetra Searcy
It's all in the details, and I'm definitely here for it! This dress gives me Great Gatsby vibes. I absolutely love the details in this gown, and the full-coverage sleeves and neckline make this gown even more elegant to me. The pattern on the abdomen brings your attention to her midsection and really pulls her in. This gold gown is the perfect hue to complement her skin tone.
6. Ms. Earth United Kingdom 2017, Rubie Marie
Wow! I just love the details of Rubie Marie's gown – talk about beautiful! This rose gown paired with an up-do hairstyle screams royalty to me. This rose gold color was very trendy in 2017 and the style of the gown gives me old school elegance. The flower details are feminine and the wavy lines running the length of the gown give her a long and lean look. Overall, this look is pretty, pulled together and poised – everything you should aim for in an evening gown!
5. Royal International Ms. 2017, Kayla Wharton
I love this stunning gown from Royal International Ms. 2017, Kayla Wharton! The off-the-shoulder straps, plunging v-cut top and figure-hugging silhouette make up the perfect Ms. contestant gown. Wearing black in the Ms. division conveys maturity and sophistication. Wharton’s gown is fitted to perfection; it pulls her in at the waist, rests on the floor and the straps are not too tight or too loose. The bodice is made of a sparkly fabric that refracts light on stage and makes her absolutely shine!
4. Elite Miss Earth United States 2017, Adele Scala
It is no wonder that Adele Scala took home the Elite Miss Earth United States 2017 title in this beautiful gown. Sheer gowns were definitely a trend in 2017 (especially on the Miss Universe stage), but Scala gives us a twist on the trend. While most of the gowns this year were extremely fitted, Scala's dress features a fitted cocktail dress with a sheer skirt over it. Both the skirt and bodice have gorgeous details. The beading on the top is in a delicate flower pattern, which looks super feminine and beautiful.
3. Ms. United States 2017, Toni Burnett
Toni Burnett nailed this sexy sheer gown look on stage. This style was seen a ton on the Miss Universe stage in 2017 and consistently did really well. This gold hue truly makes Burnett shine under the stage lights. I truly love the detailed patterns in this gown because they give the gown more depth as opposed to being just a plain, fitted gown. The high neckline of the gown is unusual to see, but this gown makes her look statuesque. Definitely a HIT from me!
2. International Ms. 2017, Lisa Van Orden
Wow, talk about stunning! Lisa Van Orden lit up the stage in her turquoise gown. The color is well contrasted with her brown hair and complements her skin tone. The asymmetric beading line that fades into a chiffon skirt creates a unique twist on a classic mermaid style. The plunging neckline of the dress keeps Van Orden looking like a mature Ms. contestant while the different beading on the bodice adds a playful look to the dress. This is a great balance between sexy and graceful and I love it!
1. Ms. Belleza Latina International 2018, Crystal Cavey
Crystal Cavey definitely gets a 10 in evening gown from me! This gown is fitted to perfection, accentuates her hourglass figure and makes her look very balanced. Its long train and off-the-shoulder long sleeves give a very regal look to the dress. It is the perfect blend of drama and elegance. I love the huge chandelier earrings that give the look a little more sparkle. This dress definitely has the "wow" factor that everyone searches for in a gown.
10. Miss Greenfield 2017, Macy Garner
This icy blue confection is so fresh and pretty on Miss Greenfield 2017, Macy Garner, that it is no wonder that she won the title wearing it. She was fortunate to be able to design this dress with the one and only Tony Bowls, which is one of the reasons that the fit of this gown is flawless.
The color is the first thing that catches your attention, and I have to say that this was a perfect choice to complement Garner’s luxurious dark locks and creamy skin tone. The sweetheart v-neckline is so flattering, and the three-quarter-length sleeves were quite unexpected, as you do not often see them on a formal evening gown.
It also contains a column silhouette with an overskirt, which has been one of the most popular styles in the past couple of years. But what separates this gown from so many other similar dresses is that it has a lot of texture throughout. The column gown is made with a lovely beaded lace material and the overskirt is cut from a stunning satin fabric and highlighted with pieces of the same lace to break up the solid color. This really is a very unique creation and it obviously made an impression at the pageant, as did the woman who wore it.
9. Miss Santa Monica USA 2017, Alyssa Klinzing
Miss Santa Monica USA 2017, Alyssa Klinzing, wore this fascinating black evening gown when she won the Miss Santa Monica USA competition. Although she did not end up winning the Miss California USA pageant when she competed, her third runner-up position is still prestigious, and she looked spectacular then as well. It’s very difficult to tell at first glance, but this gown is not just black. It has a fascinating netted fabric that is spun through with a luscious purple shade. And, as you look even closer, you will see that the fabric is also shot through with beading throughout, so it’s quite unusual.
This gown is a column gown and the bodice has a sweetheart v-neckline and tank style sleeves, which keep it from getting too busy since the fabric is so remarkable. To top it off, an overskirt of shining black fabric is connected to the base gown with a beaded purple belt. It is really quite something, and she kind of reminds me of an elegant, gloriously shimmering purple mermaid! Black can be worn by every woman, but it is so crucial that you understand cut, silhouette and fabric when choosing a black gown. And, this young lady completely mastered how to wear black in a way that suits her figure, her age and her personality perfectly!
8. Miss World Philippines 2017, Laura Lehmann
This gown floored me the first time that I saw it, so I am so happy that our readers appreciated it as well. It is so outrageously original that you need to take your time looking at it. At its foundation, it is a strapless satin column gown with gathers at the waist that is reminiscent of something a starlet from the 1950s would have worn to a movie premiere. Then, layers of fabric are arranged in a soft asymmetrical peplum. A billowing ballgown style overskirt cascades over the entire dress, completing the look.
Designer Mark Bumgarner made this stunner for Miss World Philippines 2017, Laura Lehmann, to wear at the Miss World pageant, and I know it was a magical moment for her as she explained on her Instagram account. "It’s the most beautiful dress that I’ve ever worn. Besides designing my dress, he was always there to take care of me and to remind me to 'feel' my gown – to make sure it wasn't just a dress but rather a part of me when I walked. He also told me that the real secret was just to have fun – as everyone should!"
7. Miss Wales Supranational 2017, Rachael Tate
The first thing that I must say is that this photo does not do this gown justice at all. There are so many minute details and embellishments throughout the entire creation that it is impossible to fully appreciate them all unless you look very closely. This dazzling golden gown is the work of Almodal Couture, which is run and managed by the creative director and fashion designer Leo Almodal. Almodal is a veteran fashion designer who was raised in a family of tailors and dressmakers. Because he comes from a long line of tailors, he understands that the internal structure of a gown is its foundation, more so than most modern designers. And if the internal structure is done correctly, a woman’s figure will be flattered, her curves will be defined and she will feel and look like a goddess.
And, no doubt, Miss Wales Supranational 2017, Rachael Tate, looks like a glimmering, golden goddess who has left her celestial home to grace us with her glamorous presence. Embellishments like rhinestones, sequins and beading can either make or break an evening gown. This jaw-dropping work of art was made with perfection as its goal. All of the stones and sequins were strategically placed along the neckline and down the center of gown to enhance the curves of the body. The embellishments are continued again along the bottom and train of the skirt. The finishing touch is the fabric that is draped from each shoulder, which adds to the drama and mystique of this couture piece.
6. Miss Hawaii USA 2017, Julie Kuo
The much sought-after pageant gown designer, Joey Galon Atelier designed this custom tangerine silk Swarovski crystal gown for Miss Hawaii USA 2017, Julie Kuo, to wear during the Miss USA pageant. It’s so exciting to see orange becoming popular in pageantry because it is such a vibrant, knock-out color and really stands out in the sea of white, black and primary colored gowns that typically grace the stage at competitions.
Kuo certainly did stand out brilliantly in this unusual, custom creation. The bodice of the gown is covered in clear and orange multi-colored beads and rhinestones, and the waist is cinched by a wide, banded belt. The tropical colored silk chiffon skirt flows over her legs but is broken up by two hip-high slits. The design is completed by a matching orange chiffon cape that cascades dramatically down her shoulders.
5. Miss Collegiate America 2017, Leona Koxha
Miss Collegiate America 2017, Leona Koxha, wore this angelic cream and nude lace gown when she won her national title. This dress could have been forgettable since so many girls wear ivory or white when competing, but not only does Koxha look sensational in it, but the gown itself is quite special. First of all, this certain shade of cream sets off her tanned skin and dark hair and eyes to perfection.
The use of the delicate cream lace over the nude fabric on the column gown combined with the smooth creamy overskirt makes this gown elegant and exquisite. She just absolutely looks like a queen in this dress, and obviously, the judges thought so, too!
4. Miss New York USA 2017, Hannah Lopa
Jewel tones will always be a popular choice for evening gowns because the colors are pleasing to the eye and they are flattering on most people. But, this gown took the jewel tone trend to another level. Miss New York USA 2017, Hannah Lopa, is a woman who knows what works for her and she is working this look. She wore a similar gown when she won her state title, and she must have thought,"if it’s not broke, don’t try and fix it," because she donned yet another emerald green creation for nationals. Lopa is a ravishing redhead, and emerald is always an enticing choice to complement that particular coloring.
But, this gown’s fabric is not just emerald. It is an alluring blend of various shades of green beading arranged into a vine and floral pattern over nude netting. The fabric is quite transparent, and the lingerie styled straps add to the sultry look. This look is not for everyone, but this queen managed to pull it off while looking confidently beautiful!
3. Miss Georgia 2017, Alyssa Beasley
Miss Georgia 2017, Alyssa Beasley, wore this gorgeous white gown for the Miss Georgia America pageant, which she ended up winning. But, she also wore the same gown for the Miss America pageant, where she placed in the top 12. I am so glad that she made the top 12, otherwise we might not have ever seen this incredible creation. When I was watching the Miss America pageant and she stepped onto the stage wearing this gown, there was a collective, “Wow!” from everyone around me. The reaction was not just because this gown has a tremendous amount of sex appeal, which it does, but it was more because of how boldly original and creative it is. My personal preference for showing skin is to do it in a balanced way.
For instance, if you are going to wear something with a low neckline, then keep your legs more covered. If you are going to wear an outfit that is going to reveal a substantial amount of leg, then be more covered up on the top half of your body. But, this gown kind of broke all of my rules in the best way possible! It is a white jersey material with long, split sleeves, a plunging neckline and a slit that reaches her upper thigh. It is accented with gold and burgundy beading around the waistband and cuffs. White is an outstanding color for Beasley, as it was the color of choice for her swimsuit, as well.
Her shimmering bronzed skin peeking through certainly makes this an edgy choice for Miss America, however, because the cut of the gown is so refined and tasteful, she just looks absolutely divine! Because this gown is so fashion forward and so creatively out of the box, it was truly one of my most favorite evening gowns of the entire year!
2. Miss Earth United States 2017, Andreia Gibau
Miss Earth United States 2017, Andreia Gibau, made the top 16 at the national Miss Earth pageant while shining like a sapphire, in this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind gown. The deeply saturated shade of blue is unbelievable against her skin, and the amount of embellishment made her shimmer with every move that she made. Not just any woman could pull off a gown this over-the-top, but Gibau is radiant in it.
It has a body-conscious cut with vertical liquid beading down its length and blue rhinestone fringe that dances down past her shoulders. A sapphire blue beaded choker collar is the on-trend finish to this phenomenal piece.
1. Miss Missouri 2017, Jennifer Leigh Davis
Usually, black gowns do not top the list of favorites for most people, but this gown is unlike any other. It was worn by Miss Missouri 2017, Jennifer Leigh Davis, when she competed in the Miss America pageant. As mentioned previously, black is a popular color because it is thought to be slimming, but it can be aging and sometimes nondescript if the fabric is plain or the cut is unexceptional. This gown is none of that. In fact, the more I look at this gown, the more I like it.
The cut is very unusual in that it has a high, jewel neckline and long sleeves. Again, this particular cut could add years to a younger woman, but the fabric and the silhouette are what makes this dress so spectacular. I don’t know what this fabric is exactly, but it looks otherworldly. The fit is superb in fact and looks like it was poured onto her body. The gown is covered from top to bottom with black beading and arranged into a series of intricate patterns that complement her curves.
This was the ideal choice for Davis, and she is beaming with confidence as a result. She is an exceptionally talented and intelligent woman, and I believe that this gown allowed the judges to see just how special she is because she ended up becoming the first runner-up to Miss America. Like I said, when the right girl meets the right gown for her, it is magical!
10. Miss Teen Aruba International 2017, Kiara Arends
Miss Teen Aruba International 2017 Kiara Arends' evening is one of the most, if not THE most, unique evening gowns we saw in 2017. From a shoulder puff to a ruffled train to crystals to a see-through skirt, this dress has it ALL! There is no way she did not turn heads and draw attention in this show-stopping dress. This dress just screams glamour from head to toe, and we're totally here for the daring choice!
9. National American Miss Teen 2017, Hermona Girmay
Hermona Girmay had the perfect conservative Teen dress for National American Miss. This yellow ballgown provides Girmay with a fresh and youthful look, perfect for the Teen division. This particular hue of yellow pops against her complexion and makes her shine even brighter on stage. The v-neckline is still fairly conservative while the belt details pull in her at the waist to accentuate her shape. With really simple styling, all eyes are on Girmay as she glides across the stage. The design of this dress in combination with its vibrant color makes it the perfect choice for National American Miss.
8. International Junior Miss Arizona Teen 2017, Gabrielle Arcilla
Purple is the color of royalty, so it is no surprise that this dress makes Gabrielle Arcilla look like a queen! This rich color is so rare that it's unlikely to be found on any other contestant at the pageant. The fitted gown with the skirt overlay gives the feel of a ballgown without losing her figure underneath. The patterned belt and off-the-shoulder straps give the gown just a touch of sparkle on stage. Arcilla made a smart choice by adding minimal accessories because the simple styling really allows her to shine on stage. This young but trendy look is perfect for the stage at International Junior Miss!
7. Miss Delaware Teen USA 2017, Grace Lange
"Winners wear white" didn't become a saying for nothing, and I can see why with Grace Lange's dress. This gown is the perfect combination of glamor and grace. It features asymmetrical beading on the bodice that melts down into a full ruffled skirt. The contrast of the gold beading against the white fabric gives a clean and fresh feel. The ballgown silhouette of the gown is very age-appropriate while the asymmetrical ruffled layered take this dress out of the "average Teen evening gown" category. This trendy gown shows the judges that Lange is dialed in with the latest trends and connected with what her peers like!
6. National American Miss Louisiana Jr. Teen 2017, Leanna Lanford
This blush pink ballgown with an encrusted bodice was an amazing choice for this Jr. Teen contestant. The material of the skirt flows and sweeps behind her as she walks, giving the illusion that she's gliding on stage. The bodice and skirt meet at her smallest part, slightly accentuating her natural figure. The bodice is covered in crystals forming a pattern that gives more dimension to the gown and really glitters when the stage lights hit her. The understated styling and curls swept to the side keep the look polished and poised!
5. Miss Nebraska's Outstanding Teen 2017, Carsyn Long
Carsyn Long's gown certainly made a statement as she glided across the stage. The long train on the gown gives us some drama without overdoing it. The bright yellow offers a lovely contrast to Long's dark brown hair. As the stage lights hit her, the heavily stoned bodice lights up and brings all eyes to Long. Much like the last gown, the bodice and skirt meet at her smallest part, which slightly accentuates her natural figure. This look gives Long a classic and slightly dramatic look for the stage, which is enough to set her apart in a good way!
4. Miss Teen Galaxy 2018, Misha Grimes
This light blue evening looks absolutely stunning on Misha Grimes. This color really pops against Grimes' complexion and the earrings perfect complement the dress. The one-shoulder neckline keeps her looking modest and unique. The overskirt on the gown gives Grimes the ability to move and play with her dress on stage.
3. Miss Florida Teen USA 2017, Victoria DiSorbo
Miss Florida Teen USA 2017, Victoria DiSorbo looks like a vision in this pink gown. The ruffled layers of the skirt make the dress look light and airy and provide natural movement while DiSorbo walked on stage. The gown features a darker pink belt made of stones that give DiSorbo a little more shape in the gown. Her big, bouncy curls and light makeup complement this look perfectly!
2. Miss Teen United States 2017, Taylor Flake
This powder blue gown is a perfect choice for a Teen contestant! This color keeps Taylor Flake looking young and fresh. The gown features stoned flower details and lace appliqués on the bodice and bottom of the gown. The tulle fabric pieces at the top and bottom of the structured bodice and the pointed top add a little more flare to the gown. The skirt is made of a flowing fabric, which allows for some additional play on stage.
1. Miss South Carolina's Outstanding Teen 2017, Ally McCaslin
Ally McCaslin stunned everyone as she stepped out in this bright yellow evening gown. The gown was simple yet radiant on her! This was the perfect hue of yellow for McCaslin's hair color and her complexion. The shoulder ruffle and clean lines of the gown bring all the attention up to her face. The gown is perfectly fitted to her body, which gives it a slightly sexy feel while the neckline keeps the dress age-appropriate.
10. National Elite Miss Preteen Austin 2017, Brianna Hearon
Brianna Hearon rocked a sophisticated twist on a Princess ballgown. The structure seen in the cap sleeve and down the torso gives Hearon an age-appropriate shape. Her choice of a rich jewel tone is sophisticated and highlights the blue jewels throughout the silver encrusted top. The color also pairs perfectly with her gold side-swept curls. Simple drop earrings bring attention to her face but do not compete with the detailed beading.
9. Miss USA Ambassador Preteen 2017, Emma Marie Cook
Simple, sweet and elegant. These are just some of the words that describe Emma Marie Cook's evening gown at Miss USA Ambassador Preteen 2017.
Her effortless style and grace shined as she glided across the stage. It is no wonder she took home the national title. Blue has and forever will be a popular color since there is a shade for every skin tone. This aqua was not only perfect for Cook's pale skin and blonde hair, but it also popped against the stage backdrop. Her off-the-shoulder neckline, a big trend in older divisions, is perfectly adapted for a Preteen when paired with the ballgown skirt. A simple half-up-half-down hairstyle completes the look.
8. International Junior Miss Colorado Preteen 2017, Anyoh Rezie Mancho
Anyoh Rezie Mancho was pretty in pink as she represented the state of Colorado at International Junior Miss 2017. Mancho borrowed a new neckline trend seen on Miss contestants in recent years. The encrusted top has a high neckline that is both sophisticated and modest. A defined waist and full skirt complement the structure of the top.
While this style is a bit mature, the bubble-gum pink color keeps the look fun and youthful. The look was also a hit with the judges as Mancho walked away as second runner-up.
7. Miss Michigan Junior High School America 2018, Kendall Susack
Ruffles were not this cute when I was 12. Kendall Susack nailed this tricky look thanks to a minimalist take on the trend. Susack's gown is actually simple. The defined waist and full skirt are a go-to style for Preteens. Susack takes her look to the next level by adding one simple ruffle around the neckline. The single ruffle adds a unique detail that is not be seen in other gowns. A ponytail, like Susack's, is the perfect hairstyle for this division when the neckline of the gown calls for an updo. The ponytail is youthful but when done right can look just as sophisticated as a complicated bun.
6. USA National Miss Preteen 2017, Gabriela Norwood
There is no better age division to try a print than in Preteen! Gabriela Norwood took home the coveted title of USA National Miss Preteen 2017 in this breathtaking floral ballgown. On stage, the soft fabric was light, airy and appeared weightless as Norwood glowed. A strapless neckline is perfect for an older Preteen with an A-line or ballgown silhouette. A modest sweetheart, like Norwood's, is appropriate for this division. A stylish belt adds sophistication and sparkle. Her simple drop earrings elongate her neck and mimic the beading on the belt.
5. Regal Majesty International Preteen 2017, Brianna Garza
Who doesn't love polka dots?! This is another sweet and youthful print that Brianna Garza proved was perfect for this division at Regal Majesty International Preteen 2017. However, the look can be tricky to pull off. The key to this winning look is the neutral color palette. Black and white are simple, which prevents the many dots from becoming overwhelming to the eye. If you are not ready for a full strapless neckline, a perfect way to introduce the look is to start with an illusion neckline. This highlights the beauty of the collarbone without being overly exposed.
4. Royal International Miss Sunshine State Preteen 2017, Evangeline Ryan
Evangeline Ryan is a future fashionista of the pageant world. She chose this bold yet stylish ballgown for Royal International Miss 2017. The jeweled mesh neckline and 3/4 sleeve are some of the best details of the gown. It adds a ton of bling that draws attention to her face. The simple bejeweled waistline helps moves the eye down the line of the gown elongating Ryan's frame. The dark magenta is bold and sophisticated.
3. Miss Minnesota American Coed Preteen 2017, Gabriella Miller
This is one of the riskiest gowns of the year. A floral print with a nude underlay is a "sexier" trend seen on Miss contestants. However, Gabriella Miller effortlessly adapted the trend for a Preteen contestant. The nude underlay is a nearly perfect match for her skin tone. Also, the floral print is very modest and covers the right amount of torso. The simple flowing skirt is the perfect balance to the bold top. Royal blue is a universally flattering color and pairs especially well with red hair. The elegant half updo is a perfect match to the softness of Miller's overall look.
2. Miss American Royal Beauties Preteen 2017, Tarissa Suchecki
Tarissa Suchecki's baby blue off-the-shoulder ballgown was the picture of class and elegance at Miss American Royal Beauties Preteen 2017. The pale shade was perfect for Suchecki's dark skin tone and hair. Her updo was perfect for highlighting the neckline. Belting the dress at her natural waist elongates Suchecki's frame. While simple, the long layers of tulle flowed as she glided across the stage.
1. USA National Miss South Carolina Preteen 2017, Kendall Rivers
Coming in at the number one spot this year is Kendall Rivers. She channeled a modern day Cinderella as USA National Miss South Carolina Preteen 2017. This pastel blue gown kept it simple and sometimes simple is best. It is clear Rivers had her gown tailored to fit her perfectly. The impeccable tailoring itself is a work of art that shines due to the lack of embellishment or dramatic detailing. A hint of sparkle highlighting the pockets brings the dress into the modern time. Simple drop earrings and curls finish off the effortless look.
This evergreen gown is a unique mermaid style with kind of an 80's twist to it. Stephanie's deep blonde hair and accent earrings look gorgeous with this off-the-shoulder, long-sleeved gown!
The fabric used for this dress looks beautiful on Sissy, and it really goes well with her tanned skin and light blonde hair. The jewel decor on the abdomen area really wins this gown over, along with its unique design and style. The color and gown is definitely being worn beautifully by Sissy!
Natalie chose a somewhat simple gown but was able to amp it up with her train and hair style. Her brunette hair stands out against her beautiful white gown. I love the elegance and simplicity of this gown with the sparkle within the bodice design. Gorgeous!
You don't see this color blue very often on stage, but wow, it looks amazing on Jessica! The style of this gown is stunning and fits her so beautifully. Her dark hair color is such a great complementary shade to the gown color. The jewels and accents at the top of the gown and around the shoulders are truly stunning. I love this gown and how Jessica is glowing in it.
Red gowns look amazing on everyone, especially Jane. She is rocking the off-the-shoulder style, along with the attached train, and it all looks amazing. The jeweled bodice of the gown is beautiful and adds the perfect accent to tie the whole gown together. Jane looks beautiful!
This mermaid gown is beautiful, especially with the super long train and jeweled accents along the neckline and shoulders. The pure white color is stunning. It is so simple with some beautiful accents to make it stand out, and Priscilla looks beautiful in this gown! The dark hair looks amazing with the white gown. The crown and sash definitely look great with it, too.
Bright pink isn't a color you always see on Miss or Mrs. contestants, but Stephanie sure knows how to rock the color and the gown style. The design of the gown is simple but has that ballgown effect with the attached train that wraps around to the front of the hips. The jeweled waistband is beautiful, and her dark, side-swept hair really brings this gorgeous look together.
Christi looks so elegant and so stunning in this light sky blue gown. This color and style of gown is a great combination for her short blonde hair. Christi chose a simple gown that makes her stand out on the stage!
This light pink champagne colored gown looks amazing on the beautiful Nicole. The best part about this whole look is how amazing the cape looks and how confident and glowing she looks in this gown. The fabric used for the gown itself is so unique and so beautiful. Nicole definitely stands out in this and is glowing.
Marissa has my jaw dropped with this stunning gown! The mermaid style is definitely in style, and all of these Mrs. contestants rock it. Marissa chose a simple style with a bold color and bold fabric choice, which really worked in her favor. Even the way the neckline is styled adds a beautiful effect to the gown. I love this gown choice and Marissa looks so beautiful in it!
10. Ms. Regency International 2016, Danni De-Bear
Perhaps one of the most unique gowns of the year, Danni chose to wear a gown with a full, patterned skirt. The gown also has an intricate neck area with beading that is accented even further due to her updo hairstyle. The patterned skirt is definitely eye-catching but doesn't distract from the beauty of the dress overall, or from Danni herself!
9. Ms. Royalty International 2016, Saryna Ritter
Capes and the color white are both so popular in the pageant world right now, and Saryna's gown is one beautiful example. The form-fitting cut of her gown accents her trim figure, while the cape gives her a "wow" factor and something to play around with a little on stage. The deep neckline and beaded waist add special touches to the gown and contribute to its overall elegance.
8. Ms. Michigan State America 2016, Jessica Mason
This gown screams "FUN" and Jessica totally works it! Its unique off-the-shoulder design paired with the tight fitting waist gives it a mature, regal look, and the full ball gown skirt gives it an element of youthfulness. The red color of the gown works very well with Jessica's light hair. This gown truly makes her glow.
7. Ms. Galaxy 2017, Rubia Bari
Purple is often thought of as a color of royalty, and Rubia demonstrates this quality flawlessly in her purple gown. The color itself complements her skin tone beautifully. The beaded bodice makes the gown pop, and the mermaid shape accents her curves wonderfully.
6. Ms. America 2017, Oksana Vovk
Again, another great example of a caped gown. Red is a power color in and out of pageantry, and Oksana's gown is an awesome example. The lace detail adds sophisticated beauty to the design, while the sash around the waist and the attached cape contribute a fun, modern twist.
5. Ms. America International 2017, Tracy Rodgers
What pageant girl doesn't love a little (or in this case, A LOT) of sparkle!? The beading is what makes this gown. Intricately beaded from top to bottom, there is no doubt that this dress shines like the sun on stage. The simple cut of the gown fits Tracy very well and does not distract from the detail of the beading. This is a stunner!
4. World’s Perfect Woman 2016, Crystal Gail
The sweetheart neckline of this gown allows for Crystal to wear her beautiful hair down without it taking away from her gown. The pale pink color of her gown goes so well with her dark locks! Additionally, the top part of the gown is heavily beaded, giving Crystal's look some shine that is sure to draw the eyes of any judge.
3. Ms. United States 2016, Mee-Ladie Delgado
Mee-Ladie's gown has all a pageant contestant needs to make jaws drop all over the crowd. It has stunning liquid beading that shimmers from every angle. It has a long, chiffon cape that drapes beautifully behind Mee-Ladie. Lastly, the color of the gown is unique and pairs perfectly with Mee-Ladie's hair color and skin tone. It's no wonder she took home the crown!
2. Ms. World 2016, Laura Hunter
There's a saying in pageantland that "Winners wear white," and that sure seems to hold true in Laura's case! White and gold together are a classic combination, so the beading on her gown is an attractive detail. I especially like how there is detail at the bottom of the dress in addition to the top; it catches my eye and makes Laura stand out!
1. Ms. International 2017, Nova Kopp
When it comes to wardrobe, sometimes color is EVERYTHING. The light blue color of Nova's gown makes literally everything about it pop – the shape, the beaded detail, the fit... all we can say is "wow!" This gown looks like it was made just for Nova and we love it.
10. Miss New Mexico, Stephanie Chavez
This electric shade of blue was a complete hit throughout 2016. Many contestants were seen wearing this color on stage. This color looks exceptionally gorgeous against Stephanie's bronzed complexion and dark brown hair. Stephanie's evening gown features the popular column silhouette and overskirt combination with a sweetheart neckline and a statement waistband. The most eye-catching element within this gown is the sequin floral detailed skirt. This gown was a standout at Miss America!
9. Miss Venezuela, Keysi Sayago
Keysi's gown was one of the most dramatic evening gowns of the year. This gown was an absolute show-stopper. A column silhouette cascades over her slim frame while the crystal detailed bodice acts as a cape stretching all the way down to the floor. The second she turns around the crystal detailing immediately catches the audience's eyes. She completed her look with matching white satin gloves and crystal earrings.
8. Miss Earth United States, Corrin Stellakis
Corrin was the picture of pure elegance in this soft and sophisticated evening gown. The unique bodice draws the eye in immediately. It also adds an element of tasteful sex appeal to her overall look. A neutral color palette complemented her fair complexion and dark brown hair. A fitted skirt flaring out slightly at the knee adds excellent movement as she walks.
7. Miss USA, Deshauna Barber
Stepping outside of the box, Deshauna selected a bright yellow and black color combination for her evening gown. Deshauna was one of few contestants who wore a bright yellow evening gown in 2016. However, Deshauna definitely made the right choice because this gown could not look more dazzling on her. The fitted column silhouette accentuates her hourglass figure while the satin overskirt adds dimension and movement to her look. Sometimes harsh patterns like this one take away from the contestant, but Deshauna wears it well.
6. Miss Hawaii USA, Chelsea Hardin
This gown was the inspiration of many gowns to appear on stage in 2016. Chelsea is an absolute vision in white. Her evening gown presents a sexy column silhouette, dramatic tulle overskirt, long sleeves, and illusion mesh all throughout the gown. The modesty of the long sleeves and overskirt are offset by the fitted silhouette and illusion mesh, adding immense sex appeal.
5. Miss Mississippi, Laura Lee Lewis
Laura gave us sex appeal and sophistication in this off-white evening gown. She looked stunning on the Miss America stage in a column silhouette with a plunging vee neckline, tank sleeves, and an elegant partial cape flowing behind her. The most unique aspect of this gown is the fabric. It is entirely sequins and catches the stage lights beautifully.
4. Miss South Carolina, Rachel Wyatt
This evening gown was a huge crowd favorite at Miss America 2016. Rachel looked absolutely angelic and truly dressed the part of a queen in this column silhouette and overskirt combination. The unique detailing and color combination throughout the gown helped her stand out amongst her competition. This gown is definitely one to remember.
3. Miss Colorado USA 1st Runner-Up, Kathryn Dunn
Kathryn is the only contestant on this list to not be a titleholder; however, it's a surprise that she's not considering this incredible evening gown. This breathtaking gown earned Kathryn the number three spot on the list because of its incredible fit and complementary design. The column silhouette could not showcase her hourglass figure any better. The unique detailing, featuring illusion mesh, is bold enough to draw the eye but doesn't distract from her stunning facial features.
2. Miss Yaracuy, Reneta Bello
Reneta's evening gown is one to remember. The electric shade of blue and unique detailing are truly unforgettable. Her evening gown features a column silhouette with a unique ruffled overskirt, one-shoulder sleeve, and silver and blue detailing throughout. Although the details are immense, they all come together to complement Reneta's natural beauty. This gown definitely caught the judges' eyes the second she stepped on stage.
1. Miss South Dakota USA, Madison McKeown
Without a doubt, the most talked about evening gown of 2016 was worn by Madison at Miss USA 2016. This gown took the pageant community by storm with its unique design and color combination. There wasn't another gown like it anywhere. Madison opted to combine two of the most popular colors of the year into her gown and took the column silhouette and overskirt design to the next level. The hem of her gown is a deep royal blue that melts into the white of the rest of her gown. Underneath her dramatic over-the-shoulder cape is an ultra-fitted column silhouette. Madison truly made a statement in this evening gown.
This gown is totally a princess gown! I love the how the shades fade from white to a light pink on this ballgown. Emily looks beautiful and the details complement her skin tone and hair color so well.
High necklines are becoming more and more popular in the pageant world, and Molly-Mae is totally rocking the runway in this stunning gown. The shape, texture of the fabric, style and color are perfect all flow very well together. She truly glows in this gown.
This deep royal blue color is stunning on Gina, and it complements her hair color and skin tone perfectly. I couldn't picture her in a better gown! The style of this evening gown is stunning. The bodice holds personality while the bottom half is simple yet adds elegance to the look. The spaghetti straps and off-the-shoulder straps present a gorgeous style detail together. What a gorgeous gown on a gorgeous girl!
Mermaid style gowns are still in style in pageantry. This white color is stunning on Victoria and even matches her crown and sash so beautifully. I love the off-the-shoulder neckline of the gown. She definitely looked like a true queen in her final walk as the International Junior Miss Teen.
Attached trains on gowns, especially form-fitting gowns, really add a beautiful effect to when done right. Jessica totally rocks this gown! The blue and white color combination is stunning and looks so beautiful with her hair color and skin tone. I love the simplicity of this gown, which allows the detailing to add that wow factor.
Red gowns look amazing on everyone, and especially on Megan! Not only is this a gorgeous red evening gown, but the style and design are absolutely gorgeous. The large train is stunning, and the bodice design really makes it a winner. The silver and red designs are drop dead gorgeous together. Her styling fits her well, creating a unique and jaw dropping look!
Unjanee left me speechless with this gorgeous, angelic ball gown. The gold and white color combination looks great together. The detailing of the bodice paired with the long sleeves really give it a stunning effect paired with the ball gown skirt. Unjanee is glowing in this!
This gown on the Miss Teen USA runway definitely caught everybody's eyes when Karlie walked on that stage. It is definitely something we haven't seen before and didn't expect to see. But all in all, it was jaw dropping in the best way! The yellow in itself is eye-catching, but the style and designs of this gown really made it stand out above the rest. The gown didn't wear Karlie; she wore the gown and rocked it!
This is an example of an insanely beautiful mermaid style gown. Garin looks jaw-droppingly stunning in this white mermaid style evening gown. The style of this design looks amazing along with its fabric and designs. She definitely chose her perfect gown for Miss Teen International 2016!
This gown design is definitely unique, and Marley rocks everything about it! The color is a turquoise bright blue that looks stunning on Marley. It makes her smile stand out and works so well with her tan skin and blonde hair. The stripes add a unique touch with gorgeous personality to the whole look. The slit shows the true effect of the gown and how different it really is. Marley looks so amazing!
10. National American Miss Preteen, Joey McDowell
Joey McDowell’s crowning moment took the pageant internet by storm. It was the perfect picture of happiness and youth, and the confetti was perfectly timed. Joey represented North Texas and wore this sea glass blue gown. It matches perfectly with her blonde hair, which drew all eyes to her stunning face.
National American Miss Preteen, Joey McDowell.
9. National American Miss North New York Jr. Teen, Leeann Perkowski Leeann opted to wear white when she represented North New York at National American Miss. This 15-year-old is an athlete, and this gown highlighted her shoulders and arms. The gown works as a direct contrast between her dark hair color and tan skin. She really stood out in this piece. (Read: How to Win in a White Gown)
National American Miss North New York Jr. Teen, Leeann Perkowski.
8. International Junior Miss Preteen, Alyssa Daas Alyssa is a 7th grader and attends school in Queens. She wore a pink A-Line gown with silver detailing on the bodice. The shape of the gown draws attention to her face and her gorgeous smile, while the color provides a youthful element that is perfect for a preteen contestant. Her favorite quote is, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
International Junior Miss Preteen, Alyssa Daas.
7. International Junior Miss Minnesota Preteen, Maggie Leach Maggie looks like a true preteen in this gown. The baby blue color paired with the pastel stones along her waistband looks great against her tan skin tone while keeping her look youthful and fresh. It is important not to go overboard with younger contestant gowns, and Maggie did a great job staying true to herself!
6. National American Miss Houston Jr. Teen, Mary Sickler Mary Sickler wore a yellow, chiffon-style gown at National American Miss. She represented as Miss Houston Jr. Teen. This color of this gown pops against her skin tone and surely helped her to stand out on stage. I love the detailing on the straps, which includes both thin tank straps and an off-the-shoulder strap that flows nicely over her arm.
National American Miss Houston Jr. Teen, Mary Sickler.
5. World Imperial Beauties Preteen, Skye Herbig Another white entry to this year’s list, Skye Herbig wore this flowy evening gown when she won the World Imperial Beauties Preteen title. This white gown is a classic beauty. The slight off-the-shoulder neckline hugs her shoulders beautifully while keeping the look appropriate for a preteen contestant. Skye looks like a true queen!
World Imperial Beauties Preteen, Skye Herbig.
4. Miss Preteen United States, Kendall Bear Another pink evening gown that stood out this year was worn by Kendall Bear. She won Miss PreTeen United States 2016 represented Nevada. She was trained by Jorge Esteban and Candiace for her interview prep. Her gown featured a mesh top with pink flower designs at the top and a crystal belt at the waist. (Read: 3 Gorgeous Ways to Style Blonde Hair)
Miss Preteen United States, Kendall Bear.
3. Miss Preteen Princess Louisiana, Regan Davis Regan's gown features a nude and blue bodice with a full skirt. This was a perfect color against her deep skin tone. This gown easily flowed across the stage to help her take home the crown! (Read: Miss Preteen Princess Louisiana 2016 Evening Gown: Hit or Miss?)
Miss Preteen Princess Louisiana, Regan Davis
2. International Junior Miss Jr. Teen, Amaiya Allen Amaiya brought all of the attention immediately up to her face by pairing her white skirt with a contrasting black bodice. Amaiya’s ball gown won her the International Junior Miss Jr. Teen 2016 title. The double-layered skirt presents a unique element to the gown that surely kept her at the top of the judge's minds. This 16-year-old old received the President’s Volunteer Service Award and plans to pursue a career in entertainment journalism. (Read: 5 Talent Outfit Ideas From International Junior Miss 2016)
International Junior Miss Jr. Teen, Amaiya Allen.
1. USA National Miss Jr. Teen, Kelsey Dube Kelsey wore this beautiful floral, pink and white evening gown as she represented Connecticut and won the title of USA National Miss Jr. Teen. I love how the flowers are heavy at the bottom and decrease toward the top in an ombre-like style. This gown adds to her youthful appearance with the pink and white color combination. A pink ribbon at the waist helps to separate the top from the bottom, creating an emphasis at her natural waistline.
USA National Miss Jr. Teen, Kelsey Dube
There were many gorgeous gowns in 2016, and these Preteens and Jr. Teens proved that the younger girls can have plenty of style! We can not wait to see what 2017 will have in store when it comes to Preteen pageant gowns. Still need help finding the perfect gown for you? Read the Top 10 Pageant Stores of 2016 to find out who ranked among the best boutiques. Become a VIP Girl to receive one-on-one coaching from some of the best names in pageantry and win your next pageant.
Lydia has won several awards, including Preliminary Talent, for her voice!Learn More