Every contestant wants to feel confident and beautiful throughout her pageant. Setting aside enough time to put together a flattering and eye-catching wardrobe will ensure that you look and feel your best. Picking out the perfect glitz pageant dress will help you feel confident and win over the hearts of the judges.
Even seasoned pageant contestants may struggle with picking out the right glitz pageant dress. Everything from the color to the length of your gown should be flattering, but figuring that out yourself might be a challenge. With this article, you'll have an extra helping hand when it comes time to pick out your glitz pageant dress!
Succeeding in a glitz pageant takes more than just a beautiful dress. Working hard to make sure you do your best in each phase of the competition will be essential in order to take home the crown. (Read: Types of Glitz Pageants And What’s Best for You)
The winners of the Beyond the Crown Hollywood pageant. Photo: Jay M Tronz Facebook page
Where to find glitz dresses
The first thing to do when searching for a glitz pageant dress is to find out where you can get them. Like any pageant wardrobe item, glitz dresses are sold in a variety of ways. They can be purchased new from a store, custom made by a designer or bought secondhand from a friend. There are even groups on social media that can connect you with pageant parents or contestants who want to sell their glitz dress. Beginning your search online can be an ideal place to start to locate pageant stores near you or find websites that sell glitz dresses. We have a directory that you can use to locate retail stores in your area where you can shop for your perfect gown! Check it out here.
Your location and budget will both influence where you decide to purchase your glitz dress. For someone living in an area where glitz pageants are uncommon, the best way to find a dress might be to search online or have one custom made since there may not be too many pageant shops in your area. If your budget is on the smaller side, joining resale groups or purchasing a dress secondhand can help you find a beautiful dress without breaking the bank. Where you find your glitz pageant dress will be as unique as the dress itself, so setting aside enough time to find the right means of purchase can help you find the perfect fit! If you are still having trouble finding a glitz pageant dress, asking around won't hurt! Pageant parents, directors and coaches can most likely help you find a store or website where you can purchase a new or used glitz dress. Don't be afraid to look to others for guidance, especially those who are highly involved in pageantry, like your coach or director.
The Pageant Planet Shop can be a useful resource when searching for a new gown – check it out!
How much should you pay?
Competing in pageants can be a costly passion. Entry fees, coaching costs and purchasing your wardrobe can all add up to make pageants even more expensive than they appear. However, it isn't necessary to break the bank in order to win your pageant. The cost of a glitz pageant dress can fall anywhere within a wide range, especially if you are still deciding between a new or used gown. The price of a used dress is determined by the seller and is usually only a fraction of the cost of a new glitz dress. Through some dedicated searching on resale websites and social media groups, you may be able to find a used glitz dress for around $100.
A custom glitz dress, however, can cost thousands of dollars. Depending on the type of glitz dress you'd like to purchase, you might pay anywhere from $100 to $3,000. The amount of money you decide to spend on a glitz gown should be a reflection of the difficulty of the pageant and the number of times you intend on wearing the dress. If you are entering a pageant with a high number of contestants and intend on wearing your dress in future pageants, it may be a good idea to splurge when you're shopping. This doesn't necessarily mean spending thousands of dollars on a dress, however, a high budget could be beneficial in a situation like this. If you are unsure about whether or not you will be using your dress again, it could be a smart decision to stick to a lower budget. This unsureness can arise from a variety of reasons. Expecting a growth spurt to occur or not being sure when you'll compete in your next pageant are both good reasons for spending less on a glitz pageant dress.
Eden Wood, former "Toddlers and Tiaras" star, lighting up the stage during her pageant days. Photo: Eden Wood Facebook page
Should you buy new or used?
The decision you make about buying a new or used dress will likely be influenced by numerous factors. Your budget and personal taste will guide you in deciding whether to go with a new or used dress. There isn't necessarily a better option when shopping since buying either a new and used gown has its pros and cons. If you are new to pageantry and aren't sure if you will compete again in the near future, buying a used dress may be right for you. Used dresses will be on the cheaper side, so only wearing it for one or two pageants won't leave you feeling like you wasted your money. In addition, spending less on your dress will leave more room in your budget for accessories and alterations.
Where to find a used glitz dress
With social media connecting people from all over the world together, finding a used glitz pageant dress is easier than ever. Various social media sites, especially Facebook, have pages and groups dedicated to pageant resale items. By joining these Facebook groups, you'll have access to used glitz dresses from all over the country. I have personally used pageant resale groups on Facebook to find used cocktail dresses and evening gowns, which has helped keep pageant costs to a minimum! While social media can be useful when searching for a pageant dress, there are also websites and physical stores that sell used dresses as well.
Pageant Resale is a popular website that sells used pageant clothing, including costumes, interview suits, and, of course, pageant dresses. Poking around the internet can help you find the perfect pageant resale website or social media group. "Living in Alaska, my town specifically, we have no dress shops, at all, so I have to rely on the internet wholeheartedly," said Teen Miss Alaska, Jadyn Fraser, who is a part of the Miss Earth United States organization. "I have bought my dresses off of The Glass Slipper Pageant Resale Shop on Facebook. Everyone I've talked to through the site is really nice and open to answering any questions regarding dresses and are really understanding about prices and negotiation since shipping to Alaska isn't the cheapest."
What to look for in a secondhand dress
When purchasing a secondhand dress, it's crucial to make sure you learn every detail about the dress. Since it has been worn before, there is a chance that there could be missing beading or have staining from a spray tan. You should always ask the seller if there is anything you should know about the dress before purchasing it to ensure that there are no undisclosed details. One important thing to keep an eye out for when purchasing a used glitz dress is alterations. Many pageant girls have their dresses altered for the perfect fit; however, this can make reselling your dress a bit more challenging. Make sure to ask the seller if any alterations have been done to the dress before you purchase it. This way, you can prevent any mishaps when it comes to the fit of the dress. "When I was looking for a dress online, I was looking for a quality dress, something that will stand out and catch the eyes of not only the judges but the crowd as well," Fraser said. "One thing I make sure of is length and measurements, I'm a lengthy girl, 6 foot 1 inches with heels, so I always make sure my dresses will accommodate that."
Where to get a custom gown
Custom gowns are becoming increasingly popular in pageantry. Since you are a one-of-a-kind contestant, you deserve to have a one-of-a-kind dress! Custom gowns can be created in-person with a designer or online with sketches and pictures. Custom dresses give you the opportunity to create your dream glitz dress, which will most likely be very flattering since it was made specifically for you. While custom gowns can be more expensive than a used or off-the-rack dress, the higher price tag can end up being worth it in the end. (Custom Glitz Dresses)
Alanna Smith, Little Miss New York United States 2018, captured her state title in a custom gown created by QuiQui Xu, a designer from China. The perfect fit and flattering color definitely contributed to Smith's success. Devi Shoba, Smith's mother, gave some insight on the processes involved in creating a custom glitz gown. "Her dress was custom made," Shoba said. "She chose the color herself because she loved the purple and I took the design of two dresses I loved and made it into one." While Smith won her title in a gown that was custom made by a designer outside of the United States, there are also designers within the U.S. that can provide beautiful glitz pageant dresses.
Royalty Designs is a popular designer who makes custom pageant attire for contestants of all ages. You can find Royalty Designs, and other glitz dress designers, by using a search engine or asking other contestants for recommendations.
Alanna Smith, Little Miss New York United States 2018, during her state pageant. Photo: Monica Bahn
What is the proper cut for a glitz dress?
The cut of your gown, like any aspect of your dress, can significantly impact how the judges score you. An inappropriate or unflattering cut can make a beautiful dress look a bit off to the judges. Since you want to look and feel your best while on stage, making sure the cut of your dress is perfect will be an essential part of pageant prep. If you are a younger contestant, you should make sure the cut of your dress is age-appropriate. This would mean making sure the neckline isn't too low cut to prevent yourself from showing too much skin. While competing in a glitz pageant, it's easy to look more mature than you are. However, to make sure you don't go over the top, it's important to keep the cut of your dress modest and youthful.
Should you wear a short or long dress?
Both long and short dresses look beautiful on stage. Long dresses radiate elegance and maturity while short dresses radiate youthfulness and sass. Your evening gown should be a reflection of your personality, so when choosing the length of your gown, it should reflect the way you want to feel on stage. If you consider yourself to be elegant, choose a glitz dress with a long skirt. If you're more on the sassy side, a short dress will allow you to show that off on stage. When choosing between a long or short glitz dress, it's important to consider your age division. While long gowns can create beautiful movement on stage and show off your elegance, these dresses aren't appropriate for every age division.
For very young contestants, a long dress can be difficult to control on stage, leading to an unpolished walk. A short skirt will provide more safety, comfort, and allow for you to focus on things other than controlling your skirt. Typically, contestants wear short dresses, also known as a "cupcake" dress, until they are around 10 or 11 years old. At this age, you'll most likely start getting taller and curvier. This new body type won't work well with a short glitz dress, making it the perfect time to transition to a long glitz dress. Wearing an appropriately lengthed dress isn't the only way to improve your walk on stage. (Read: How to Walk in a Glitz Pageant)
Giavanna Lyerly, Little Miss South Carolina United States 2017, in her winning gown. In addition to this title, Lyerly has won multiple glitz pageants in this gown. Photo: @thetiaratwins Instagram page
Glitz dresses for babies
Picking out a glitz pageant dress for a baby can be quite the challenge. This dress should be comfortable enough to prevent any visible discomfort on stage. At this age, judges look for a contestant who enjoys being on stage, which is often expressed through a smile or a giggle. A scratchy or ill-fitted glitz dress, however, can prevent this from happening since a baby may react more to what she is wearing than being in the pageant. Long glitz dresses should be avoided for babies since they are already so tiny. An excessive amount of fabric can swallow the contestant and make her disappear on stage. On the same note, excessive ruffles or embellishments can overpower a baby contestant, since there is little they can do on stage. When choosing a glitz dress for a baby, go with something comfortable and steer away from anything too over-the-top to make sure the contestant enjoys herself on stage and isn't overpowered by her gown.
Glitz dresses for kids
Glitz dresses for kids are the most commonly imagined wardrobe items when someone is asked to think about glitz pageants. Popularized by shows such as "Toddlers and Tiaras," cupcake dresses have become widely known in pop culture. These glitz dresses are short, eye-catching, and full of gorgeous detailing. These types of dresses look great on child contestants since long gowns can be overwhelming and difficult to control on stage. Selecting the perfect glitz dress for a young girl can greatly impact her performance on stage. An age-appropriate dress that a contestant can move around easily in can ensure that she is confident on stage. Like any gown, this glitz dress should be flattering in both color and fit to make sure preforms to the best of her ability.
Glitz dresses for tweens
The tween stage in life tends to be awkward for most. Along with the changes in your body, your glitz pageant gown should change as well. This is your chance to experiment with gown lengths and styles since you'll soon be transitioning into wearing more mature evening gowns during your pageants. Long dresses should no longer provide as much of a problem while walking on stage, which makes this the perfect time to try this new style! While this age group allows you to experiment a bit more with your gown choice, it can be a bit more challenging to pinpoint what exactly is age-appropriate. If you appear to be more on the mature side, going with a more youthful gown can help balance out your overall look. Pastel colors, ruffles, and a full skirt can help you achieve this balance. This way, you can avoid appearing too mature to the judges.
What socks should you wear?
While this seems like a small detail, choosing the right pair of socks can be an influential detail in the outcome of the pageant. Having a consistent and put-together look can make you look polished and well prepared for your pageant. For younger contestants who are wearing short dresses, sock choice is very important since these will be highly visible. Ruffled ankle socks are a popular choice to pair with a glitz pageant dress. This style of socks is both dainty and stylish, which will make sure you look polished without distracting from your overall look. Matching the ruffles on your socks with your dress color can tie your look together even more and make you stand out to the judges because of your attention to detail. Your overall look can be tied together by much more than matching your socks to your dress. Making sure you have the right hairstyle and makeup can also help you look and feel beautiful on stage. (Read: How to Style Hair and Makeup for a Glitz Pageant)
Picking out the perfect glitz pageant dress can be quite the challenge, especially for inexperienced contestants. By searching in stores and online, you can increase your chances of finding the gown of your dreams. However, it's still important to remember that your gown doesn't need to break the bank. Used glitz dresses can score just as well as new ones, so don't be afraid to explore online resale websites or groups. This can be especially useful when shopping for glitz dresses while your body is still growing and changing. While choosing the right glitz pageant dress can seem intimidating at first, with a little guidance and the opinions of others, you will definitely shine on stage.
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