A National American Miss princess contestant ready for her talent performance from hairpiece to toe.
It has been proven that people naturally develop an opinion of someone within moments of meeting them. "These computations are made at lightning speed — making major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting," said Carol Kinsey Goman of Forbes.com. With that being said, a good costume counts for a lot in talent, even for princess and junior contestants. However, different ages have different levels of appropriateness. For young competitors, it's all about cute and sassy or sweet and angelic. Here are some ideas to help you find an outfit for your little princess (ages 4-8 years).
Choose a theme
For the dancer, the singer, the instrumentalist, the actress, and so forth, base your costume around your performance. At this age, especially, it is so much fun to follow a theme in talent. A put-together look can be very memorable. I’ll never forget my friend Emily who danced to Elvis' "Jailhouse Rock". She was pushed onstage in a jail cell on wheels in her adorable black and white, vertical-striped costume. After witnessing countless talents, the themed ones stand out to me the most. However, mothers of contestants, before investing too much in talent props and costumes, go watch the pageant you are interested in entering your daughter in to see what you like and what wins. This way you can defend the credit card charges that your Hunk of, Hunk of Burning Love will probably ask you about.
Add some bling
Let’s be real, who isn’t attracted to sparkles? Talk about first impressions! Rhinestones are so convincing on stage. AB crystals look absolutely gorgeous and iridescent under the lights. Just a few here and there can make a bigger difference than you might imagine. An eye-catching costume sets a contestant up for a successful performance. Invest in good rhinestones if you are 100 percent committed to the pageant and a specific talent. Take care of it so it can be sold later on. (See: Top 5 Best Pageant Resale Sites)
Keep it fun and young
Polka dots, frilly outfits, feathers, sparkles, and bright colors are expected from a young contestant in talent. The lightheartedness of princess and junior-age outfits set them apart from other ages. You want the general response to be an "aww," not a cat call.
Wear something comfortable
Again, keep it fun and young. Don't do anything too extravagant — just enough to add to the personality of the performance. Something else to consider is practicality. I wouldn't want to tumble across the stage in anything loose, nor would I want to sing in something so uncomfortable that I couldn't focus. Comfort is important for a contestant to perform to the very best of their ability.
Don’t forget to accessorize
A flashy hairpiece, matching jewelry, and the perfect pair of shoes can really tie a look together for an overall "wow" factor. (Check out what we have on The Pageant Planet Shop!) While it is not ever helpful to distract from the performance, you have to have the icing on the cake, and accessories do just that.
Coordinate hair and makeup with the outfit
If you do choose to follow a theme, hair and makeup is a big part of that. For example, a retro themed talent might call for bright lipstick and big hair. If the pageant suggests a more natural look, honor that. However, if a little more glitz is typical, don't be afraid to have fun with it and use it to your advantage. Practicality is still important, though. Wear hair up when it is necessary, and wear it down when it is appropriate. Excessive hair and makeup should not be a distraction for the contestant or judges. First impressions can be a best friend or an enemy. Don't let your talent costume keep you from doing your best. It should add to your success!
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