Every winning pageant girl knows that the interview with the judges is perhaps the most important segment of the pageant competition. Want to make a stellar impression but not sure what to wear for your pageant interview?
I remember when I was preparing to compete for Miss Universe Jamaica and Miss Grand International how nervous I was. Considering that the one-on-one interview is a unique opportunity for a contestant to impress upon the judges your queen potential, it’s absolutely crucial to nail your pageant interview head to toe aesthetic — including your pageant interview outfit (perhaps a dress, a suit, or a jumpsuit), the perfect pageant shoes, your hair, makeup, and accessories too.
Over the years, I’ve interviewed as a contestant at several local, national, and international competitions. I’ve also had the privilege of judging a few pageant competitions as well. With that said, if you’re wondering what to wear for a pageant interview, I’ve got the inside scoop. Here are some beautiful suggestions on pageant interview dresses and pageant interview outfits that are sure to stun the judges.
What To Wear For Pageant Interview — Tips To Make A Great Impression
The girls who win and/or do very well in the pageant competitions are not always the prettiest. There are many different factors that contribute to winning a crown including personality, stage presence, and confidence. Doing great in the judge’s interview definitely helps to set the will be winner apart from other contestants.
Even before the final night, the part of the competition that often features the bathing suit, evening gown, and perhaps talent segments, the winning contestant many times has already impressed upon the judges her queen potential in the interview. Now the stage show is her opportunity to just seal the deal.
While there are no hard and fast rules to answering questions or even what to wear for a pageant interview, there are definitely some best practices or guidelines one should follow.
A general rule of thumb is to dress conservatively for a pageant interview. Though this is the era of the modern woman, pageant queens still maintain a standard of a more traditional lady.
This means skin is NOT in, leave the sexy at home, and for your pageant interview, dress like you’re meeting the mother of your future husband who happens to be a non.
Okay, I’m teasing a bit, but seriously ladies.. this is not the event for cleavage, skin-tight attire, or too much leg. The goal of the pageant interview is to impress upon the judges that you are poised, polished, and classy.
Now just because you’re conservative, doesn’t mean you can’t still be stylish. While an ordinary job interview for example, for example, showing too much flair may be a bit extra, in a pageant interview, it is not so.
Think interesting cuts, bold colors, and generally fabulous fashion. This is an opportunity to show off some of your personality. Choose a pageant interview outfit that shows off the essence of the real you.
To be chic means smart elegance and sophistication especially of dress or manner. If you’re trying too hard with the glitz and glam look, you lose the sense of sophistication that is so essential for an interview.
While you want to be fashionable and bold, you’ve got to refine your pageant interview aesthetic and strike that perfect balance of sophistication and elegance too. You don’t want the judges to be paying more attention to your outfit than they do you.
What NOT To Wear For Your Preliminary Pageant Interview
Knowing what not to wear for a preliminary pageant interview (or any interview for that matter), is very important when considering pageant interview outfit ideas and pageant interview dress ideas. In our casual and not-so-modest western culture, however, I realize this may not be obvious, especially if you’re new to pageantry.
Here are a few tips on what not to wear for your preliminary pageant interview.
Too short dresses or skirts.
A general rule of thumb is that your hemline should hit no shorter than just above your knees (preferably, below your knees). This is regardless of your age or what the other girls may be wearing. You want to be able to sit comfortably without your butt on the cold chair or worrying if your panties are peeking through in the front.
Shorts of any kind.
For teen pageant interviewers and junior pageant interviewers, this is for your too. Shorts of any kind are never appropriate for a formal interview. Save the chic short suit sets and rompers for other events.
Strapless or low cut.
Again, there are beautiful strapless dresses that look fabulously elegant — they are not appropriate for a formal interview. Your shoulder and cleavage should remain covered to remain modest.
Truth be told, I have made this mistake. Though two-piece cropped top outfits are very stylish and modern, in retrospect, I don’t think it’s appropriate, even for a beauty pageant.
Anything too tight.
Skintight is never ok. Formfitting may be ok, although every woman’s body type is different. If you walk into a room and your dress creams, body ody ody… it’s not appropriate.
Pageant Interview Outfits
A really cool aspect to consider when choosing what to wear for a pageant interview is that in terms of style of dress, for most pageant interviews there are no restrictions. This means you can choose to wear a pageant interview dress, a pageant interview pant or skirt suit, or even a modern one-piece jumpsuit. It’s really up to your personal preferences.
Here are some pageant interview outfit ideas in an array of different styles.
Pageant Interview Dresses
A pageant interview dress is the most traditional choice for an interview outfit. A good way to think of this is to consider your personal style, take classic pieces you have that are still in good fashion shape, and then put them together into a cohesive look.
Classic Wrap Dress with Collar
A classic wrap dress is a traditional style that always looks polished and chic. Add a flattering collar to make this look more interview-friendly as well as adding some flair with a bold color choice makes it a great pageant interview dress option.
Sweetheart Neckline Dress
A sweetheart neckline is another classic cut that looks good on most women. It’s girly, flattering, and conservative. Additionally, this periwinkle color is bright and feminine without being over the top making it great for a pageant interview outfit.
Scuba Petal-Sleeve Sheath Dress
This petal-sleeve design is interesting yet won’t overshadow the candidate wearing it. A boat neckline makes this a great option that is fashion-forward, yet still looks respectful. Additionally, a cheerful color choice such as yellow makes this a fun pageant interview outfit choice.
Embellished crepe dress
Bring some interest and glamour to your neckline with a beautifully embellished neckline. The sparkle will draw attention to your face as well as give a fashion-forward look.
Pearl-Embellished Long-Sleeve Cocktail Dress
Of this round-up of lovely pageant interview outfits, this is definitely one of my favorites. Pearls are so classy, elegant, and stylish for a beauty pageant interview. This is a great example of how to bring old-fashioned elegance into the modern age.
V-Neck Long-Sleeve Drape-Front Cocktail Dress
Sleeve and shoulders are another fun way to bring interest to a beauty pageant interview dress. The strong shoulders declare confidence while the elegantly dropped fabric adds a touch of femininity.
Pageant Interview Two-Piece Suit Outfits
Is there anything chicer than a woman in a suit? A skirt and blazer ensemble or pantsuit can be really sophisticated and leave a lasting impression on the judges.
3 Piece Blazer Trouser Suit for Women
A 3 piece trouser suit is certainly a way to say (without actually saying), “I’m here, and I mean business!” With the monochromatic color schemed blazer, vest, and pant design, this is a great way to stand out at a beauty pageant interview while still looking classy.
2-piece Blazer Trouser Suit for Women
Another bold option for a fabulous pageant interview outfit is a 2-piece suit design such as this lavender women’s trouser suit. A tailored two-piece ensemble is both strong and classy, making it an ideal choice for a winning pageant contestant.
Double-breasted Jacket and Matching Pants
The double-breasted suit is also considered to be timeless and classic. While it definitely looks more formal, it still feels modern and stylish without crossing the line into looking uncomfortable or too flashy to feel professional.
Feather Embellished Single-Breasted Evening Pant Suit
Want to make a fabulous impression on the judges with your fashion? Nothing says fabulous like interesting details such as these fun feathers. With this enchanting outfit from Jovani, you can create a look that will captivate everyone.
Single Button Relaxed Fit Suit Jacket
For a more conservative pageant pantsuit look, I love this single button relaxed fit suit you can snag from Davids Bridal. This sophisticated relaxed-fit suit jacket is perfectly detailed with satin buttons at the sleeves, chic flap pockets, and a notched lapel.
Pencil Skirt and Blazer Suit
The pencil skirt is a wardrobe staple for any woman. A well-fitting pencil skirt will hug your curves and highlight your legs while still looking professional and polished. Modest and elegant, this chic white skirt suit will make you fall in love with it!
Elegant pink two-piece suit with a pleated edge
Pleats are another detail that will dress up an interview outfit without being too flashy or distracting. It’s also a super cute design to have on the top! A demure color like pink is a great choice for a pageant interview suit while still bringing something unique to the table.
Tweed Double Breaste Skirt Suit
Tweed is a great material for a pageant interview skirt suit because it has just enough edge to add interest. An interesting skirt design with a double-breasted blazer makes this a truly unforgettable pageant interview dress choice!
Pageant Interview Jumpsuits
A one-piece jumpsuit is a modern take on the pageant interview outfit for a modern woman. A jumpsuit or romper is a stand-out choice for a pageant interview that allows you to be contemporary yet conservative.
In recent years jumpsuits have seen a resurgence as fashionistas and celebs alike take notice of their versatility and ease. They are fun, trendy, and can also be very classy and elegant for a preliminary pageant interview outfit.
Any outfit with a cape or cloak overlay is definitely going to make you stand out and exude regality! This sheer cape-overlay jumpsuit is great if you want to draw attention and give an impression of a little mystery.
Wrap Effect Satin Jumpsuit
This amazing satin wrap-effect jumpsuit from Jovani is definitely a one-of-a-kind design to consider for your next beauty pageant interview outfit. Cut from fluid ivory matte-satin with a draped wrap-effect front and pooling wide legs, you will feel like absolute luxury in this ensemble.
Patsy Lace Trimmed Embroidered Jumpsuit
Another incredibly unique jumpsuit from Jovani is this patsy-lace trimmed embroidered design. So exquisite! It has crepe cigarette pants and a beige and white bodice that’s hand-embroidered with lace flowers.
Tailored Satin Mix Faux Wrap Jumpsuit
A satin blouse featuring a surplice neck and long puff sleeves sits atop slim pleated pants on an elegant jumpsuit that’s sure to modernize your evening look.
Davina Maxi Romper
This elegant garment looks like a glamorous gown from the back and as a modern jumpsuit from the front—either way, it’s absolutely captivating. Just imagine this cape floating behind you as you strut into your pageant interview, ready to command the room.
More Pageant Interview Outfit Ideas We Love
Pageant Interview Outfit Ideas — Conclusion
There really are so many things to consider when choosing the perfect outfit for a pageant interview.
While there are no hard and fast rules, it’s important to be appropriately and well-dressed for this segment of the competition — ultimately keeping in mind the impression you want to leave the judges with.
Lastly, however, while what you wear for your pageant interview is important remember, clothes are not the be-all and end-all. What the judges are looking for is a queen, to best represent the values and goals of the organization. This certainly goes beyond just what you’re wearing!