What is your personal brand?
A personal brand includes but is not limited to the body, clothing, physical appearance and areas of knowledge, leading to a uniquely distinguishable and memorable impression.
Preparing a pageant wardrobe is a journey into your personal brand. You are trying to find the perfect dress, plus there is your interview outfit, your orientation outfit, plus clothes for dress rehearsals. Are your outfits telling a cohesive story of who you are?
When looking for my Mrs. Colorado Pageant dress, I knew that I wanted something that was both classy and sassy. When you live in a community that doesn’t carry formal wear, the act of finding an outfit can be somewhat complicated. This can be further complicated if you are petite.
When on a budget, you can shop second hand stores, pageant resale sites, sales, or borrow from someone you know. Now I don’t know many 5′-4″ individuals who are in the size 0-2 range, so I made a special trip down to Denver to hunt down my dress. You do not know how may dresses it takes to find the one.
I finally lucked out and found an amazing dress, size 8. Note the size difference…I pick up the sized down dress this Thursday, Needless to say, I’m excited to see how it fits.
- Don’t be afraid to look around or buy from a second hand store. (Watch return policies).
- Your dress will probably need to be altered to fit you properly. Find a good seamstress.
- Find a dress that you feel amazing in, that is within your budget.
- Do some research on what the background of the pageant stage typically is. You want your dress to stand out from it, not blend in.
I found this outfit to be a challenge. Unlike some of the younger pageant systems that may use suits, we are doing sheath type dresses. The size 2-ish proved to be a challenge again. I originally thought that I would use this cute Kay Unger that I already had (with some alterations). After trying it on while it was being sized down, I realized that it did not go along with the brand I had developed with my evening gown, my remaining pageant outfits, and my pageant biography. Needless to say, that will not be my interview outfit (see cute pink dress to the left.)
I had brought a second dress to my fitting to be altered which does fit with my brand. Needless to say, that is the one that I will be wearing.
TIP: Same as above, look around and know that you will probably need a seamstress again. In this instance, I had a $30 dress altered for $30 ($60 total) which saved a lot of money.
Now you may be asking: So Yvonne, what do these outfits look like?
Well you can come out and see them at the Mrs. Colorado Pageant May 16 & May 18 in Denver, Colorado.
I’ll post pictures closer to the pageant for those of you who can’t travel. (Can’t show everything off to soon!)
Final thoughts…Select outfits that speak to who you are and that portray the brand that you want to present.