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Show your style through your clothes but keep it simple so the judges will look at you and not the dress. In interview you want to wear the dress, not let the dress wear you.” “I never wear black or dark colors during a pageant interview.Go with a neutral color like blush or rose gold for conservative pageants, dark tones like maroon or navy for elegant pageants, and bold colors like blue or purple for modern pageants.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.

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How To Win Your Beauty Pageant | Tips On What To Wear To A Pageant Interview
Let’s go over some pageant tips for beginners and pageant tips to win. What you wear off stage can have a big influence on your score.
These are some simple but effective guidelines for your next pageant.
We hope you enjoyed these beauty pageant tips and secrets. Stay tuned for more tips on how to win a beauty pageant.
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What color should I wear to pageant interview?

Go with a neutral color like blush or rose gold for conservative pageants, dark tones like maroon or navy for elegant pageants, and bold colors like blue or purple for modern pageants.

How should I dress for a pageant interview?

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.

How should a black woman dress for an interview?

It’s worth investing in a pair of quality black dress pants that fit well and will hold up after many wears. Once you have a good pair of dress pants, it’s easy to dress them up or down. You can pair your dress pants with a button-down shirt or a blazer for a formal look, or with a sweater for a business casual look.

Can I wear a jumpsuit to an interview?

If one wants to wear a jumpsuit, choose a solid color, such as black, navy or grey — and combine it with simple accent pieces. The handbag is cute, but not interview appropriate — a nice square bag in a solid color would be better.” Iturraspe isn’t alone in feeling as though this jumpsuit is not right for an interview.

Is pageant Planet legit?

Their People’s Choice contests are a scam. They secretly continue to count votes past the voting deadline. Don’t vote. It’s a waste of money!

What does Miss America do?

Miss America, in full Miss America Pageant, competition held annually in which young women representing each of the U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, compete by demonstrating a range of skills such as leadership, poise, and artistic talent.

What do pageant judges look for?

The judges’ criteria are modeling, personality, beauty, personal style and fashion sense.

What does it take to win a pageant?

You’re already beautiful and capable, but winning a beauty pageant takes practice. To win a beauty pageant, you should take time to pick out the right hair, makeup, evening gown, and swimsuit. Then, practice your talent and interview questions so that you can be on your way to wearing that crown.

What do you wear to an interview if you don’t have nice clothes?

Borrow items that match in terms of cut and color, and keep your look more formal than casual. Don’t worry too much if some items are slightly worn; it’s more important that your clothes fit well and look professional.

Can you wear all black to a job interview?

Wear: Black

“As a high-powered color, save it for high-powered interviews,” reports fashion brand Who What Wear. “Because black can come off as powerful and aloof, it’s ideal for top jobs and managerial positions, but it’s not great if you’re applying for something in customer service, retail, or anything entry-level.”

Can I wear a black shirt to an interview?

What colors to wear to an interview. The best colors to wear to an interview are ones that are neutral such as black, navy, gray and brown. White is also an appropriate neutral color for a shirt or blouse.

Pageant Interview Tips – Ashley Lauren

Events, Fashion Pageant Interview Tips March 21, 2018

Preparing for a pageant? Don’t stress! We’re here to help… and we even asked some pageant VIP’s for their tips too. Let’s start with your interview attire; the interview is the first time you’ll meet the judges and depending on the system can be worth the most points. To help you make a perfect first impression we put together a few tips on finding the perfect wardrobe.

The Dress

Making a good first impression is incredibly important, especially during the pageant interview. To do this, we recommend picking a dress that is both classy and trendy. You want a dress that fits your personality and shows the judges you can professionally represent the pageant system in the upcoming year.

Katherine McQuade, Miss Queens United States 2018

“When shopping for your interview dress, truly think about what you would wear to an actual job interview. You want to remain stylish yet professional and classy.”

Adele Scala, Elite Miss Earth United States 2017

“Check to see what the requirements are for the particular system that you are planning to compete in. Some pageants are professional, and others are more trendy and fun. It is going to be key to do your research beforehand so that you don’t end up choosing interview attire that doesn’t meet the description of that pageant system.”

Lexi Woloshchuk, Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 2018

“For interview attire, I highly suggest keeping it simple, trendy and conservative. Show your style through your clothes but keep it simple so the judges will look at you and not the dress. In interview you want to wear the dress, not let the dress wear you.”

Andreia Gibau, Miss Earth United States 2017

“I never wear black or dark colors during a pageant interview. I have a very charismatic personality and I want the color of my outfit to showcase that.”

Shop Our Favs:

Style 4066, Style 4067, Style 4057

The Accessories

Once you’ve found the perfect dress, you can start searching for accessories. We recommend keeping it simple so the judges focus on you and not your accessories. Throw on a nude pair of pumps and pearl studs. We suggest not wearing a bracelet so it doesn’t distract the judges. All eyes should be on you!

Alice Lee Giannetta, Mrs. World 2018

“I always go with a closed toe shoe and a simple pair of earrings during my pageant interview.”

Michelle McEwan, Miss New Hampshire USA 2018

“I always pick accessories that are simple and classic, but still trendy.”

Allissa Latham, Miss Massachusetts USA 2018

“You want to make sure your interview outfit is trendy but also of good taste. In my opinion, for Miss USA contestants, try to balance out the sexy and conservative. Think Sarah Jessica Parker vibes. You can wear any accessories you want with your interview outfit. My only advice is to make sure that the accessories don’t take away from you, but instead compliment you.”

Leslie Jackson, Teen Miss Earth United States 2017

“I typically avoid wearing bracelets because I tend to talk with my hands and that can be distracting for the judges. Simple earrings and a necklace are my go-tos. You want the judges to be paying attending to what you’re saying not what you’re wearing.”

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Kenneth Jay Lane, Gianvito Rossi, H&M

How to Dress for a Pageant Interview

The pageant interview is arguably the most critical competition in the entire pageant. The interview is the first phase of the competition, which means your first appearance in front of the judges and your first chance to make a memorable impression on them – hopefully for all the right reasons.

While the bulk of a pageant interview is a judgment on the content of your answers to the judges’ questions, your body language, and tone when you deliver your answers, no one can deny that your appearance and confidence are also being taken into account consideration.

First Impressions are Vital to Success

The pageant interview is the first time the judges see you in person. This is likely one of the most significant first impressions you’ll make in your lifetime, so you need to really make it count.

How you dress for your pageant interview will show the judges that you’re confident and put together. A clean, classy, and chic outfit paired with the right hairstyle, clean-looking makeup, and perfect accessories will help you exude the level of class and confidence that will get you recognized.

In addition to making a clean-cut and confident first impression, it’s helpful to be sure that your appearance is on-brand with your personality. This consistency will help you more easily convey who you are – inside and out – and most importantly, it will show that you understand who you are.

Consider the Pageant Brand

Speaking of being on-brand, there are actually two brands that you should identify and coordinate with. In addition to your own personal brand, there’s the pageant’s brand to take into consideration. Each pageant has a specific brand, which is typically whatever people think about when they think of the pageant (we’ll dive deeper into that in the next section).

For example, when people think about the Miss America pageant, they think about the “girl next door” – someone who is pretty, sweet, down-to-earth, and likable. On the other hand, when people think about the Miss USA pageant, they think of fashion-forward model types who are tall, glamourous, and stylish.

If you miss the mark with the pageant’s brand, your appearance may come off as inappropriate or out of place, and this fashion faux pas can cost you the entire interview. Here are a few of the most common underlying pageant themes and some tips for each.


If the pageant’s brand is conservative, stay away from short skirts, low-cut tops, and sky-high heels, even if you look great in those styles.


If the pageant has a reputation for embracing cutting-edge, modern styles, it may be wise to work with a stylist to make sure you get your look on point. You want to appear interesting without being over-the-top with your fashion choices.


Some pageants have a brand of elegance. If you enter yourself into one that has an elegant brand, you’ll want to avoid any risqué or super-modern couture looks. Stick with timeless pieces that exude classic elegance.

If you’re unsure how to pinpoint your pageant’s brand, read on for some guidance.

How to Find the Pageant Brand

To find your pageant’s brand, start by stepping outside your head and taking an objective look at it. One of the best ways to do this is to get on the pageant’s social media pages like Instagram and Facebook and look for behind-the-scenes photos from previous years. Pay close attention to what the contestants wore for the interview.

You can also check out the social media pages of the current titleholder to get an idea of her style and see what she wore in the previous year’s interview. Do the same for the top five to ten contestants and see what they wore as well.

Match the Dress to Your Style and Figure

Now that you understand how to match your pageant interview dress to your brand and the pageant’s brand, narrow your options further by considering which dresses match your personality and compliment your figure best. Here are some inspirational ideas to help steer you in the right direction.


Choose a fitted, off-the-shoulder dress for a sophisticated pageant look that can help you show off your personal style. Turn up the sophisticated feel by pairing the dress with closed-toe pumps and crystal stud earrings.

Updated Classic

An updated classic look is perfect for pageants with a more conservative brand. Look for a crew neckline dress that falls just above the knee. Amp up the elegance with a pair of simple pearl earrings and nude pumps.

Head-to-Toe Color

You can create a powerful and chic interview look by choosing one color and wearing it from head to toe. However, for a head-to-toe color ensemble to be successful, the hues must match perfectly. Go with a neutral color like blush or rose gold for conservative pageants, dark tones like maroon or navy for elegant pageants, and bold colors like blue or purple for modern pageants.

A-Line Skirt

A-line cocktail dresses are super cute and comfortable, but they aren’t always pageant-appropriate. If you want to go for a similar look, find a dress with a subtle A-line overskirt. Add a pop of color to the look with bright earrings, and keep your legs looking long and lean with a pair of chic pumps.


If you’re a person who loves to wear some bling and you really want to include that aspect of your personality in your interview outfit without being too over-the-top, a simple solution is to wear a fitted dress with a beaded belt. Pair it with some hanging pearl or crystal earrings, and keep it chic with nude pumps.

No matter which pageant you’re entering, the overall message to take away from this guide is to have an excellent understanding of yourself and your pageant’s brand and dress the part. It’s all about striking a balance between unique personal style and fitting the theme of the competition. You want to be recognized and remembered for all the right reasons. Follow the tips above, and you will be. Good luck!

33 Pageant Interview Outfits (Dresses, Pantsuits, and Jumpsuits) That Will Stun The Judges

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.

RELATED: Pageant Interview Questions That Will Make You a More Eloquent Woman

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.

Dress conservatively.

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.

RELATED: 7 Best Beauty Pageant Shoes To Slay Your Competition

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.

Dress stylishly.

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.

Dress chic.

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.

RELATED: Fashion Pass Review — Revamp Your Wardrobe With This Monthly Clothing Subscription

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.

Belly skin.

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.

RELATED: Rent The Runway Review — Discover If This Clothing Rental Membership Is Worth It

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

Shop this Pantsuit →

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.

Eve Asymmetric Jumpsuit

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.

Cape-Overlay Jumpsuit

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!

Interview Attire for Women That Makes a Best Impression

Wear a Navy Blue Blazer for Endless Options

Morsa Images / Digital Vision

These blazer and blouse combinations are great business interview outfits that consist of three pieces that are simple, yet extremely versatile. A navy blue blazer is a great addition to your interview wardrobe. Not only can you wear a blazer on numerous occasions, but it also works well with many different outfits—over a button-down, with a blouse, and even with a dress, for example. The gray collarless jacket with three-quarter-length sleeves is a less formal look.

A navy blue blazer also looks great paired with a simple blouse or button-down shirt. It’s a staple combination that you can wear with khaki pants, a khaki skirt, and even dark-wash jeans in a casual workplace or to a casual interview.

A matching skirt or slacks, or a khaki skirt or dress pants, round out the outfit. A khaki skirt is a good addition to your working wardrobe because it can be worn with many different tops. Like the blazer, it can also be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion.

460 New Pageant Interview Wear ideas in 2022

Show up at pageant check-in ready to impress the staff and competition with your professionalism! Stun the judges in pageant interview in this unique tweed jumpsuit by Rachel Allan. Shop now by clicking the link. #interviewsuit #interviewjumpsuit #jumpsuit #pageantattire #pageantinterview #pageantinterviewsuit

Pageant Interview Attire

Pageant Interview Attire To Help

You Win The Crown!

Please Cyndi, help me with my pageant interview attire!

Ok, I know you are tired of spending countless hours searching for the perfect interview suit! The Internet is just so big, and it’s easy to get distracted while online, as soon as you think you’ve found the perfect interview dress, you see something else that catches your eye or draws your attention away from what you were looking for! I know because it happens to me too! 🙂

When I first started out in pageants, I had no clue about what type of interview suit I needed to have. I just assumed that I was supposed to wear a black, blue or brown suit like I did for regular job interviews! However, that is so far from the truth!

Pageants are all about fashion, some trends and looking fabulous, but being well put together. The pageant interview portion is less traditional when it comes to attire! Therefore, you can actually be way more trendy and a little edgy with your pageant interview attire selection.

Guess what? You don’t even have to wear stockings! Nope! When I heard that, I couldn’t believe it! I was always told to wear stockings to an interview. It was “no-no” not to! Today, in the pageant world, stockings are irrelevant! That is, in most pageants.

Of course, if you choose to wear stockings, that is your choice, but don’t feel like you have to!

My very first interview was a complete dud! I was clueless! I could actually tell by looking at some of the other ladies’ pageant outfits, that they were more experienced and were very comfortable in the attire that they had on. I saw all types of dresses – party, chic, short & flared ones, vintage, chiffon, sheath and so many more! I thought, wow you can really step outside the traditional box with interview attire!

I knew that my next pageant interview dress had to be on point! So, I talked to some of my pageant friends and searched the Internet and found my next pageant interview dress.

Your pageant interview outfit can be anything you want it to be actually!

However, you must remember that you should keep it simple, don’t over do it with a lot of bold colors, for instance a bold color dress and a bold color shoe! NO! Don’t do that! If you go with a bold color dress, wear a neutral shoe.

As a matter of fact, you should wear a neutral shoe anyways, or black, or silver, or gold, but just keep it toned down. Don’t wear strappy sandals that tie all the way up to your knees! 🙂

Though the shoes may be cute, don’t wear them….save them for the party!! 🙂

Below is an example list of pageant interview suits & dresses that you can wear!

This list is broken down by age/gender categories, interview attire for young girls, boys and teen/women.

Also, don’t forget, if you need a pageant interview hairstyle check here!


Pageant Interview Attire for Young Girls

Example Images coming soon!

Pageant Interview Attire for Boys

Example Images coming soon!

Pageant Interview Attire for Teen/Women

Example Images coming soon!

Pageant Interview Attire at Ashley Rene’s in Granger, Indiana

Are you looking for something to give the judges a great first impression? Look no further than our incredible Pageant Interview Attire Collection! We carry an array of designers like Fernando Wong, ASHLEYlauren, Jovani, Mac Duggal and so much more! At Ashley Rene’s we can help you find that specific dress you’ve been searching for or create a one of a kind custom piece that screams YOU! For more information, email [email protected]

5 Places to Buy the Perfect Pageant Interview Outfit

When I competed in the Miss North Carolina 2014 Scholarship Pageant, the competition started on a Tuesday with a 10 minute interview in front of a panel of judges. This meant that the first time the judges saw me, I was in a pageant interview outfit I bought at the last minute–just a couple of weeks before the competition.

It was almost an afterthought.

Lucky for me, the dress I picked to be my pageant interview outfit was a good one (so was the outfit I wore to my Miss USA interview). However, things don’t always work out that well. Want to make sure you walk into the interview room confident and well-dressed? Read below.

1. Department Stores

I turn to department stores first for interview outfits of any kind, typically in this order: Belk, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s.

PROS: lots of options, especially if you look online.

CONS: so many options that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Make sure you have in mind what you want before turning to a department store. If not, it’s easy to get fatigued if you aimlessly search through everything they have. If you want some ideas, try checking out the “Pageant Interview” board on the White Collar Glam Pinterest page, here. I’ve added a wide range of options from dresses to jumpsuits to separates.

2. TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Ross

These three stores are the BEST places to look for interview outfits when you’re on a budget. They have options from designers you’ll recognize and it isn’t hard to walk out with a beautiful $40 interview dress or jumpsuit.

PROS: really affordable. Also, did you know TJ Maxx also has an online store now? See here.

CONS: similar to department stores, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of clothing in these stores. Also, a lot of women turn to these stores for interview outfits, so you run the risk of buying a dress that someone else might also be wearing. *gasp* The easiest way to avoid this problem is to buy separates or get a custom outfit.

3. Other Retailers

Some other retailers that I frequent when looking for interview outfits for pageants: ASOS (only online), Topshop, Zara, White House Black Market, and Express. I look to many of these same retailers when I’m searching for suits for work.

PROS: If you mix and match some separates from a couple of these retailers, it’ll be easier for you to have a unique outfit that will stand out. This is especially important considering the sheer amount of women competing this year. If I’m not mistaken, there are nearly 50 women competing for the title of Miss North Carolina, and over 40 teens vying to be Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen. Obviously, you’ll want your intellect, talent, and personality to stand out, but an easy way to make sure you have the judges’ attention from the start is by having a unique interview outfit.

CONS: so many stores, so little time.

4. Custom

As I mentioned, the two easiest ways to make sure that nobody else in the competition will be wearing an identical pageant interview outfit are: (1) wear separates; and (2) buy a custom outfit. The go-to here is Gregory Ellenburg. Gregory actually made both my Miss USA interview outfit and my Miss Universe interview outfit.

PROS: One-of-a-kind outfit that will fit you to perfection.

CONS: $$$$. When I competed, I was a law school student and I didn’t have much money to invest into my wardrobe. When I competed for Miss NC 2014, my swimsuit alone was $200, my talent gown was $400, and my evening gown was $300. Additionally, I had to pay for accessories, shoes, housing for the week, appearance outfits for competition week, etc. Needless to say, I simply couldn’t afford $600+ for an interview outfit on my law school salary (read: I was broke). However, if you can swing it, this is a great option. (Contact the designers for their individual pricing)

5. Pageant Shops

Many know Jewel’s Formals and Foxy Lady for the spectacular evening gowns they have, but few are aware that they also have a few interview outfits as well. Contact them to hear more about their selection or swing by their stores.

PROS: GREAT customer service. I haven’t been to Foxy Lady, but I hear fantastic reports from my friends and fellow contestants. I adore Courtney from Jewel’s and I appreciate that every time I visit her store, I have her full attention and she really listens to what I tell her when I’m looking for something specific.

CONS: It can be hard to make the time to drive to Smithfield or the beach, especially if you’re in Charlotte like me. However, it’s worth the drive to make sure you’ve got the wardrobe you need.

Finally, here’s a special shout out to Brittany Crews DiCello of The Finishing Touch for her input while I drafted this article! She’s my go-to when I need advice for anything related to pageants (besides my mom lol). I turned to her to make sure all my bases were covered. Thanks, Brittany!


Pictured below: dress (Guess, old), earrings (Bebe, old).

How to Succeed in Pageant Interview

Pageants are won or lost in pageant interview.

If you’ve spent any time at all in pageantry, you’ve heard this saying at least once. And for good reason – pageant interview is probably the most important competition of the week. Do it right and the judges will look for you, and even root for you, in the other competitions. Stumble in interview and you’ll have to work harder to capture the crown. Scary, we know.

That’s why we’ve pulled together our best pageant interview tips and even some practice pageant interview questions for you in this guide. We’ll dig into what to expect during pageant interview, how pageant interview is judged, how you can prepare for pageant interview, what makes you stand out, and even pageant interview outfits and hair and makeup.

Now that’s a lot of information so we broke it up into the follow categories. Go ahead and click on the section you want to review now. You can always come back for the rest later.

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Oftentimes, pageant interview will be your first phase of competition, or in other words, your first chance to make an impression on your judges. Which means, it’s arguably the most important competition. So let’s prep you for the basics first.

What your interview will look like will vary with what system you compete in. You’ll either have a round robin style or a panel style interview. In round robin, you’ll have a conversation with each judge individually, and you’ll likely be one of a few contestants in the room and you’ll all rotate between judges. In panel, you’ll have one conversation with all the judges, and you’ll likely be the only contestant in the room. Round robin interviews are found in National American Miss, Miss American Coed, USA National Miss and International Junior Miss. Panel interviews are found in Miss USA, Miss America, Miss Grand International, Miss Supranational, Miss Earth USA and Miss High School America.

Interviews can range from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, all depending on the style of interview and system. If you’re not sure whether your pageant is panel or round robin interview and how long it lasts, be sure to consult your pageant handbook, or ask the current titleholder or the director. We’ve included a few popular systems and their interview times and styles below

Miss America

Interview Format: Panel

Interview Length: Ten minutes

Miss USA & Teen USA

Interview Format: Panel

Interview Length: 90 seconds

Ms. World

Interview Format: Panel

Interview Length: Five minutes

Mrs. and Ms. Earth Organization

Interview Format: Panel

Interview Length: Five minutes

American Elegance Pageant

Interview Format: Panel of three to five judges

Length: Four minutes

Miss American Coed (MAC)

Interview Format: Round robin

Interview Length: One minute per judge

National American Miss (NAM)

Interview Format: Round robin

Interview Length: 35 seconds to one minute per interviewer. Length depends on age division.

Mrs. and Ms. United States National Pageants

Interview Format: Panel

Interview Length: Five minutes

America’s Majestic Miss National Scholarship Pageants

Interview Format: Round robin

Interview Length: Two minutes

Miss Teen of America

Interview Format: Panel

Interview Length: Three to four minutes

Miss North Carolina USA 2021 Madison Bryant. Photo: RPM Productions

Now, let’s talk about what to expect in the room. You’ll be told when to enter and where to stand. If you’re in a round robin interview, you’ll be told which judge to go to first. There will be a staff member in the interview room keeping time and will let you know when you must stop.

Overall, the actual “competition” itself is easy. You enter the room, stand where you’re supposed to, talk when you’re allowed to begin, stop when the timer goes off and exit when you’re supposed to. You still with us? Great, let’s dig in a little further!

It’s natural to have a ton of questions on how your pageant is judged. You’re probably wondering what goes into that score. Is my pageant interview outfit being judged? My hair and makeup? The contents of my answers? How I sit or stand? Well the answer is yes… and no.

Your pageant interview score usually makes up between 20 and 40 percent of your total pageant score, depending on your pageant. What goes into that score is a mixture of things and likely will only be revealed to the judges. But, let’s talk about a few common things that judges will consider.

What judges notice during pageant interview

The content of your answers. The judges will take note of and take into consideration what your message is. If they ask you why you should win and your answer is, “I don’t know,” or some variation of a fluff answer, they’re going to notice and assume you’re unprepared for the pageant or the title.

Your body language and tone. Or in other words, how you’re delivering the message. This includes things like your voice inflection, whether you’re using filler words (um, like), eye contact, posture and all the non-verbal things.

Your appearance. We know it’s controversial to say. However, your appearance isn’t about whether you’re meeting a certain beauty standard. It’s referring to whether you look put together. Is your outfit clean and wrinkle-free? Is your hair messy and in your eyes or clean and out of your face? Is your makeup distracting or clean-looking?

Your confidence. From how you walk into the room, how you stand and sit, to whether you slouch or look away when you talk, everything you do portrays confidence or insecurity. Confidence and positivity is infectious so the more you radiate that energy, the more your judges will be drawn to you.

Your consistency. Does everything about you make sense? This might sound a bit weird and you’re probably thinking, “Of course it makes sense.” But what we’re asking is really, “is everything about you on brand?” If you describe yourself as bubly but show up in a dark interview outfit with your hair slicked back and dramatic makeup – that doesn’t really make sense, does it?

Now we’ve discussed what the judges will look at during interview. Let’s look at the way judges score interview.

2020 I am titleholders in interview outfits. Photo: Brittany Link Photography

How judges will score your pageant interview

Judges have maybe 30 seconds to score your interview and write their notes before the next interview has to begin. Much like the interview itself, that’s not a lot of time. You get up, move to the next judge and begin your interview. That small portion of time is really the only time they can score you and give you feedback. So what do they have time for?

Judges will usually score your interview 1-10. IF they have time, which is not always possible, they might write a few short notes like “good eye contact” or “good answers.” So what does this feedback come from? What’s the basis for it? It’s simple really; how you make the judges feel. Did you impress them? Make them laugh? Pull them in emotionally? Or, did you feel awkward and make them feel awkward? Make them pull the answers out of you?

So how are you supposed to make them feel good and in turn, confident in you? AND, how do you use the feedback from the judges to prepare for your next interview? Let’s dig into how to prepare for your pageant interview.

Okay, you have a general understanding of what pageant interview can look like, now let’s dive into the details and tips on how to prepare for your pageant interview.

Pageant Paperwork

First things first, you have work to do before you ever walk into the interview room. You’ll have to prepare your paperwork for the judges. We know, this sounds boring. However – this can actually set you up for success in your pageant interview because you can tell the judges what information is important to know about you before they ever talk to you. Which means, what you put in your paperwork can direct your entire interview. Chances are, if you put a really interesrting fact on your paperwork, you may be able to predict the first question you’re asked in interview.

What types of paperwork will you be required to prepare? Most pageants will have you prepare a contestant resume or fact sheet. Some heavily platform-based pageants will also have you write a platform essay. We have an entire course called Pageant Paperwork & Resume (Examples, Templates & Tips) that will show you how to fill out your paperwork and stand out before interview. We highly recommend you check that out before starting on your paperwork.

Next thing to be mindful of with pageant paperwork is meeting your deadlines. Each system has its own process for submtiting your paperwork, including its own deadlines for submission. This information is usually included in your pageant handbook or one of the info packets you receive after signing up. If you’ve looked everywhere (and we do mean in every email, info packet, and smoke signal) and can’t find the information, reach out to your director or contestant coordinator.

And finally, don’t skip the deets! What we mean is, if a director says your bio sheet needs to be one page only, and you’ve submitted two… you’re doing it wrong. The rules are in place for a reason so follow the instructions. You don’t want to leave a negative impression before you ever get there.

Now, there’s something you should know before your pageant. Your judges may not get your paperwork until the day of your interview. They may only have a minute to review it before you sit down in their chair. That means your paperwork has to stand out. No mistakes, no typos and full of information they could use to start a conversation. If you’re not sure how to do that, we’d recommend seeing a pageant coach. We even have Pageant Planet’s prep membership that you can work with a coach to prepare for all aspects of your competition. You can check that out by clicking, Pageant Planet Membership.

Miss Indiana US 2020 Jessica Hopper. Photo: Jessica Hopper

Practice Pageant Interview Questions

How do you become great at literally anything in the world? You practice. Not just once or twice, either. You practice consistently. You practice every single day. This is how you need to approach pageant interview as well.

First, you’ll need practice interview questions. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled 233 absolutely free practice pageant interview questions. These questions are the same ones that Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019 used when she prepared for her interview. Not only are we giving you the questions completely free, we’ll tell you how she used them and how you can too. Have them sent to your email here:

Now that you have the questions, we want you to print out the pages. Next, cut the pages into little strips with one question per strip. You could rewrite them all by hand on flashcards too if that’s better for you. The most important part is that you have individual questions. Now, put all your strips in a jar (or cards in a stack). Each day when you’re getting ready, pull 5 strips (or cards) and answer those questions in the mirror.

It’s going to feel weird at first but it’s actually an extremely useful way to practice for interview every day. It only takes 5 minutes and it allows you to see your facial expressions while you answer questions. Bonus points if you time your answers to make sure you’re right around the 30 seconds mark.

Mock Interviews

We cannot stress this enough. You need to do mock interviews to prepare for your pageant. Let’s back up and explain what a mock interview is. If you’re new to the pageant scene or you’ve never heard of it before, a mock interview is essentially your dress rehearsal for the real day. You (or a coach) gets together a panel of “judges”. For your mock interview, this could be anyone from family to total strangers. You give them your paperwork. Then, you simulate your pageant interview exactly how it’ll be on pageant day.

You’ll practicing entering the room and sitting down for a round robin interview, or entering the room and addressing the judges for a panel interview. Your room should be set up similarly to how your interview room will look on pageant day. Then, your panel will ask you questions while someone else times you. You’ll get up and move to the next judge or exit the room, depending on the interview style. Your panel will then score you and give you feedback.

You should review your feedback with a coach, if you have one, to see where you can improve for your next interview. Then, practice some more and schedule another mock interview. Schedule as many as you can prior to pageant day. The more you flex your interview muscle, the easier it is to perform come pageant day.

If scheduling a mock interview is overwhelming for you, mock interviews are included with the VIP and VIP Platinum Pageant Planet memberships. We’ll do the scheduling, you just show up.

Talk to people

Sounds obvious, we know. You’re probably thinking, “Hello? I talk to people everyday already.” But, what we mean is talk to strangers. Not in the creepy, dangerous way. But every chance you get to engage with someone, whether it’s out shopping or a community service event, take it and start up a conversation. Each time you do this successfully, you prove to yourself that you can handle any interaction you’re in and that you’re a good communicator. This helps a whole bunch with thinking on your feet during pageant interview. You can’t memorize answers to every possible question and succeed in interview. BUT you can build up your “social muscle” so that your social skills are strong for your interview.

The other side to this is to take every speaking opportunity you can. Your teacher wants a volunteer to read out loud in class? Do it. Your boss is looking for someone to present a new project? Do it. Your local library needs someone to read to the kids? Do it. Every single chance you get to talk in front of strangers or people who might make you nervous, take it. The more you talk, the more confidence you gain, the easier it is to have a great pageant interview.

Miss Grand International 2020. Photo: Miss Grand International

Practice the details

This might be the silliest advice you’ll receive, at least it’ll make you feel the silliest. Practice the small things, like entering the room, siting in a chair and introducing yourself. Pageant interview isn’t the time to sloppy walk into a room and plop yourself on the seat, unsure of whether to greet someone or shake their hand.

Practice walking into a room confidently. If you’re seated for the interview, practice sitting in a chair. You should sit on the front half of your chair, leaning forward, with your ankles crossed and legs together and tilted to the side. Believe it or not, this isn’t how most people naturally sit in a chair. So it’ll take some practice.

The other detail you should think about is whether to shake your judges’ hands in pageant interview. Most experts will tell you not to, especially after the pandemic. And we agree – it’s best not to shake your judges hands. It can get just a little… well… awkward. So leave it out. If it does accidentally happen on the day of, don’t sweat it and don’t make it awkward. Oh – and of course, if your judge puts their hand out for a shake, don’t leave ’em hanging.

Age-specific details

Interview preparation will look different for each age division because actual interview will be significantly different. Below we’ve included some things to focus on for each age division.


Teach the etiquette – Teach your little one how to introduce herself, have a seat and make eye contact. Depending on how young your contestant is, they may have an issue sitting still and staying focus. Work on how to do that in brief coaching sessions. Teach your contestant to thank each judge when they’re finished their interview.

Practice questions – This list specifically for princesses will help get you started. We also recommend you download the 233 practice pageant questions.

Don’t overpractice – This seems counterinituitive but you may know this better than anyone. Children have short attention spans. If you force them to practice for too long, they’ll lose interest fast.

Work on social skills – This extends beyond pageantry. Social skills are extremely important for young kids to develop.

Let your princesses have a say – That’s not to say they get to run the show. But, if they learn some independence and get a say in the outcome, they’ll be more interested in competing.


Be confident in yourself – With confidence in who you are, you will be able to present yourself in the best light possible and the judges will really get to know you and why you are best for the crown!

Be conversational – Don’t memorize answers! Just have a conversation with your judges.

Share your community service – Wow the judges with all the work you’ve been doing and why you like doing it so much!

Have fun – Pageants are supposed to be a fun time! Remember to keep it a positive experience and focus on why you love competing so much.


Be conversational – Don’t try to memorize answers. Just have a conversation with the judges; they’re normal people too.

Know when to stop – There can be a tendency to ramble on. Practice stopping when you’re done your thought instead of put more filler information in. The ideal answer should be 30 seconds in length.

Be calm but upbeat – If you’re too excited, it can come off as nervous. If you’re too calm, it can come off as tired. Think about how grateful you are to be at the pageant and sharing your story.

Know your paperwork – Yes, you wrote it so you should know it. But you’d be surprised at how many contestants have no clue what’s on their paperwork before they go into interview.

Miss Grand Kenya 2020. Photo: Miss Grand International


Don’t stress – Okay, easier said than done. But you’ve done the work leading up to your interview. Now you need to let your stress dissolve. Throw on your favorite playlist, color, meditate. Do whatever you need to relax before your interview.

Make a game plan and stick to it – Know the three things that the judges must know about you before you leave interview and practice how to say them in any question that comes up. When interview rolls around, stick to the strategy you’ve practiced.

Be informed – It’s a crazy world out there but you’re expected to know it. After all, how can you impact a world you don’t understand? We created Pageant Daily to give you free coaching and recap important new stories for this reason. We highly recommend signing up for it. Check it out here.

Know your paperwork – Yes, you wrote it so you should know it. But you’d be surprised at how many contestants have no clue what’s on their paperwork before they go into interview.


Develop your marketing plan – Make no mistake, this is a job interview for a spokesperson position. How are you going to make a difference with this title? Focus on what you’ve done so far and how this title could take that to the next level. Include concrete goals to show you’ve really thought this through.

Keep the personality – Yes, Mrs. and Ms. contestants are definitely expected to be poised, but that doesn’t mean you should throw fun out the window. Don’t forget to showcase your personality in interview.

Be a role model – As the oldest contestants, you set the example for how younger contestants should act. Remember that little eyes and ears are always observing.

Standing out among the crowd is essential to success in pageantry, but it can be difficult in a sea of accomplished, driven and well-rounded contestants like yourself. There are few obvious ways to stand out during your pageant interview.

Personal brand

First, focus on who you are and what your personal brand is. Think back to Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber. What is the one thing she left the audience with? All of Barber’s messaging throughout the competition, from her meet the contestant video to her mic drop-worthy onstage answer, was focused on how she was a woman fighting for our country in the Army.

During pageant interview the key is to make sure you leave your judges with everything YOU want them to know about you: think your message, platform, ambition, community service and personal goals. Brainstorm and write these down in the weeks you are preparing for competition. Plan your wardrobe, interview answers and paperwork around the personal brand you want your judges to remember.

Body language

Second, body language says more about you than you know. Did you know that it takes between seven and 30 seconds to make a first impression? So much of what goes into a first impression is your nonverbal signals or your body language. Pageant interview is likely your opportunity to make a first impression so your body language becomes even more important during this phase of competition.

Before you walk into the interview room, check your posture. Stand up straight, shoulders back, take a deep breath and let your shoulders fall naturally. A good tip is to pretend there is a string attached to your head that pulls your body upward and then let your shoulders fall to a relaxed position.

When answering a question, be cognizant of how much you are moving your hands. Sometimes having too much movement can overpower your message and may even block your face from the judges. The goal is to impress them with your answers, not distract them with your arms.

Eye contact

Third, maintain eye contact with the judges. While eye contact is super important, do not stare your judges down. The preferred length of time for eye contact is between three and five seconds at one time. If you are in a panel style interview always address the judge who asked the initial question and slowly make eye contact with the other judges as you answer. In you are in a round-robin interview, do not let outside distractions deter your natural eye contact.

Be present with the one judge you are talking to and have a conversation. Talk to your judges how you would talk to your parent’s friend, conversational and friendly, but not too informal. Take a deep breath, relax and wow them with your charm and intelligence.

The right outfit

Finally, to really stand out, make sure your outfit of choice complements your figure and brand. Try it on for your friends, family and coach in advance of the competition. Make sure your outfit is not so bold that it detracts from your message. The goal is to look polished, professional and ready to take over the crown.

Miss USA 2018 Sarah Rose Summers and Miss North Carolina USA 2018 Caelynn Miller-Keyes after their Miss USA interveiws. Photo: Miss Nebraska USA Instagram

Do your research on what looks are popular in pageant interview for that system. For example, Miss USA 2018 Sarah Rose Summers wore a shorts-blazer combination into interview. While that outfit went over well at Miss USA, it would not go over well for a Miss America contestant. Now what your system is looking for and plan your wardrobe accordingly.

What do I need to consider when picking my outfit for pageant interview?

There are many very important points to consider when selecting your outfit for pageant interview, but the two most crucial points are the importance of the first impression and the power of the pageant brand.

First impression

The first point, as we’ve said before, is that this is likely the very first time that the judges are going to meet you. They will have seen your headshot, but this will be the first time they get to see you live and in person.

The reason that this is such a big deal is that the judges are attempting to come to a decision rather quickly about who they believe is the best contestant to fill the role of titleholder. In your regular everyday life, a first impression does not hold the same degree of importance. If you do not make a great first impression on someone, you usually have an opportunity at a later date to change their opinion or give them a better idea of what you are really like. In a pageant, the judges are consciously trying to come to a decision that they have to make in a short time period. If the judges like you in the interview room, you have an even better chance to wow them when it comes time for the rest of the pageant.

Pageant brand

In addition to making a positive first impression, the second point to consider when picking out your outfit for interview is the pageant’s specific brand.

This is where you need to be able to step back and be objective about yourself and the pageant that you are competing in. Do not neglect these details because if you do, you will totally miss the mark and the judges will not take you seriously as a contender for the title.

Each pageant system has a brand and you have to pay attention to that brand if you want to do well in the pageant. A pageant brand just means whatever someone thinks about when they think of a given pageant.

For example, when people think about the Miss America brand, they think about the idea of the “girl next door.” She is pretty, sweet, down to earth and likable, not to mention very smart, articulate and talented. When people think about the Miss USA brand, they think about a tall, fashion forward, “model type” of woman who is also a good spokesperson and has a bit of glamour and style.

Miss District of Columbia USA 2018 Bryce Armstrong after her Miss USA interview. Photo: @thepageantaddict Instagram

When choosing an interview outfit, as well as all of the pieces of your competition wardrobe, you need to keep the pageant brand at the forefront of your mind. Remember that you are visually communicating to the judges and everyone you meet about whether you have what it takes to be the next titleholder. If your pageant’s brand is very conservative, then do not wear low cut tops, short skirts or sky-high heels, no matter how great you look in those styles. If your pageant’s brand is known for embracing modern, cutting edge fashion, you might want to enlist the help of a stylist if you are not sure what kind of clothing you should be wearing.

You have to get this point right or it can cost you in the interview room.

Find photos from last year’s pageant, especially the behind-the-scenes images, like what the contestants wore for interview. Check out the pageant’s social media pages like Facebook and Instagram for pictures like that. You can even check out the current titleholder’s social media pages to see if she posted what she wore for interview last year. Look for what the top five or ten contestants wore for their interview and pick your style accordingly.

Common sense

In addition to the importance of the first impression and the power of the pageant’s brand that you are competing in, you just want to have common sense when selecting clothing for interview.

Everything that you choose for interview and for the rest of the pageant competition must be age appropriate, flattering to your body and it must make you feel confident and beautiful. Never compromise or settle when choosing your competition wardrobe. Compete with excellence and make certain that everything that you wear really represents who you are and what you stand for. When in doubt about what to wear, find a professional. We can recommend some here.

What colors work best for pageant interview?

Color should be another huge factor in choosing your interview outfit. After all, your style can be impeccable, but the wrong color choice can make the entire outfit fall flat.

“Depending on the system that you were in, you want a color that looks well on you since you were being judged on facial beauty in interview,” Wendi Russo, CEO and Founder of Crowning Success said. “Most newbies gravitate towards navy or black. In my opinion, that is a pageant no-no.”

Russo is correct. While you are interviewing for a job, you are not interviewing for the traditional corporate America job. You have a limited amount of one-on-one time with the judges and you want to communicate as much about yourself as possible. Your color choice is an ample opportunity.

Bold Colors

“You’re not interviewing for a banking position,” Russo said. “You still need to stand out and to me, a color does that very nicely. If you were interviewing for a traditional corporate job then you would be in black or navy.”

Kylah Johnson, Mrs. Corporate America 2016. Photo:

Russo advised her client, Kylah Johnson, pictured above, to dress in yellow for her interview at Mrs. Corporate America 2016. “She looked professional and divine,” Wendi said. “You want a color that looks well on you since you are being judged on facial beauty in interview.”

Savvy Shields, Miss America 2017’s state interview outfit. Photo: Miss Heart of the Ozarks Scholarship Organization Facebook

Another great bold color choice comes from America 2017 Savvy Shields when she won her state title of Miss Arkansas 2016. The royal blue jewel tone is ultra-flattering with her tan skin and blonde hair.


While bold colors are always a great option, Aguirre is a huge fan of pastels for interview.

“I’m into jumpsuits and lately I have been a huge fan of high-waisted, flared-out white pants with a very light pale blue or light pale pink color,” Aguirre said. “These blouses are the ones with the attached bows. Obsessed!”

Miss Massachusetts USA 2016, Whitney Sharpe, after her interview for Miss USA 2016. Photo: Michelle Aguirre

One of Aguirre’s favorite examples of all time comes from Miss Massachusetts USA 2016, Whitney Sharpe. She nails every aspect of the trend. The white pants are perfectly tailored to fit her body. The pants are also lined so it is not see through, an important note in pulling off this trend.


Prints are another way you can show your personality while standing out in a sea of solid colors. The keys are balancing the outfit and picking the right print.

Miss Uptown OKC USA 2017, Jeanette Sealey. Photo: Lynne Crowe

A great example of a print is Miss Uptown OKC USA 2017, Jeanette Sealey. This print is fun and flattering but also professional. The pinks and purple are great with her golden skin. The busy top of the dress is balanced out by the darker skirt. This keeps the entire dress balanced.

Can I wear a pattern for pageant interview?

When it comes to finding an outfit with patterns there are a couple of things to consider.

First, you want to make sure the pattern on the outfit is not too much. It the pattern overshadows you and the focus turns to your outfit, you have already lost. If a judge is focusing their time analyzing your outfit of choice, they are not giving you their undivided attention.

Second, consider the distance from your judges. When it comes to patterns, certain distances can make the patterns “dance” across you in a negative or distracting way. To test whether this is the case, try on your patterned outfit for your coach and stand or sit the same distance away from him or her as you would your judges.

Lastly, consider the size and design of the pattern. Some patterns are too busy and become overwhelming. Small prints with a lot of detail tend to have this effect so try to stay away from intricate patterns in interview. It is best to pick a simple or abstract pattern for interview to keep the attention on your words, not your outfit.

How important is my pageant interview outfit to my score?

Nailing your interview is critical to winning your dream title. One of the ways you can win over the judges before delivering your perfect opening line is picking the right interview outfit. After all, you never get a second chance at a first impression.

According to Wendi Russo, CEO and Founder of Crowning Success, the first step in picking the perfect interview outfit is to research the system you are entering.

“Every system has its nuances,” Russo said. “United States is slightly sexier. America is more conservative and jumpsuits are okay as well. Galaxy is a little more fashion forward. Mrs. America could be conservative to more fitted.”

After researching your system, the key when shopping for your pageant outfit is to find something that you feel confident in that still falls within the guidelines of your system.

“I would tell them to choose something they feel professional, sexy and classy in,” said Michelle Aguirre, a consultant for PR Pageant Coaches and former Miss Florida USA 2013.” At the end of the day, they are interviewing for a job where we can get away with wearing a knee length dress with an open back, like mine back in the day.”

There are also many trends quickly rising in interview. You can wear anything from a traditional suit to a super trendy jumpsuit! However, according to Aguirre, the most important aspect of your interview outfit is the fit!

“I honestly think that a contestant should choose what fits them best based on their bodies,” Aguirre said. “Everyone is different. Does it matter whether to choose one of those three (jumpsuit, dress, or traditional suit)? NO! As long as the girl in the interview outfit feels beautiful, she will feel comfortable and confident and kill that interview!”

Where do I find outfits for pageant interview?

There are no limitations as to where you can find your perfect interview outfit! Everywhere from high-end boutiques to resale sites could potentially have the outfit of your dreams!

Boutiques/Pageant Dress Shops

Pageant dress stores and other high end boutiques are a great one-stop shop to get all your pageant outfits. In addition, stores like these tend to employee former titleholders or coaches with some offering their own coaching services. These types of stores can offer expert advice while making your pageant preparation that much smoother.

For example, Dazzle Boutique, located in Oxford and Waterbury, Connecticut, carries dresses, shoes, swimwear and other pageant necessities. Named one of Pageant Planet’s Top 10 Dress Stores of 2017, it carries designers Alyce Paris, Ellie Wilde, MacDuggal, Sherri Hill, Rachel Allan and more.

The downside to stores like these is there is often a bigger price tag. However, according to Russo, quality is important and that can mean spending a little extra.

“I notice the girls do not want to spend a lot of money on their interview outfit,” Russo said. “However if you spend $40 on something, the fabric is so thin you probably will see through it. Remember, you will still wear this in the future after you win, so invest wisely because this is the message you are sending while you are communicating to the judges about why you should be chosen. So even if you spend slightly more than $100 on your interview dress, just know you will wear that throughout your year and it will have been a good investment.”

Department Stores

You may live in an area where pageant dress stores are not as common or require a long distance to travel. Not to worry, department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom carry a wide variety of brands that are perfect for interview!

Russo has dressed her clients in a variety of designers including Fernando Wong suits and dresses, Black Halo, BCBG, Mark Bouwer and occasionally Calvin Klein. Most of these brands you can find at department stores!

Discount Stores

Now, you may find yourself on a tight budget for your pageant. Discount stores like Ross or TJMaxx do carry designer brands at discount prices.

If you are not afraid of a little clothing hunt, second-hand and other thrift stores like Goodwill could have golden ticket items at unbelievable prices.

Pageant Resale Sites

Pageant resale sites can be a great resource in finding quality pageant attire at an affordable price. However, there are some pros and cons to the websites.

Crown Formals offers a wide variety of pageant items like gowns, swimwear, interview attire and jewelry. You can buy or sell straight through the website. They offer a wide variety of items, options for a large range of ages, easy to sell options and they offer “new item” alerts. However, there is a listing fee, no “buyer/seller insurance” through the site and contacting for purchase may be difficult.

The Glass Slipper is another good option. You can list any pageant item for free. You have the opportunity to buy or sell via the website, but all items listed on the website are also automatically transferred to the Facebook page to gain a wider audience for your sales.

Pageant Resale offers the widest variety of pageant items that can be found on an official website. It has a very easy sale system and offers detailed information on each item. They also offer limited buyer/seller protection and have a large following on both the website and social media. However, there is a six dollar listing fee and a six month post limit before removal.

What type of accessories are best for pageant interview?

Your outfit for pageant interview will determine what kind of accessories you should wear. For example, if you have a knock-out dress, you will want to go with simple jewelry. If you have a basic outfit, you can spice it up with some fun accessories.

When you choose your accessories, put an emphasis on one piece you want to highlight. Are you going to wear big chandelier earrings? Then keep the necklace simple or go without it. Wearing studs? Choose a bigger necklace. Does your outfit have sleeves? Chose to not wear a bracelet. No sleeves? How about adding a simple watch or bracelet or even a bigger sized ring?

If you think you have on too much, chances are you do. Never wear something that will fall off easily or jewelry which makes an entrance before you do i.e. loud bangles. Remember the emphasis is on you, during pageant week.

The key to accessories is to look balanced and pull the outfit together. Do not go crazy with accessories that clash or distract from your outfit.

What shoes work best for pageant interview?

Your attire should match that of the attire you would wear for a job interview. So, would you wear eight-inch stilettos to a job interview? I would hope your answer is “no!” In this phase of competition you are going for a professional look. Rhinestones, sequins and anything sparkly should be left for the on-stage portions of the pageant.


Ideally, a closed-toe style with a high-but-not-vertiginous heel works best for this round because it allows you to stride confidently and works well with most interview outfits. The shoes can have a pointed-toe or be rounded, as long as they look classy. A peep-toe can also be acceptable, but you want most of your feet to be covered. Make sure that your shoes are comfortable and that you can walk and stand gracefully in them.

Avoid ankle straps that cut off the line of your leg. If you are tall, you can pull them off, but shorter contestants should be aware that ankle straps cut off your leg lines. Typically, any shoes that are very “strappy” would not be acceptable in this portion of competition.


The most typical color for interview shoes is nude, but you could also pull off any neutral tone. If the rest of your interview outfit is pretty plain and you need something to make a statement with, you could consider a print!

When done well, print shoes can complement an outfit perfect and project your sense of style directly to the judges. If you are worried that your print or shoe style is too out there, pair it with white!


The height of your heel is be determined by your age division. For example, Princess contestants need not be in four-inch heels and Miss contestants should not wear flats. A good rule to follow for Princess and younger contestants is to pick a shoe that would be appropriate for a church service or a semi-formal brunch. Preteens, Jr. teens and Teens should go with heel heights that are age-appropriate. Miss, Ms. and Mrs. contestants should go with a heel height around four inches.

Let’s talk fun things – hair and makeup. These are the finishing touches to an already incredible look.

Pageant hair

In most pageant systems, this is the first time that the judges are seeing you, so you want to make a killer first impression. You want your hair to look clean, healthy and beautiful. The judges should focus on your interviewing abilities and confidence, not on your hair. Styling your hair is very important for pageant interview because the judges will be very close to you. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a style.


It doesn’t matter whether your hair is up or down as long as it is out of your face. If you have hair that falls in your face and gets distracting, it is a good idea to sweep it off your face. You can use barrettes, pins or other clips to create and fresh and appealing look that brings the judges’ focus to your face, not your hair.

Straight or curly hair could work in this phase of competition. If you decide to curl your hair, you will want to curl your hair away from your face. B be sure to avoid crunchy looking hair by using heat protectant spray and not too much hairspray. Because the judges are very close to you, they will be able to see all of the details. Bigger, looser curls are also more common in interview. Try to avoid super tight, ringlet-like curls. You do not want to show up looking like Shirley Temple!

If you want to rock straight hair, be aware that this look only works with those who have the right facial structure. If you have a naturally long face and your hair is longer, going with this style can actually make your face look too long. You will also need to be sure you get some lift at the crown of your head in the form of teasing, but a straighter look can be really refreshing when so many girls tend to go after big curls these days.


Make sure that you get some tease in your hair so that it looks like a natural lift on the crown of your head. This is a great way to nail your interview look. Even if you do not tease your hair in everyday life, you will need to add some extra volume while competing.

Miss Central Georgia USA 2021 Erin Snow. Photo: Erin Snow

Pageant interview makeup

Check the rules

First, make sure you are allowed to wear makeup during competition. More natural pageant system do not allow contestants under a certain age to wear makeup during the pageant interview competition. Make sure you check with the official pageant rules and regulations before applying any makeup.

Solid foundation

Second, foundation is incredibly important. Foundation serves as the base for your entire makeup look. When picking out your color, your foundation must match your skin tone for pageant weekend. That means you need to account for the spray tan you might be getting and what time of the year the pageant is in.

Set your makeup

Third, make sure you foundation is solid by setting it. Using a setting spray seals your makeup look and prevents makeup meltdowns. You never know if the interview room is going to be hot or if you are going to be sweating from nerves, so it is important to be prepared. With setting spray, the weightless formula allows for a clear sealant to hold your makeup in place.

Go natural

Fourth, put yourself in the shoes of the judge for a second. When you see the queen to be for the first time, do you want to see an airbrushed, contoured, elaborately designed face of makeup or do you want to see the natural beauty the potential queen to be possesses with nice, light, and refreshing makeup?

Most judges state that they do not want to see a total “glamour girl” walk into the room. They want to see how you carry yourself in your everyday life. Interview makeup ought to be light and refreshing. Use minimal blush and keep your eye shadow very simple. Try not to be overdone.

Interview makeup is different than stage makeup. You can still wear a full face of makeup, but avoid preparing for the interview as if you are going on stage. By being simple in the interview, the judges have something to look forward to when they see you grace the stage.

Dark eye makeup should not be worn during the interview process at all. Your lips should have a more natural color that complements your skin tone and the color of your interview dress. Excessive highlight should be avoided. Your goal should be a light, dewy look.

If your budget permits and your pageant allows it, we encourage you to hire a pageant makeup consultant who can teach you how to apply your own makeup or come to your pageant to do your makeup. This will reduce your stress and allow you to have a polished look when you walk into the interview room.

Pageant Interview Dress

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