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Tips for Choosing a Winning Child Pageant Dress

Updated on July 13, 2013

How to Select a Child Pageant Dress


If you’re considering entering your daughter in a child pageant, you need to be especially attentive when selecting a pageant dress.


The dress itself is usually judged, along with how well the dress fits the child and compliments her natural beauty.


A drop-dead gorgeous pageant dress might look stunning on one child, while it could easily be the wrong beauty apparel for another little girl.


Below are some guidelines that cover the accepted wisdoms when you are choosing the right dress for a child pageant.

The Right Dress For A High-Glitz Child Pageant


To be competitive in most high-glitz child pageants, you’ll need a short dress with a full cupcake skirt.


The skirt itself is comprised of several layers, and each layer has a scalloped, wavy edge that stays in place via a special “fishing line” hem.


Because of this, crinolines are usually not needed – the skirt stands out on its own.


The dress will also need a good deal of stoning – Swarovski crystals that are glued to the dress.


 Most winning dresses include a mixture of crystal stones, colored stones, and AB stones.


The AB stones are aurora borealis rhinestones that really catch the stage lights and reflect them.

More online help for child pageant dresses and accessories

What Makes a Dress “Pop”?


Girls with a dark complexion should wear a color that really makes their skin “pop.” You’ll hear this word at a lot of pageants.


What it means is that there’s a sharp contrast between the child’s skin and the color of the dress. For example, good colors for girls with dark skin are light turquoise, bubble gum pink, yellow, and white.


 In fact, if the little girl can carry it off, white is a great color for a pageant dress. A pageant dress that has a base color of white with accents in other colors is another good choice for girls with dark complexions and hair.


Many African American girls do well in white, peach, or yellow.


On the other hand, girls with fair complexions should never wear white. Under the stage lights, the child will appear washed out.


 For blondes, fuchsia pink and light blue are usually good choices. Girls with red hair often do well in mint green or royal blue.

Child Pageant Dress Tips:


The pageant dress should also have additional embellishments like bows, butterflies, lace, or flowers.


These are usually made of fabric and adorned with stones. Some dresses also include marabou feathers as accents.


Be careful with adornments. You don’t want a dress with huge flowers or bows on the shoulders. This will detract attention away from the face.


The color of the dress is extremely important, based on your daughter’s natural coloring. Some girls can wear just about any color, but others simply cannot.

Tips for Choosing a Winning Child Pageant Dress


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    • profile image


      14 months ago

      My 10 year old girl have brown hair but she's a bit light in complexion, what colors will suits her best for a evening gown

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My oldest has done two and my youngest has done one. They like them and will be doing it next year too. These tips help.

    • Amanda1984 profile image


      7 years ago

      I love pageants, I want my daughter to do them but she says no no no ... she hates having here hair brushed!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very informative. I enjoyed reading it.

    • The Pink Panther profile image

      The Pink Panther 

      7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I haven't really seen any child pagents, but I know there's a big buzz about choosing the right dress! Some of these tips would be really useful to someone wanting to enter their little girl in a pagent. The little girl in the video looks cute in that blue dress, maybe her mum read this before entering her? ;)


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