Whether you’re competing in a Miss or Teen pageant, there comes that moment when you need to Say Yes to the Dress – the evening gown, that is.

There are so many choices when it comes to evening gowns. It could be sequined, lacy, poufy, tight, short, or long. All that really matters is that the dress represents your essence when you’re onstage. While the style of your dress is important, the color of your evening gown also plays into the vibe you’ll portray to the judges and the audience.

Angelena Plummer – a licensed professional counselor and certified professional coach in Rapid City, SD – says, “Color can both enhance and inhibit our moods, attitudes, and self-expression. Start by becoming aware of what colors feel the best for you. Be aware of the colors that lift your confidence and your spirit. Which colors do you have the most fun in?”

In other words, these are your precious moments on stage where all eyes are fixed on you. Make your time count by choosing the color of dress that best radiates the personality you hope to portray.

Based on my years observing and coaching pageants, I’ve created my own guide based on what evening gown colors can reflect onto your personality:

            Black. You are wise, reserved, refined and elegant. You might also be edgy and have a mysterious side. Choosing the color black is often an unpopular choice in pageants – possibly because of the association with funerals – but because it’s not a popular color, it makes the woman who does choose this color stand out as unique. In its favor, black is a classic color that never goes out of style. It also flatters every body shape by slimming it. I recommend this color for Miss contestants, who are in a more mature phase of their lives than Teens.

            White. You are pure, innocent, virginal, and angelic. White is likely the most popular color for pageant evening gowns. Since many of the contestants will choose a white gown, the problem is that you won’t stand out if you also pick it. It’s one of the safest pageant dress colors on the planet. Therefore, it can work to your advantage or your disadvantage. The key is: don’t let the white dress wear you. You must wear the white dress. Selecting a white dress with unique beading, detail work, or cutting is a good choice, because at least you will have a chance of being noticed. White works for both Miss and Teen contestants.

            Gray. Just don’t. Go bold – pick white or black instead of gray. Gray is an ashen color that washes people out and doesn’t have much of a “Wow” factor. Gray is fine for prom, but not for the spotlights of pageantry.

            Champagne. This is the white dress’ stepsister. You aren’t as innocent as the girl who wears white, but you are still wholesome. Champagne can be a great alternative for Miss or Teen contestants who want to stray from the traditional white gown, but who don’t want to stray too far. Tip: Look for a dress with some bling. Champagne excels when it has some sparkle.

            Red. You are vibrant, vivacious, and confident. In other words, you’re a firecracker! You are classy but you also have a trendy edge. Red is one of my personal favorite colors for pageant gowns, because it complements almost any skin tone and hair color, and it emanates energy. Red is a good choice for both Teens and Misses.

            Pink/Peach. You are soft, delicate, tranquil, and kind. Pink or peach are great colors for those with fair skin and blonde hair. This color family is perfect for Teens, but a dress in this shade might read too young or babyish for Misses.

            Blue. You are intelligent, precise, level-headed, and powerful. Blue projects immense confidence and class. In my mind, blue reads future politician, CEO, doctor or lawyer. It’s a color that is suitable for both Misses and Teens, and a color that is growing in popularity among winning pageant gowns.

            Purple. You are regal, sophisticated, and adventurous. Your style is rich and respectable, but you also have a bit of a wild side. Purple is a great color for all ages of Misses and Teens; and it stands out as fun, yet Queen-like onstage.

            Green. You are earthy, like a precious gem. You are smart, cunning and diplomatic in your interactions with others. You may be slightly quirky. Green is a vibrant color for Misses and Teens who want to get noticed.

            Yellow/Orange. You are sassy, have a great sense of humor, and an artistic side. Yellow and orange aren’t my favorite colors for pageant dresses, because they seem a bit too experiential for my preference. I think they are better for Teens because they have a younger and more carefree vibe.

“Avoid colors that don’t give you a lift or spark joy in your world,” Plummer concludes. “The famous American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.’ Be true to yourself, and wear the colors of your spirit.”

Molly Golden

Molly Golden is a wife, an idealist, and a beauty product junkie living in Rapid City, SD. She’s also a freelance writer and marketing consultant. She loves traveling (but hates flying), yoga, indie music, fine art, new age spirituality, aromatherapy baths, pedicures, massages, dark chocolate, and dry red wine. Oh, she also reads fashion magazines like they’re going out of style!