Winning on a Budget: Evening Gown

When competing for Miss Teen International or Miss International, the evening gown score is 20% of your total. For Mrs. International, evening gown is 25% of your total – needless to say, it’s important! One thing to keep in mind, is while every girl may wish she had a $5000 evening gown, what really makes the difference is how you WORK that evening gown on stage. If you are confident and feel beautiful, that will show through and you will get high marks in the evening gown competition.

That being said, I also believe it is important to have a high quality evening gown in order to feel beautiful and be the most confident. If you can afford it (or if you can raise enough money through sponsors) an evening gown is a great thing to spend that money on! But if not, that’s okay too. There are so many ways you can find a special evening gown if you are on a budget.

Juliana & I both have posted before about what to look for in the perfect evening gown. You need to keep in mind fit, style, and the fact that it needs to be age appropriate. My advice is to have something in mind before you start searching.

When you’re ready, there are a few places to try if you’re looking to stay within a certain budget. My favorite way is through Facebook. At my state pageant, I was able to borrow my entire competition wardrobe at NO CHARGE from a wonderful pageant friend with fabulous taste! We just did a little bartering (I loaned her some clothes too) I realize that doesn’t work for everyone, but really it doesn’t hurt to send out Facebook messages to girls whose wardrobe you admire & ask if you can rent/borrow/buy something from them. The worst they can do is say No! And if you are worried about borrowing something because it “has been seen before” – that should not be a consideration. I won every competition at my state pageant and the National pageant with a borrowed wardrobe – it’s about how you are on stage, not just about the clothes!

Another great way to save is to rent clothes or purchase previously worn dresses from girls you may not know! If you Google “pageant dress resale,” there are a bunch of great options that come up! My take on it is, there are so many fabulous gowns out there already, if you look hard enough you can find something you love at a great price!!

Last year, I found the perfect gown for Miss International on The original price paid by the owner was about $5000. The gown was worn by a contestant from West Virginia in the Miss America pageant in 2009. I was able to see a video of the gown in action, which was great! I wasn’t able to pay the price she was asking for resale, so I emailed her and asked if she would be willing to rent it to me instead. “Ask & ye shall receive!” Even though this was the most I have EVER paid for a gown ($400), it was well worth it. Not only did she allow me to rent it, she sent it to me so I could try it on & be sure that it would work! I mailed it back so she could give up her crown in it, and then she mailed it right back to me. Aren’t pageant girls just the sweetest??

It was a little bit long & a little bit big in the waist, but with the help of my wonderful mom, those were both easy fixes that could be let back out when we sent the gown back.

To summarize, if I had the money to spend on a fabulous custom gown, I certainly would!! But if you don’t, that doesn’t mean it should cost you the crown. Do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask people for help – someone will say YES! Good luck & happy shopping!!

Ashley Smith


Popular Posts