What Do I Wear?

Seeing all of the 2013 contestants’ photos appearing on the website brings some bittersweet feelings. While I am SO excited to meet all of you and watch you all create lasting memories, I cannot believe how quickly time is passing. I have tried to think back to this time last year. I remember the number one thing that my mom and I stressed about was my wardrobe! In case you haven’t noticed, I definitely have an eye for sparkle!  So naturally, the more the outfit sparkled, the more I loved it!

My mom, on the other hand, is an extremely critical thinker. She realizes that your outfit choices say a lot about who you are as a person, and she is absolutely right! During your week at competition, all eyes will be on you. Whether you are out and about touring Chicago or even walking around the hotel, it is important to express yourself in a positive manner through your outfit choices. Of course, not everyone has the same personality and it is VERY important that your outfits express YOUR personality. However, below are several examples of the outfits that I chose.

Orientation Day:

My orientation dress was designed especially for me by Fernando Wong with the help of Joey Retherford’s keen eye for fashion at the Competitive Image. I loved the bright colors that were perfect for the beautiful Chicago summer weather!


For my one-one-one interviews with the judges, I chose this simple Jennifer Roberts dress with a ruffle cropped jacket. I normally would not have chosen something so simple, but I felt like the simplicity of my dress worked well with my rather strong personality. We also chose a simple earring and hairstyle so the judges could focus on my message and not my appearance.

Out and About in Downtown Chicago:

This BCBG dress is still one of my all-time favorites! Since we visited the Boys and Girls Club, I wanted to make sure that I looked fun and personable while still keeping my look polished. Length is very important on this day since you will be doing LOTS of kneeling and sitting with your Boys and Girls Club buddy.

Group Photo/ Dinner

High-low was definitely very fashionable during the spring and summer of 2012. I actually wore my prom dress, part of the Sherri Hill Spring 2012 collection, for the group photo and dinner. My mom was so happy that I actually “recycled” a dress!


As I mentioned before, your clothes should reflect your personality! Last year, contestants wore all kinds of outfits during rehearsals. The judges only watch one rehearsal, so it definitely is not necessary to wear a cocktail dress to every rehearsal. Several girls had cute, bedazzled sweat suits and fun, summery outfits, as well. Personally, I LOVE to get dressed up and jump at any opportunity to wear something flashy. It is definitely okay to be comfortable at rehearsals because they do last for a majority of your day. Just remember that all eyes are on you…so keep it classy!

Judges’ Rehearsal

The staff will inform you which day the judges will come to rehearsal. Don’t worry…they make sure to wait until the contestants are comfortable with the opening number. I was really worried about looking silly, but luckily, the judges’ rehearsal was on the Thursday before Teen Finals night. This is definitely the day to wear your favorite outfit because it is the judges’ first chance to watch all of the contestants performing together.

Evening Gown

There is absolutely no right or wrong evening gown. No one gown looks beautiful on everyone. It is SO important that you feel beautiful and confident in your evening gown. My evening gown was a custom Sherri Hill gown. However, most people are really surprised to know that it originally wasn’t even mine! The moment I saw my friend compete in the gown, I knew it was the most beautiful and elegant gown I had ever seen. Surprisingly, it fit my body perfectly, but more importantly, it fit my personality perfectly!

I hope these photos help you get a better idea of what you will need for your week at competition. Remember…the most important thing to remember is to be you! There is only one you, and staying true to yourself is what will make you shine!

All my love,



  1. Caroline, As a mother of a contestant (Gretta Herzog - CO), I want to thank you for posting this. It is EXACTLLY what we need to help us in our planning. Thank you so much. You are a beautiful young lady and a great role model. Thank you very much. Kelly Herzog


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