The Right Gown For The Right Competition (Part 2 of 3)

Size doesn’t matter, shape does!

The silhouette, or outline, of your body doesn’t change with diet or exercise because it is based on your skeleton and genes. Your weight may fluctuate throughout the years, but your basic body line cannot be altered. There are six different body shapes. It’s important to know your body type so that you can shop for clothes that emphasize or diminish certain physical features. Here’s a guide to recognize your body shape:

The Hourglass

• Wear the same size top and bottoms.
• Have a clearly defined waist.
• Have a curved bottom.

The Full Hourglass

• Buy a slightly larger top for your bust.
• Waistbands are often too large.
• Straight skirts rise up on you.
• Feel most comfortable in more fluid fabrics.

The Triangle (pear shaped)

• Wear a larger size on your top half than your bottom.
• Have a clearly defined waist.
• Have narrower shoulders than hips.
• Carry weight on your hips and thighs.

The Inverted Triangle

• Wear a larger size on your top half than your bottom.
• Have wider shoulders than your hips.
• Have a straight ribcage.
• Prefer an uncluttered look.

Lean Column

• Wear the same size on your top and bottom halves.
• Have a minimal bust
• Little waist definition.
• Flat hips and bottom.

The Rectangle

• Shoulders and hips in line.
• No waist definition.
• Flat hips and bottom.
• Extra weight around your middle.

The Round (apple shaped)

• Rounded shoulders.
• Fullness in the tummy area.
• Wonderful shapely legs.
• Feel uncomfortable when clothes are tucked in.

The aim in choosing clothing is to create the illusion of having a neat hourglass figure and look proportional. That means:

• Shoulders and hips in line
• A defined bust
• A waist (even with a softly curved tummy)
• A curved bottom

Choosing the Right Gown

To emphasize a physical trait you like, look for a gown (or clothing) with stones, or a style or special feature to bring attention to that part of your body. The aim is to look so stunningly beautiful that you take the judges’ breath away.

Curve hugging gowns in luxurious crepes, beaded fabrics, French lace with crystals, sparkling brocades, gold or silver metallic, or rich velvet trimmed with rhinestones have all been worn with success.

To project the right image, especially for teen contests, dresses should be appropriate for the age. Contestants are expected to wear floor-length dresses that convey a suitably youthful, wholesome image and look their age. Gowns in white, and pastels in soft fabrics like chiffon, tulle, georgette, satin, and sometimes velvet are popular with lace trims, pearl or bead embroidery, dainty necklines, puffed or ruffled sleeves, peplums and gathered or tiered skirts. They must look as young and fresh as possible.

Although the gown is not officially judged, the images a contestant creates in that gown reveals what personal style she would bring to the title that would set her apart from other contenders. Some of the qualities judges consider include: first impressions; facial beauty; poise, presence and composure; appropriate image for the pageant; appropriate for the age; personality projection and charisma; if the gown and the girl compliments each other; carriage, walk posture, modelling technique; grace and composure under pressure; proper fit; naturalness, youthfulness and grooming; good taste; overall appearance.

…to be cont.