#ICYMI – on Nov 9, 2019, I got engaged! (YAY!) So now after 5 weeks of sporting my new bling on my left hand rather than the bling of a crown on my head, I’m feeling the wedding planning stress so taking breaks to write these blogs are super relaxing! So this engagement was truly a surprise-added chapter to Life After the Crown so I’m just gonna roll with it for a while!
My biggest challenge as a former pageant girl was finding a wedding dress that wasn’t a pageant dress. I even made it a point to tell the people I worked with that I’m a has-been looking for a complete opposite look. Geez was that difficult walking into a dress store with HUNDREDS of beautiful dresses and have to force my brain to (1) stop looking at the dresses as if I were looking for one of my clients and (2) look for a WEDDING dress vs a pageant dress for myself. One of my signature evening wear colors has always been red or white. Actually, when I was 12, one of my first big girl state level competition dresses was a ball gown style wedding dress.
So after a few dress racks, I was getting the hang of it and after three stores, 21 dresses, and two days, I finally said “YES” to the dress! I was super scared to say yes at first because I was terrified I was making the wrong choice. This would be the first wedding purchase and second decision. (The day before we picked the wedding colors.) But after ruling out all the other dresses for various reasons, I stood in THAT dress with all of its accessories for half an hour just staring. I had liked it. Then, I loved it. So when the tears started to fall, I knew this was THE DRESS I would be married in. Which leads me into the real topic of today’s blog: When you’re no longer under the judge’s evaluating eye or in front of the camera’s lens, how do you train your brain to shop for “common life”?
Sounds silly, I know, but it’s true. Now being that my job is still pageants, every time I walk into any store my brain looks for things that I can turn into pageant wardrobe for my girls. I see dresses that can be for interview or introduction or spokesmodel (speech). I see outfits that can be turned into talent, fun fashion, runway, or be used for casual wear, etc. Pageant moms, you know what I’m talking about! These “select” outfits, shoes, and accessories do NOT get put away in the regular closet. No, these go into the “pageant closet” and are never touched until it’s competition time. So, pageant girls, think about how your brain sees the clothes in a store when you’re shopping for pageants vs when you’re shopping for every-day clothes. You might consider “SALE” vs “High End.” There is no more worrying about: Will the judges like this? Is this original enough? Will everyone else have this same style?
Breathe easy my friend! You can buy things on sale. You can buy comfy clothes. You can buy clothes you’ll wear more than 1-3 times a year (for competition). You can buy something that the girl behind you is also buying! You can be as fancy as you want or as chill. I wear polos or t-shirts with yoga pants about 7 days a week. It’s rare that I have to get “fancy.” Honestly, I hate shopping so I don’t do it often and when I do, I run into a store and run out. I can kill my Christmas shopping list in half a day if need be! And another truth moment is that my mom usually buys my clothes because (1) she knows what I like and what looks good on me and (2) she buys a bunch of stuff for me to try on and returns what I don’t like. Not to mention, (3) she uses her money! (Yea you should probably know that I’m adopted and the only child so I’m super spoiled! God bless my future husband!)
But there are a few things you might want to keep in mind when shopping for your new wardrobe:
Does it complement my body?
Does it fit the event I’m attending?
Is this style age appropriate?
Can I wear this multiple times and just mix-match with other pieces in my closet?
Am I comfy?
Am I following trends, or can I buy something similar at a resale store? (being environmentally conscious)
Do I love it?
Now that you’re getting new clothes it’s probably time to clear out the pageant closet! There are SOOOO many Facebook pages to sale your pageant wardrobe, but they can be overstocked. You’ll have to be crafty in catching a buyer’s eye. You might even have to lower your price just to move your clothes. Be flexible and realistic when selling your wardrobe. Here’s what I can recommend:
Bring your wardrobe (or pieces) to other pageant events you’re attending to maybe catch a potential buyer’s eye.
Make sure you have good pictures of someone wearing the outfit so potential buyers can see the fit, color, and bling.
Always include the designer, size, if alterations took place, measurements, price, and shipping details
You can also “rent” your clothes to make some extra money until you sell it.
No matter how you decide to sell or market your wardrobe just be happy when you sell a few pieces for extra cash!
So though my many years as a competitor are cherished & treasured, I am surely looking forward to my new chapter of life after the crown. I mean besides having extra cash, extra space in my closet, and wearing affordable, comfy clothes – I’m looking forward to getting married and being a wifey! Just one of the may adventures that happen after retiring (again) from competition. But, after all, there are pageants exclusively for those who have obtained their “MRS.” So … never say never! 😉