Carolyn Hector on Pageants and Pomp

Carolyn Hector's The Bachelor and the Beauty QueenWe love pretty dresses as much as the next gal, and today Carolyn Hector‘s here to tell us why gowns have power. She knows of what she speaks, as she researched her latest romance, The Bachelor and the Beauty Queen, out this week. Read on to find out what it all means, and to peek at the gown that helped to inpsire Carolyn’s tale.

A pageant just isn’t a pageant without the dress. I once mocked what I didn’t understand, but they do have power. Put any person with a snarky sense of humor in one and they will all stand a little straighter and raise their hands to do the slow pageant wave. Why is that? I mean, pageants have typically three categories; talent, bathing suit and the evening gown. We don’t wave when we put on a bikini. We don’t wave after belting out our favorite songs. Whether it is a long-sequined evening gown, a fluffy cupcake dress or even a ball gown, your hand goes up and your demeanor changes. Sure, you might do the pageant wave in jest, but remember, it’s not something you do in your regular clothes.

Pageant dresses offer certain bravado. These one-of-a-kind pieces have boosted confidences and stood the test of time. In contrast, swimsuits have changed from one-piece to two and flip-flopped over the decades. Did you know that in 1946, the Miss America Pageant issued identical bikinis to all the contestants? Have you noticed that when the winner is crowned, she’s wearing her evening gown? It’s like they’re saving the best for last. Having the right dress makes all the difference between arriving at a ball and making an entrance.

In The Bachelor and the Beauty Queen, Lexi Pendergrass is both a former pageant girl and a designer. Think of her as a dress whisperer, if you may, with a dress shop. The story starts off with a stolen gown being worn by a teen who needs to hide it from her family.

The dress below inspired me because each time the garment began to form in Lexi’s mind, she had a moment alone with her hero, Stephen Reyes. These two people couldn’t be more different, and yet when they get together, they blend into a beautiful sight. There are several moments within the story where they are together right between the hours of day and evening, that spectacular blend where day meets night, leaving you with a breathtaking view. What do you think? Did I capture the moment?

Orange Inspiration Dress

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