Beauty pageant winner giving wardrobe a chance to shine

Candid Closet

August 29, 1996|By Vida Roberts | Vida Roberts,SUN FASHION EDITOR

So what does a beauty pageant winner do during her reign? Ann Coale, Miss Maryland U.S.A., does marketing work for her dad's trucking company, puts in some hours as a fitness trainer, does a little modeling and volunteers for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County, Maryland Special Olympics and the Adult Literacy Education Program.

Her crown leads to the Miss U.S.A. pageant next year, and that leads to the Miss Universe event.

The beauty pageant thing just kind of happened, she says. She graduated from Loyola College last year with a degree in business administration, and she's still looking for a career direction in the fitness business or media work. She entered her first state pageant as a test two years ago, did well, and won on her second attempt in July.

The prospect of personal appearances and a broad range of business contacts sounded like a good learning experience. So far she is booked for the Mushroom Festival parade in Pennsylvania. "Mushrooms are a big deal there," she says.

Has the beauty title dramatically changed the way you present ** yourself?

Since college graduation last year I had to totally change my wardrobe from jeans and T-shirts to something more sophisticated. Before that, I wore a uniform all through John Carroll High School, where I played sports and I didn't think too much about clothes. Now is my time for clothes and expressing myself in a new way.

Were uniforms such a bad thing?

I don't think so now, but I did then. Uniforms sure save time in never having to decide what to wear. Even now, I like to know what I'm going to wear the next day and lay things out the night before.

Have you turned into a fashion plate?

I like to look nice, and I do watch the fashion magazines to keep up on new styles, but I can't imagine some of the things on the runways working for me.

Are you a good shopper?

I love to look for bargains if I have time to dig around in places like the Rack at Nordstrom or Marshalls.

Do you look for designer labels?

I like Ann Taylor or Banana Republic because their clothes are pretty classic. Montage d'Elegance is one of my pageant sponsors, and that's about as fancy as I hope to get.

What do your wear to work?

Working for my dad I can get away with fairly casual clothes, and I don't have to wear a suit, but I will dress up if there's a dinner or sales meeting.

What about your pageant wardrobe?

I have my lucky dress -- a navy blue Vera Wang that I bought at C-Mart for very little. I wore it for my first pageant and again when I won. For the interview part of the pageant I ordered a shimmery lilac suit from Victoria's Secret and changed the buttons.

How extravagant are you expected to be for the competition?

The makeup has to be strong, and there is definitely pageant hair. It has to be big -- the bigger, the better.

Beauty pageants have been the subject of controversy. What has been your experience?

I have met people and learned how to handle myself in public. I'll see what kind of doors the title opens. Meanwhile I'm living at home in Aberdeen with my parents, thinking about my future and enjoying it.

Know anyone with a flair for fashion? Write to Vida Roberts, Candid Closet, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St. Baltimore 21278.

Pub Date: 8/29/96

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