The Miss America pageant has been a staple of American culture since its founding in 1921. Although the organization recently celebrated its 100th birthday, much has changed over the years. The event is already marked as a “competition” with “candidates” and there is no longer a swimsuit section. These days, the brand is looking for something more than beauty – Miss America 2020, Camille Schrier, won the competition by conducting a scientific experiment as her talent. With the development of the competition, the dresses also develop. Click in this gallery to see some of the most stunning Miss America dresses of the last 100 years.
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The Miss America evening dress contest has been iconic since the first participation. The look of Margaret Gorman from Washington is proof: she wore an embroidered dress with a dropped waist and finished it with a scarf with an American flag.
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In 1922, Mary Campbell of Ohio was the first Miss America to wear a royal robe, crown, and scepter. She was also the only person in the history of the competition to collect the crown twice – in 1922 and 1923.
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Ruth Malcomson represented her home state of Pennsylvania in a swimsuit and fur coat, and this year took the coveted Golden Mermaid trophy.
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Faye Lanfier of California, right, was crowned Miss America in 1925. The beauty queen is seen here behind the scenes with her contestants.
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Norma Smallwood from Oklahoma added flair to her 20s-style dress with a velvety pink ribbon.
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Lois Delander of Illinois looked glamorous in a silver dress with fringed beads for the Miss America pageant in 1927.
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Margaret Ekdal of Tampa, Florida, wore a jumpsuit with her Miss America crown in 1930. She was decades ahead of her time, wearing the look before the bodysuit.
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When Marion Bergeron of Connecticut won Miss America, she was dressed in a suit suitable for a queen. The bats and the renaissance design radiated seriously Romeo and Juliet vibration.
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Henrietta Liver of Pittsburgh wore the ceremonial robe and crown on her golden llama evening gown when she was crowned Miss America in 1935.
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Rose Veronica Coyle of Philadelphia won the title in 1936, wearing a black velvet dress for the occasion.
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Black velvet was huge in the 1930s. Beth Cooper’s dress matched the robe she won when she went from Miss New Jersey to Miss America.
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Marilyn Meseke proved that accessories are the girl’s best friend when she paired her winning stick, crown and bathrobe with this silky smooth look.
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Miss America in 1939, Pat Donnelly, is seen here, modeling a tulle black evening dress with a layered skirt. Its perfectly folded upholstery only adds to the sleek look.
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California’s Rosemary LaPlanche stunned the crowd in a dark swimsuit and voluminous curls at the 1941 election.
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Yolanda Betbese of Alabama looked perfect by the pool in a white bathing suit wearing lace. She can hardly miss with this shiny trophy and a suitable wing.
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Utah’s center-backed Colleen Hutchins is pictured next to the runners-up after her victory. Her white shoulder dress is suitable for a bride.
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Evelyn Hey from Pennsylvania looked simply stunning in a full-length dress with embroidery details.
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Lee Meriwether of California wore a regal evening gown to match her crown for her Miss America portrait. The pleated details and the neckline of the favorite brought the perfect amount of brilliance to the competition.
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Marianne McKnight was the first Miss America winner in South Carolina. She wore a dress full of tulle in front of the Empire State Building.
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Linda Mead from Mississippi smiles in front of the camera in her white strapless dress – a design that was quite risky at the time.
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Jacqueline Mayer of Ohio, left, is the definition of royalty at the contest in her embroidered dress. Everything about the outfit – from the satin skirt to the elegant white gloves – looks straight from a Disney movie.
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Kathleen Knight of Colorado pressed the last fitting before the race. This whole look is pure retro perfection.
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Donna Axum of Arkansas, left, shakes a beaded dress as she prepares to hand over her title to next year’s winner, Vonda Van Dyke.
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The former Miss America, Vonda Kay Van Dyke (1965) and Bess Myerson (1945), posed in embroidered evening gowns while attending the 1966 Miss America pageant.
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Jane Ann Jayrow of Oklahoma wore a powder blue dress with a crystal corsage when she was crowned Miss America in 1967.
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Passing in the late 60’s, the winner Debra Barnes made an impression on the track in this lace dress with short sleeves in 1968.
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Nicki Peck, Miss Indiana, competed for the Miss America pageant in 1968, wearing a white beaded evening gown that is now as timeless as it was then.
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The evening dress with a beaded corsage and a pleated skirt clung to Pamela Eldred’s crown in 1970.
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Katie Hupe from Montana was banned from competing in the Miss America pageant in 1970 because of her political views and opposition to the Vietnam War. Hupe’s courage makes her evening dress for Miss Montana even more beautiful.
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Lori Lea Schaefer left the judges in awe with this brilliant pale blue dress.
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