Show Us Your Creativity, I Mean Shoes

For the first time in years, it didn’t rain for the iconic “Show Us Your Shoes” parade held leading up to the Miss America competition.  The parade is the only of its kind-working its way down the oceanfront boardwalk, featuring 52 Miss America contestants in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere.

The tradition is a way for the contestants to show a fun aspect of their personality while also showcasing something interesting about their state or themselves through their outfit and shoe design.  Many women over the years have embraced a sports team (a handful did this year) or taken a unique state fact and turned it into an ensemble.  Here are some dazzling outfits that stood out and others that

Over the top (A.K.A Perfect), “YAS QWEEN” parade outfits:

1. Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis-A couple muppets stole the show as they made their way down the 2 mile boardwalk stretch with Miss Mississippi.  The original naming of Kermit came from Jim Henson’s (the man who created him) childhood friend Kermit Scott.  The well-known character was born in Leland, Mississippi.  Laura Lee Lewis’ fun fact about her state truly came to life with her bright pink outfit matching the Miss Piggy on her shoes against the contrasting green of Kermit and her hair piece.  The detail work on this outfit was absolutely incredible!  Well done Mississippi, well done.2. Miss Washington Alicia Cooper-Did you know the first Starbucks opened in Washington in 1971?  Alicia Cooper channeled her inner coffee loving, mermaid self by sporting an ADORABLE Starbucks outfit.  I may be slightly biased because I’m a coffee addict (especially when it comes to the cup with the green straw), however, I found Alicia’s outfit to be just the right balance between simplicity and cuteness while not overdoing it.  Loved ever bit from the cape attachment to the tip of her heels!

3. Miss Texas Caroline Carothers- This “yellow rose of Texas” kept it sweet and southern with her Show Us Your Shoes parade outfit.  Classic cowboy boots were glamorized with crystals in the shape of yellow roses along with other bedazzled detail work.  Caroline’s yellow rose hair piece popped against her gorgeous red hair and the additions of small yellow roses along her dress made the entire ensemble come together.4. Miss North Carolina McKenzie Faggart- Ready…set…go!  NASCAR’s home state of North Carolina prompted this year’s representative to “race to the crown” adorned in a checkered flag skirt attachment with corresponding colored flags fanning from her back.  I absolutely love all the detail of this outfit from the yellow underlay of the skirt, to the blue crystal belt, to the trendy choker, and embellishment on the sleeves of the jumpsuit-well done McKenzie!5. Miss Arkansas Savvy Shields- I thought Savvy did an awesome job depicting the Apple Blossom State!  The flower cape,l and head wreath really tied things together.  Her shoes were a relatively basic silver sparkle with pink blossom flowers lining the edges-super cute and eye catching!6. Miss Illinois Jaryn Franklin-In John Deer green, Miss Illinois cruised down the parade route a little more sparkly than a typical tractor but certainly eye catching.  Her dress matched her subtle green hair piece perfectly and her yellow and green shoes were complete with toy John Deer tractors glued to the toes!  John Deer started in Illinois in 1837 as a way for pioneer farmed to cut clean furrows through sticky Mkdwest praire soil.7. Miss Minnesota Madeline Van Ert-Paying tribute to the late music icon, Prince, Madeline sported a purple velvet jacket with a white Ruffles undershirt.  Her shoes? Bejeweled in purple crystals of course with Prince’s love symbol lining the heel of her shoe.  Prince was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and passed away in April of this year.8. Miss New Jersey Brenna Weick-In 1974, New Jersey voters voted against legalizing casino gambling statewide, but two years later approved a new referendum which legalized casinos, but restricted them to A.C. At that time, Nevada was the only state with legal casino gambling. Resorts in Atlantic City was the first casino to open in 1978.  Weick’s mom created her casino themed outfit out of a tutu, rhinestones, poker chips, playing cards, and dice.  On her @MissAmericaNJ Instagram account she said, “I’m so proud to represent New Jersey and all of its proud (and LOUD) citizens!”9. Miss Nebraska Aleah Peters- Got corn? Aleah Peters does!  About 1.88 billion bushels of corn were grown in the state of Nebraska in 2012 spanning across 13.7 million acres of land…wow!  Peters channeled that “Cornhusker State” nickname by wearing a bright yellow dress with fake husks lining her back and small husk earrings falling from her earlobes.   Her shoes were studded in green and yellow with glittered husk leaves stretching out from her ankle.  Nebraska is the third largest corn-producing state in the U.S.10. Miss Kansas Kendall Schoenekase-This parade outfit was ready to take flight in a sleek, sophisticated, but historic fashion.  Kendall wore a stunning off the shoulder white jumpsuit with a red scarf tied around her neck and skirt attachment with a crystal airplane adorning it.  Her shoes were completely covered in red gems with plane wings coming out the sides.  Her outfit paid homage to Anerican aviation pioneer, Amelia Earhart who was born in Atchison, Kansas.  Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean (the goggles were the “icing on the cake” to make this Show Us Your Shoes Parade outfit a memorable one).11. Miss Florida Courtbey Sexton-After an attack unfolded at a night club in Orlando just a few month ago, Miss Florida decided to acknowledge the 49 people who were killed and 43 wounded others with her pride outfit. Her shoes were bedazzled with rainbow gems and she wore a simple (yet sexy and classy) salmon colored dress, holding a sign that said “#Orlando UNITED We Stand Togeter As One Community,” 

And then there were some parade outfits that could’ve used a little more glitz, detail work, and creativity:

1. Miss Vermont Rylee Field-Although the Wisconsin girl in me loved her bedazzled cow print boots and matching cow blanket draped across the back of the convertible, I wasn’t too pleased with her outfit choice.  It looked as though she just grabbed a flannel out of her closet and a pair of pants and said, “I guess I’ll wear this with my boots for the parade.” 2. Miss Rhode Islams Shruti Nagarajan-I did like the anchor on the bottom of the shoe, but not the fact the shoe was a flip flop.  While the rope served as a “tie” to hold the anchor, I also saw it as an easy way to get out of holding your leg up during the route.  Also, as much as I love the gold accents, I wasn’t a huge fan of the minimal coverage two-piece outfit.  I think a sailor outfit would have paired better with an anchor shoe.3. Miss Puerto Rico Carole Rigual-I’m still questioning exactly what Miss Puerto Rico’s overall design was with her shoes and outfit.  The black sequined outfit and boots were pretty, but not exactly attention grabbing.  I would have loved to see a bright, vivacious outfit that highlighted Puerto Rico’s Spanish heritage or breathtaking natural amenities.4. Miss Iowa Kelly Koch-Highlighting the prevelance of wind mills as an alternate energy source in the state of Iowa and across the country for that matter was a propelling choice (get it?), but I just felt as though Koch could’ve done more with the outfit.  I loved the two-piece outfit, especially the emerald green skirt.  However, I didn’t know what her shoes really were until I saw a different picture up close.5. Miss Michigan Arianna Quan- The padded black boots with orange accents didn’t fit with the classic neutral gown (in my opinion).  Maybe I’m completely missing the theme on this one, but I was a bit confused as she passed me during the parade and am still questioning how everything fits together as I look back at photos.  While the cape dress is stunning and draws my attention straight to Quan’s face, I don’t feel the outfit flowed together well at all.That sums up my thoughts on some of my favorite outfits from this year’s Miss America Show Us Your Shoes parade and others I wasn’t so fond of.  Be sure to comment below and let me know what you think!  Whether you agree or disagree, I’d love to hear your thoughts.




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