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Getting Crowned is Classy… and the Ultimate Total Sorority Move too!

The blue-eyed beauty (pictured above) is none other than Lauren Hagerty, Miss Albany 2012. She not only reps her home state of New York but also the University of Connecticut. Aside from being a typical college Sophomore and an Allied Health major, Lauren is a fun and fashionable trendsetter of her classy style! Lauren is more than just a beautiful face. She is a sister of Delta Zeta and the chapter’s Merchandising Chair, an outstanding student, an advocate for ill children, and of course…a pageant queen!

Lauren has a passion for pageants. She competed in her first pageant when she was 13 years old. Lauren looks back and reflects on her very first pageant, “It was the Miss Teen New York Scholarship and Recognition pageant. I had no idea what I was doing and my dress was hideous!” Interestingly enough, Lauren never wanted to be the typical “pageant girl”. So why does she do it?

“It was something that I really enjoyed doing for myself. And truthfully, throughout middle school and high school, I never really talked about it. Once I came to college and people started realizing I participated in pageants, everyone was so shocked and interested! Doing Pageants is just a normal part of my life! Now, I have learned to embrace it because competing has made a huge impact on my life. It has shaped me into the woman I am today, which I love sharing with people.”

Lauren’s favorite pageant moment happens during every pageant. She says, “It’s that moment right before they call my name to do my walk. It’s the only time when EVERYONE’S eyes are on me. I get to show off the greatest thing I have… myself! I used to be so nervous when they called my name, but now I embrace it. My heart starts beating and all I can think about is that little voice in my head saying, ‘you got this girl, go get ’em!'”

Lauren looks up to others, just as others look up to her. Lauren’s role model is Alyssa Campanella, Miss California USA 2011/Miss USA 2011. Lauren is inspired by her beauty and down-to-earth personality. Lauren told me:

“Before the national pageant, Alyssa was torn on the decision to wear the crowd-pleasing neutral white or cream dress or her favorite green dress, nicknamed ‘the green monster,’ which multiple stylists advised her to put back. It was a huge gamble, but Alyssa wore the dress she felt most confident in and won! Confidence is sexy, not what you’re wearing!”

Lauren has an endless amount of fans and supporters from her sorority, friends, and family. Her family is her biggest support system as they take her to all the dress fittings, travel across the state of New York to watch her compete, and make an overall pretty big investment in her pageant priorities. When it comes to Lauren’s friends, they always have her back. She says, “My friends have been fantastic… especially my sisters of Delta Zeta. They were there for me when I interviewed in New York City for States and at prelims with HUGE signs! I couldn’t help but cry on stage!”*

Lauren has a jammed packed schedule, always trying to keep a balance. Lauren values her academic and social life as well as various philanthropies. Throughout her rein as Miss Albany, many of her fundraisers have benefitted HuskyTHON, the 18 hour dance marathon at UCONN for the Connecticut Children’s Hospital. Lauren danced for the Delta Zeta team at HuskyTHON this past weekend. She raised hundreds of dollars, which helped the DZ team take the title of Top Fundraiser with $21,310.39 (that’s all For The Kids)! Back in New York, Lauren makes local appearances to promote positive self image, which she finds “SO important for young women today!”

Wondering if Lauren is participating in any pageants in the near future?

“I’m thinking about competing in a ‘Perfect’ pageant this summer, but I want to take time off and really get myself into a good state of mind mentally and physically to compete in States once I turn 21. Who am I kidding though? I will most likely be competing in Miss Hudson Valley again this year!”

Well, myself and our sisters totally support Lauren’s decisions. We cannot wait to see her get crowned again! I know I am no pageant pro… so if you need some girl-to-girl advice on pageant participation, Lauren has some for YOU:

“I say the second you get the opportunity, TAKE IT. It is an experience of a lifetime, even if you don’t win a crown or a title! The friends I’ve made and the opportunities that have been opened for me are unexplainable. The confidence you gain is worth more than 1000 ‘likes’ on a Facebook picture; it’s you, in the flesh, on stage, looking awesome, and showing your amazing self to hundreds of people. Who wouldn’t want that!?”

Lauren’s style inspiration comes from a “SICK obsession” with Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific. Recently, Blair has inspired almost all of Lauren’s outfits! Lauren thinks her style is “classically chic, but totally wearable,” which is exactly how she likes to dress. Well, great choice Lauren… one of my personal favorites as well! Lauren loves high heels, bows, and glitter just as much as I do (so she obviously has an impeccable grace)! If you like what you see… check out Lauren’s blog, Big Dreams, Little Pockets to get some everyday beauty and fashion tips and see more of her sophisticated style. Have I mentioned she is THE BEST fake eyelash applicator? She saved me from a fake eyelash faux pas last Halloween. If she can help me, I am sure she can help you too!

Want to get to know Lauren a bit better? Here are some of her favorite things and her reasons why:

Favorite color: Purple. “My coach makes fun of me though because 99% of my pageant attire is cobalt blue. She calls me ‘the blue girl.’ What can I say? I feel confident in it!”

Favorite evening wear designer: Jovani. “From the couture closet to the cute short dresses, there is something gorgeous for everyone.”

Favorite shoe designer: “My coach is famous for her ability to find the most gorgeous shoes for the cheapest prices, so as embarrassing as it is, I don’t own any designer shoes! My favorite shoes are my cheetah wedges I got from Charlotte Russe last summer. I wear them way more than I should.”

Favorite store: Forever 21. With her hometown hosting the second biggest store in the world, it’s a no brainer! “I could spend hours in there and everything I find is so unique. I also can’t help but love how inexpensive it is.”

Favorite nail polish color: OPI Strawberry Margarita. “I can spot it from a mile away. It reminds me of summertime!”

Favorite travel destination: Lake George. “My family has been going to Lake George since I was a baby and I absolutely love it. It’s the only place where everyone’s cell phones are off because there is no service so we get to have nice family time. I also love to water-ski, wakeboard, and cliff jump, which is perfect on the lake because it’s so big!”

Favorite restaurant: Panera. “The strawberry poppy seed salad is to die for. I mark the days on my calendar waiting for it to come out every summer.”

Favorite Song Right Now: Turn Me On by David Guetta. “Every time I hear it I freak out and start dancing… I’m so weird.” Well then I must be weird too because I LOVE that song! SO fun to dance to, especially on New Year’s Eve. I think our sisters Kaci and KC would agree!

Favorite Total Sorority Move: Missing a party because you had to go win a pageant. TSM.

Lauren and I have a lot in common from our classic style and song choice to our lifelong sisterhood. Delta Zeta is what brought Lauren and I together as friends, as sisters. As DZ means a lot to me, it means just as much to Lauren. She says, “Delta Zeta is my life. I never thought it was possible to know so many strong-willed, intelligent, beautiful women, let alone be able to call them my sisters. The bond we share is stronger than any friendship, and the experiences we’ve shared will be memories I will never forget. Joining a sorority was the best decision of my college career but joining Delta Zeta was the best decision of my life.” Lauren Hagerty is an All-American girl: a steadfast student, pageant queen, fashionista, and Delta Zeta sister all-in-one. Lauren, you have already accomplished so much, but there is a multitude more to come. You may not know where life will take you, but I know that wherever you go, you will go with elegance. xx

*Help support Lauren by “Liking” her page on Facebook!


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Live, Laugh, Lilly

Who would have thought that a little lemonade stand would lead to one of the classiest fashion obsessions of all time? Lilly Pulitzer has created an elegant empire that brings out the socialite in everyone who wears it. There is a men’s and children’s collection too!

During UConn’s fall sorority recruitment this year, Delta Zeta dedicated a day to pink and green. A few sisters and I were proud to pose with our ΔZ letters while wearing our color coordinated Lilly Pulitzer dresses. The only thing that excites us more than bows and pearls is getting to wear our Lilly dresses… well, for me at least!

Lilly Pulitzer has completely revolutionized the way women wear pink and green. Delta Zeta is lucky enough to not only share its favorite colors with Lilly Pulitzer, but to have its own unique sorority pattern (shown below). Lilly Pulitzer has done an excellent job with the design, as it expresses what best represents Delta Zeta: pink and green, the killarney rose, the roman lamp, and the turtle.

Lilly Pulitzer currently features three other sorority patterns, with five more coming soon!

Although the Lilly season has just about come to an end here in Connecticut, we will be sure to remember the pretty prints and pieces that brought smiles to our faces all summer long. Lilly Pulitzer features various collections that compliment the colder months, but the summer dresses will have to hibernate for the winter. Not to worry…there are also everyday accessories, home decorations, and office supplies to fulfill your Lilly-loving needs year round.

Where do I get my Lilly? Splash of Pink in Westport, CT is my favorite local Lilly shop, which has an online component as well. Also, Lifeguard Press is an online site that I use to purchase Lilly stationary and gifts. Many department stores and boutiques around the country carry Lilly Pulitzer collections as well!

Here are my “Top 20 Lilly Pulitzer must haves” currently available for purchase:

1. Personalized Ice Bucket in White Zin, $49
2. Resort Chic Metallic Wedge Leopard, $198
3. Cocktail Shaker in Shaken Up, $39.95
4. Acrylic Wine Glasses in Cabanarama, $19.95
5. Tumblers in Floaters, $14.95
6. Acrylic Tumbler with Straw in Nice To See You, $14.95
7. Ink Pen in Patchtastic, $19.95
8. iPhone 4 Case in Bloomers, $24.95
9. Market Bag in Ten Speed, $9.95
10. It’s All About Me Diary in Elephant Hearts, $14.95
11. Opening Night Clutch in Black, $88
12. Circle Notes in Taboo, $15.95
13. Thermal Mug in First Call, $14.95
14. Strike It Hot! Matches in Yeah Baby, $3.95
15. Picture Frame in Have A Coctel, $18.95
16. Latte Da! Mug in Desert Tort, $14.95
17. Highlighters in Spring 2010, $9.95
18. Zippity-do Make-up Bag in Delta Zeta, $38
19. Melamine Bowl, $9.95
20. 2011-2012 Large Agenda, $24.95

And always remember to live, laugh, LILLY!

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