OTTUMWA — Residents didn’t have to go to New York or Milan to enjoy a fashion show on Wednesday. They just had to go to the 4-H expo.
4-H members of different ages showed off their clothes on stage. Jan Berner judged the fashion show. Before the show, County Youth Coordinator Cindy Emery and Berner had the children pick out outfits ranging from casual to formal for less than $15.
Every participant was judged in their division and awarded on their outfits based on how well they completed the “$15 challenge.” Reasons for why these kids choose their outfits were also taken into consideration.
Marin Plate, a Clover Kids member in kindergarten, won first place for her cotton dress. “I chose this outfit because dresses are my very favorite thing to wear,” Plate said. “The shoes were a perfect match. I’m excited to participate in my very first expo.”
Plate’s older sister, Talise, won third place in the junior member division for her green American Girl party dress. She chose her outfit based on her favorite American Girl doll. “I like tea parties and wanted a dress that made me feel like I was going to attend one.”
Mikayla Schuttlefield won first place in the junior member division for her white T-shirt and denim shorts. Schuttefield said she discovered the challenge of finding clothes that fit at thrift stores and the excitement of finding a deal. “I learned different brands of clothing fit differently,” she said. “I enjoy comfortable clothing I can wear everyday. I also choose a touch of red for a patriotic look.”
Lizzy Jones placed second in the junior division for her denim shorts and a short sleeved pink V-neck. “This is a very comfortable outfit that can be worn to school,” she said. “You can mix this up by taking the long sleeve and tying it around your waste and also wear jeans in the fall and winter.”
Kaitlyn Emery, who won first place in the senior member division, won first place for her blue formal dress. “I chose this dress because it makes me feel beautiful,” she said.
Many of the participants enjoyed the show, but Talise Plate enjoyed shopping for the $15 challenge. “My favorite part of the expo is shopping for the $15 challenge. I always want to beat my best total,” she said.
Emery said she enjoyed attending. “It’s a fun thing for the kids to participate in,” she said. “We definitely have fun each year. It was a great turnout this year.”