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Pageant Swimsuit: FAQs and Answers

11, November 2019

Ah, yes. The pageant swimwear portion of competition, a classic. While some competitors love it and some hate it, there's no denying it has its place in the pageant industry. Whether you're looking to buy pageant swimwear for your upcoming competition or you want to know how to rock the swimsuit you already have, you've come to the right place my dear. This guide has everything from how to pick out a pageant swimsuit, the best places to buy pageant swimwear, how to style your final look to how to develop your signature pageant swimwear walk.

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I’m competing in a system with pageant swimwear. How and where can I find the best swimwear for me?

What’s pageant fitness wear? Isn’t it basically the same thing as pageant swimwear?

Do I need anything besides a bathing suit for pageant swimwear competition?

Okay, I got my pageant swimwear picked out. Now how do I rock the stage?

I don’t want a wardrobe malfunction. How do I get my pageant swimwear to stay put onstage?

Let’s talk glam. How should I do my hair and makeup? Do I need to spray tan?

I want to look my absolute best on stage. Do I need a personal trainer?

This is great but, I want a more personalized approach.

Miss South Africa 2018 Tamaryn Green. Photo: Miss Universe Organization

How to select the right pageant swimwear

Contributed by Eddia Watts

While we have seen pageant swimwear disappear from several competitions in the past few years, this area of competition remains a staple in many pageant systems across the globe. With pageant swimwear accounting for a third of your score in a majority of systems, selecting the right swimsuit is one of the most imperative things you have to prepare when you begin your pageant journey. When selecting a pageant swimsuit, you should consider what type of pageant system you’re competing in, your body type and your personal style. In this section, you will find tips and tricks on how to select the proper look.

As always, having the right coach can help to solidify your look and make your swimwear look cohesive with the rest of your wardrobe and your overall pageant branding! Click here for more information about working with Pageant Planet for your next pageant! 

Pageant systems: glamorous or conservative

A lot of thought and consideration has to be taken into account when picking the perfect swimsuit for your upcoming pageant. The first thing you should take into account is what kind of system you’ve entered; Is it more glamorous or conservative? Systems such as Miss USA have always been geared towards the more glamorous sides of the swimsuit competition while Miss America, until they discontinued the swimsuit competition in 2018, was geared more towards the conservative side.

The difference between the two is staggering: glamour pageants often allow more revealing and sexy pageant swimwear styles. Also, glamour pageants tend to look more at the contestant's body from a modelesque view, while conservative pageants have a ‘lifestyle and fitness’ viewpoint. No matter which category your pageant falls into, you are the most important thing in this phase of competition! 

Miss Connecticut USA 2019, Acacia Courtney. Photo: Miss Universe Organization

What differentiates a suit for a more traditional beauty pageant and a more conservative style pageant is the cut of the specific bathing suit. Different cuts of swimsuits can show and hide very different things. A lower cut bikini bottom can elongate the torso, but this type of style reflects a more glamorous pageant that is focused on the beauty of the body and the contestant.

Miss America 2010 contestants. Photo: Getty Images

A higher cut bikini bottom where the cut begins at or above the hip shortens the torso, but also shows the judges to focus more on the physical fitness of the abdominal section and the beauty of the contestant without showing too much skin. It is recommended that for all pageant swimsuits that the bottoms cover up a majority of the bottom. This will be covered more in depth in the ‘fit' section.

Pageant Swimwear For Glitz and Male Pageants 

For a glitz swimwear competition, age-appropriate glamour is always best. Frills, ribbons, crystals, bows and glitter on a glitz swim piece should be a part of the look. Glitz pageant swimwear can also come in one and two-piece sets but should remain as age-appropriate as possible with the tops and bottoms being cut conservatively. 

For a male pageant, it’s all about showing the judges the hard work you’ve put in the gym! The judges want to see your physical fitness and showing them that as much as possible is the best thing to do. Most male beauty pageants are against speedos and male thongs, but the next best thing to wear is a suit along the lines of boy short style swimsuit.

Mister Global Switzerland 2019. Photo: Mister Global Facebook


Anna-Maria De Oliveira, top 15 semi-finalist at Miss New Jersey USA 2019 and a National American Miss spokesperson winner with five years of pageant experience says this, “When picking the proper swimsuit, you have to think of your swimsuit just like Cinderella’s glass slipper: fitting not too tight or not too loose, but just right for your body.”

Fit is the most important aspect during the swimwear competition. A terrible fit, like saggy bottoms or a swimsuit top that’s a few cup sizes too big or small, can distract the judges from looking at your face and the healthy body you’ve built to show to the world. The best way to assure a great fit is to make sure that wherever you choose to shop, you properly measure your body to ensure a great fit! With most swimsuits, you must measure your bust, waist (for a one-piece suit) and hips and compare with a sizing chart to ensure the best fit possible. 

The next best way to ensure a great fitting swimsuit is to visit a dress boutique that specializes in pageantry. Dress boutiques like Henri’s Cloud Nine in Columbus, Ohio, Deja Vu Boutique in Mount Airy, Maryland, or Infusion Pageant Boutique in Warwick, Rhode Island are one stop shops for everything pageantry related. This means that you have the opportunity to try a swimsuit on in person to see how the cut looks on you as well as ensuring a proper fit! Taking the opportunity to try something on in person eliminates a majority of risks associated with online purchasing!

One Piece vs Bikini

Now certain systems either require or have sponsored swimwear in certain styles of one pieces, but if this does not describe your system, how do you choose between a one piece and a bikini? It all goes back to style, comfort and age division! For certain pageant age divisions, like Junior Teen and Teen, it would be best to wear a one piece bathing suit to show a more youthful look to the judges. For these divisions, if you wore a two piece bikini, you risk the chance of appearing older, thereby making the judges not score you higher because you don’t appear to be a teen. 

For any age division after teen, it becomes a question of style and comfort. If you have the choice, are you comfortable appearing in front of the judges in a bikini? Or would you be more comfortable in a one piece? These are questions that you have to sit down with yourself and ask. You also want to think about the kind of style that you want to showcase. Did you find a more modern cut and sophisticated one piece but you feel pressure to go with the two piece because of pageant standards? Go with the one piece you love! It will show on stage in your walk that you love the way you look in that one piece suit! 

No matter which style you choose, make sure that you choose something that resonates with you! Competing in pageantry is all about exploration and finding out more about yourself throughout this journey, and you’re allowed to make style choices that you think are daring and risky!

Color and Style

The color of your suit is one of the most important aspects to make you shine and to bring out your inner confidence onstage. You want to try to pick out tones that would bring out your inner glow, as well as your spray tan. The best way to pick out a color that will be amazing on your skin tone is to determine your skins’ undertone. There are multiple undertones to choose from, but the most important thing you must know is whether you possess a warm undertone or a cool undertone.

While this may seem weird, stage lights will bring out the best of your undertone on stage, thereby making it essential to choose the right colors that only enhance your skin. You possess a warm undertone if you feel that your skin tone takes on a gold color. A cool undertone takes on a more blue hue. The neutral undertone has a combination of both. Take a look at the chart below to see how you can determine the right color for your warm or cool undertone. 

The next thing to take into account when choosing your swimsuit is your personal style! This is the one thing to keep in mind not just for your pageant swimsuit, but for every aspect of your pageant wardrobe is to make sure you’re choosing outfits that reflect your personal style! Do not feel as though you need to wear something because another contestant is wearing it or because it is popular. Never lose sight of who you are in this process.

If you find yourself to be more sophisticated and regal, wear a swimsuit that reflects that with a deeper tone and a more conservative cut. If you find that you are fun and flirty, wear daring colors and accessorize with fun pieces. This is the moment that the judges want to see you for all that you are; do not feel the need to shy away from that and conform! 

Miss and Teen

The differences between a teen and a miss pageant competition are staggering. Although from the outside looking in, you think that they were the exact same, they are not the same at all! The swimwear division for a teen pageant requires teens to look youthful while the opposite is asked for a miss. 

Teen Swimwear 

Teens who compete in a swimwear competition must be able to show their hard work in the gym without trying to appear older than their age. The purpose of the Teen division is to showcase teens! 

Teens should also keep in mind the kinds of styles of swimsuits they wear. Your swimsuit should not reveal too much skin if it’s a bikini. The top shouldn’t show too much cleavage and the bottoms should not be too cheeky. This may seem hard to accomplish, especially with the popular swimwear styles today, but the way to make yourself appear your age is to showcase facial expressions that are more youthful than a Miss competitor would use.

Valentina Sanchez Trivella, Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2014, says this, "Do it with passion, be yourself and have fun! The bikini competition can be intimidating but also extremely fun. That's your time to shine and to showcase all your hard work and most importantly, your personality!" 

Miss Teen USA 2015 Katherine Haik competes for Miss Teen USA. Photo: Miss Universe Organization

For a teen contestant, facial expressions are the make it or break it way to appear your age. If you try to give a more sensual, Miss look to a judge, like smizing with no smile, then you will appear to look older and run the risk of losing points. The best way to avoid this is to ensure that you appear happy onstage all the time. When you’re onstage, you want to try to think of the one thing that makes you absolutely giddy with joy. You need your smile to reach your eyes or else it won’t be a believable smile. Smiling with teeth and smiling without teeth are your two options to choose from, but choose wisely as you want to make sure you’re constantly changing your look onstage to show the wide range of looks you have. 

When you’re walking as a Teen contestant in swimwear, it is imperative that you are not too bouncy in your walk. If you’re too bouncy in your walk, this could be distracting to the judges. You want to have enough bounce in your walk to catch the wind. As you walk, you want to make sure that you take each step with purpose as well. 

Miss Swimwear

Teen contestants who are switching from Teen to Miss often find the switch to be difficult. No fear, that’s why we’re here! When competing as a Miss contestant, you now have a whole array of looks available at your disposal. You are no longer bound by looking your age, and you can achieve any look that you can think of. While the boundaries of fit, see the section above, still matter, you can choose any style that showcases your personality. 

Kara McCullough, Miss USA 2017 competes in the swimsuit competition at Miss District of Columbia 2017. Photo: pageantupdate.info

As a Miss contestant, you are now able to smize at your judges. It’s about showing who you are as a confident woman on a pageant stage. This is when you can look any way you want. You can smirk to show confidence, smize to bring a hint of sensuality to your performance and smile to show your happiness onstage. As with Teens, showing an array of different looks is key, you don’t want to only have one look during this phase of competition. As a Miss though, you could invoke feelings of classy sexiness, happiness and pride! While you walk, you can bounce in your step, but again, try not to bounce so much that it's distracting to your judges. That’s what we don’t want! 

The two age divisions are very different in what they’re looking for, but as long as you remain in your age group as far as styling, walk and facial expressions, you should ace your swimsuit walk! A video that perfectly encapsulates the facial expression differences between miss and teen is Miss USA’s “How to Walk Like a Miss USA” video, where Lu Sierra covers facial expressions for miss and teens. 

Where to buy pageant swimwear

Contributed by Eddia Watts

Now that you know what you’re looking for when it comes to the swimwear competition, you need to know how to find the suit that will let your inner and outer beauty shine. Contestants often do not know where to start, but with the internet at our very fingertips, the bathing suit world is our oyster! Below are seven websites where you can begin your intensive search for the best styles. Keep in mind that certain designers listed may also be carried at your local dress boutique, so you may be able to try some styles on in-store and save on shipping and handling!

Pixton Design Group

Kimberly Pixton Millar, the head designer of Pixton Design Group, has been designing custom made pageant wardrobes for years now, and although swimsuits were apart of her repertoire, in 2018 she made it her mission to focus solely on pageant swimwear and activewear! Featured in New York Fashion Week, Sports Illustrated and by Miss Earth USA contestants, her work is contoured to the body of the wearer and provides the perfect fit.

Although only eleven designs are featured on the Pixton Design website, Kimberley Pixton Millar says, “Pixton Swimwear is available in three stores and we are hoping to continue to expand that number! For pageant girls not in the Carolinas, you can always contact me and order directly.”

While higher in price, the cost is very much worth it for a custom piece with your stamp of style on it! 


Easily the most well-known swimsuit producer in women’s clothing, the most accessible-- as they have a large social media presence and still send out monthly catalogs--, and they were the swimwear sponsors of the 2018 Miss USA pageant. When you type “swimsuits” into google, this website appears on the first page. Their clean-cut lines and array of colors, up to forty to be exact, help you to stand out on the stage. With so many color choices, the chances of having the exact same swimsuit with the exact same color as another contestant are very slim, but even if that were to happen, the judges would look at the women in the suit, and not the suit itself. 

The way that Venus swimsuits are constructed, most of them use bra sizes for tops, meaning a better fit, especially for contestants who tend to fall victim to the ‘small, medium, large’ crisis. They offer one-piece suits, high cut bikinis, and low cut bikinis that suit multiple types of pageants. The great prices and blow out summer sales make Venus suits a killer staple in your pageant wardrobe!

Photo: Venus.com

Lady M Swimwear

Lady M Swimwear has been a swimwear staple for many pageant contestants since 1983! Michael Valley uses his keen sense of design to create simple shapes to elongate and enhance the figure of the women who choose his designs. If you really want to focus all of the attention on you and make sure that your suit isn’t wearing you, Lady M is definitely the way to go! The one-pieces they design are perfect for girls competing in the teen divisions of their respective pageants, as most designs have an open back, but do not show much skin in the front, which maintains her age. Valley also has pieces that are embellished with crystals and hoops, to bring a bit more bling to this phase of the competition! 

Photo: Lady M

Vizcaya Swimwear 

With their amazing choice of fabric and modern styles, Vizcaya Swimwear has multiple styles of swimwear for the pageant contestants competing in a more glamorous event as they do not carry many one-piece styles. Their swimsuits have been worn by many Miss USA and Miss United States titleholders and they’ve been known to have faster shipping than Amazon Prime based upon your location! Their website is easy to navigate and even some suits that aren’t directly labeled ‘competition wear’ would be amazing onstage! 

Photo: Vizcaya Swimwear

Chrystal Bells Pageant Wear 

This section is for the pageant moms out there! Chrystal Bells is the designer for you! After a deep dive of the internet, this pageant wear company was found. They specialize in all areas of glitz competition and every piece is custom made so no two pieces are exactly alike! Based in Illinois, this custom glitz designer will have every area covered for you! The swimwear is age-appropriate and as glitzy as possible! 

Photo: Chrystal Bells

Jamye Shaw Inc

 After almost twenty years of pageant swimwear design, Jamye Shaw and her designs have been featured a multitude of times on the Miss USA stage, like the Miss USA 2007 stage. Her designs not only have different colors but can have different trims as well. Her most recent collections have featured embroidered flowers on the, bringing a new kind of texture and look to the swimwear competition. Every single design, custom or wholesale, brings a freshness and simplicity that is perfect to bring out your inner confidence! This swimwear line can also be found in almost every state in the USA at your local pageant dress boutique, which ensures the perfect fit! 

Miss Tennessee 2017 Caty Davis competing. Photo: Miss America Organization


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How do pageant fitness wear and pageant swimwear differ?

Contributed by Eddia Watts

The fitness competition for teens is a relatively new concept, but it is already taking over the pageant world! While the purposes of both phases of competition remain the same, to show the physical physique and confidence of the contestant! While the switch from swimwear to fitness wear feels scary, the two serve the same purpose and with this article, you’ll be the master of both in no time!


The apparel between the two phases of competition are very different. Teen contestants in the younger ages will be happy to know that in fitness wear, you must wear sneakers. Heels are only accepted during the swimwear competition. Now that contestants do not have to worry about the possibility of a heel making them trip, walking and showing your personality is now easier than it has ever been before! With sneakers, it’s easier to control the amount of wind that blows your hair back and how much you bounce during this phase of competition. 

Teen Earth USA 2018 contestants during swimsuit competition. Photo: Teen Earth USA 2018

In the swimsuit competition, as covered previously, your relegated to a one piece or a bikini, depending on your system, during this phase of competition. For fitness wear, you have a multitude of options to choose from as to what defines ‘fitness wear’. You could choose to wear a sports bra and biker shorts, or a long sleeve compression shirt and slim yoga pants. Whatever you wear to workout, you can choose to wear here! The fitness wear competition gives you the freedom to choose, but you still must show your physique to the judges. 

Ava Tortorici, Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2019, competes in fitness wear at Miss Teen USA 2019. Photo: Miss Universe Organization

As far as the color palette goes, the swimsuit competition is free game on what color you choose. You could choose any color from watermelon pink to dark black when it comes to swimsuits. For fitness wear, it depends upon your system and your director. Somes directors, like D&D Productions who are the directors for the Miss USA system in the states of New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maryland want all of their girls dressed in all black for fitness wear. Whereas the Miss America Outstanding Teen system lets their constants choose whatever colors their heart desires. This is when you want to listen to your director and choose from there. 


The walk between the two phases of competition are very different. Where you don’t want to seem too bouncy during swimsuit, it seems to be the trend that contestants find themselves to be a little more bouncy during fitness wear. Samantha Sarelli, second runner up at Miss Connecticut Teen USA 2019 and Jovani It Girl finalist says, “For fitness wear, make sure you really show confidence in your walk and that it’s slightly bouncy. Make sure there’s something extra to your step!” 

During the fitness wear competition, some contestants like to accentuate their physique by flexing their arms for the judges. This is the sort of posing freedom is not available to the contestant who still participate in the swimwear competition and have the options of one or both hands on hips. Spins are encouraged in both phases of competition as well. 

The main differences between the two phases of competition are the way the contestant presents herself in these two different styles. The apparel and walk are the only things that change, but what should never change is the confidence that you display onstage. That should remain constant! 

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 What jewelry should I wear for pageant swimwear?

Contributed by Maria Giorlando

As it has been mentioned time and time again, pageant swimwear is supposed to be a fun way for you to showcase your physique, confidence, and personality to the judges. Therefore, it is important that your makeup, jewellery, and shoes are complementary to your style and swimsuit choice, and that they are not a distraction during your time on stage. Nothing with large and bright rhinestones, long dangly pieces, or big statement pieces that would draw attention away from your smile and overall look. Whether you are competing in swimwear or fitness wear you should choose jewellery that is minimal, simplistic, and complimentary to your style and outfit choice.

Photo: Pinterest via pageantplanet


In any age category or pageant system, it is not common for a contestant to wear a necklace with their swimwear or fitness wear. Usually you would not want a necklace on during this portion of the competition because it will immediately draw the attention to your chest. Not to say that you don’t want to have attention on each curve of your body, but you do not want to put additional attention on an area that is already exposed as it is. Also, you would not naturally wear a necklace with a swimsuit at the beach or by the pool, so it is not customary to wear one during swimwear or fitness wear.


It is acceptable to wear a small bracelet during the fitness and swimsuit portion of the competition if it is small, dainty, and does not attract too much attention. A good rule-of-thumb to remember is that if your swimsuit has metal on it. For example, if your swimsuit had silver metal on it in any way it is best to wear a silver bracelet to match.


It is common to see pageant contestants wear hoops as the earring of choice for swimsuit. However, this is not the only acceptable earring that can be worn in swimwear. Hoops are nice because they are simple and can match any swimsuit. You can wear a short or medium length earring with your swimsuit or fitness wear as long as it is not more than one or two inches long. Stud earrings will not be seen and earrings longer than two inches are better suited for the evening gown competition.

What shoes should I wear for pageant swimwear?

Contributed by Eddia Watts

Figuring out the shoes to wear for your swimwear for fitness competition is always one of the most difficult parts of completing your wardrobe. Depending on which phases your competition partakes in, it changes the trajectory of exactly which shows you will be wearing. For example, pageant swimwear contestants should wear heels, while fitness contestants should wear sneakers during their fitness round. 

Swimwear Shoes

Depending upon the age range, shoes for swimwear are often meant to compliment your skin tone or your swimsuit. If your age division falls below the pre teen age, your swimsuit shoes can match the colors of your swimwear. Once you reach the teen age and above, your swimwear heels should suit your skin tone, as you want to ensure that your legs look as long and lean as possible onstage. 

Finding the perfect swimsuit heel is about finding these three key elements: perfect heel height to walk in, perfect tone match, and making sure your confidence goes through the roof while wearing them. If you walk in a pair of heels that you think look amazing but your confidence plummets because they’re too high, you can either perfect your walk in them or find a pair of shoes that have a smaller heel that allow you to walk in them 

Heel Height

Heel height is key in finding the perfect shoe! If you start immediately walking in a six inch heel, but find yourself fumbling to walk, you may want to decrease the heel height. Looking taller onstage is important, but looking tall is not about how tall your heel is You can look tall onstage in three inch heels. Looking tall is about presenting yourself to the judges and the audience with as much confidence as possible. It’s about walking with your shoulders back and ensuring that your posture is correct. While heel height may increase your physical height, your aura can add inches to your performance! 

With this in mind, you want to pick a heel height that YOU are comfortable with, not one that you find most contestants walking in. You want to feel confident and sure in your walk, which means practice is your best friend! Certain heel heights can drastically change your walk and your posture, and with this you should practice your walk in as many heel heights as possible to find your perfect fit! 

Skin Tone Match

Elongating your legs to make them look a mile long is one way to make you positively stand out during the swimwear round and give you a model-esque figure. One way to achieve this is to find a pair of heels that perfectly match your skin tone! Finding the perfect nude for your skin tone is one of the most difficult things to do, but a majority of pageant shoewear designers have begun the process of widening their color ranges. 

One shoe that many contestants find themselves gravitating to that comes in nude is Chinese Laundry’s “Teaser 2” shoes found here. Often referred to in the pageant world as ‘Tippy Tops’, these shoes come in three different nude colors that can fit a multitude of women! A shoe brand that is made specifically for women of color is Marc Defang. Another great pageant shoe designer, he offers a distinctive style with four skin tone variances throughout his work. Marc says, “I always think that when a contestant or a model is walking a stage, they should be able to totally forget about the shoes they are wearing and it should become an extension of them. When this happens, you have a winning shoe!’”

Another styling choice, if you cannot find a color that matches your skin tone, is to find a shoe with clear straps. This way, the clear straps can blend in with your skin tone and give you legs that look feet long! Be careful with this method though, as depending on the style of the shoe--if the platform is made of lucite, etc--it may give the wrong impression. 

Teaser 2 Shoes by Chinese Laundry. Photo: Chineselaundry.com

Heels for pageant swimwear should be elegant and fun! Don’t let what everyone else is wearing deter you from choosing a shoe that best fits you! As long as you stick to finding the right height and color, nothing can stop you! Practice makes perfect and once you establish a killer walk, the judges won’t be looking at your shoes, they’ll be looking at you! 

Fitness Wear Shoes

Shoes for fitness wear, on the other hand, are on a completely different spectrum! For fitness wear, sneakers are often worn for the fitness wear competition, as you’re wearing fitness wear! You cannot go wrong with a pair of black, white, or matching color sneakers for this round of competition. The judges are focused on your physique and how you maneuver the stage considering that you are at an advantage. Just like with the heels, your sneakers should become an extension of yourself. They should compliment your wardrobe and ensure that you are showcasing the absolute best version of yourself! 

While the process of finding that perfect Cinderella shoes may seem scary in the beginning, as long as you follow these guidelines, you will be absolutely set in finding your perfect pair of heels! Once you find your shoes, you must practice your heart out! Practice until you get blisters so that way you can stand in your shoes for hours on end without hesitation during your next pageant! 

What accessories do I need for pageant swimwear?

Contributed by Eddia Watts

Accessorizing for the swimwear and fitness competitions is always a part of the competition that takes a bit of thinking. Accessories are parts of your wardrobe that enhance your performance, like bra inserts, sarongs for swimwear, and Spanx for activewear. Now, a majority of these accessories and being allowed to use them are up to your director, but listed below are all the possible accessories you could use for your next pageant! 

Bra Inserts

Bra inserts are a major help for many girls who feel as though they may need help in this area. Considering how much is on display, especially for miss and older contestants, you want to make sure you look as great as you possibly can and bra inserts help in this department. Bra inserts, also jokingly known as ‘chicken cutlets’ can help with contestants who feel as though their chest area is too flat and could use a boost. Bra inserts could easily be worn with both a swimsuit top and a sports bra for added coverage and push. 

These bra inserts will definitely help you during your competition! Photo: amazon.com. 


Used during the swimsuit round of competition, sarongs are a piece of chiffon fabric, tied around the waist for extra flair. This is an accessory where its use is heavily decided by the director of the pageant you are competing in. You should ask your director if your use of it is okay, or else you risk losing points. If you have the approval from your director, or if a use of a sarong is mandatory, then you can wear the sarong in a multitude of ways in order to maximize its power. 

Most contestants when wearing a sarong style it three different ways: around their waist, around their neck, or just holding it in their hands when they walk out. As mentioned before, a sarong is meant to add extra flair and convey a stronger sense of confidence when you take it off during your performance. If you hold back on taking it off during your walk, or don’t attempt to take it off at all, the judges may think you’re shy and do not want to show off all of your hard work. That’s the last thing we want them to think! 

Now, with a sarong, there is also a possibility that a contestant could overdo it, by constantly whipping it in their hands like Catwoman or ripping it off too hard that it affects their walk or the way their swimsuit is styled. A sarong is meant to be a subtle addition to your outfit, overdoing your routine to compensate for a sarong may hurt you more than help you. As long as you remain confident, gentle, strong, and poised, you can rock that sarong without any issues! 

Alejandra Gonzalez, Miss New Mexico USA 2019 during Miss USA 2019. Photo: Miss Universe Organization


Depending on how you style yourself for the fitness wear competition, the use of spank may be great for your underwear solutions! If you plan on wearing any kind of leggings, Spanx would be a great choice to wear underneath! The Spanx, when they are the right size for you, would not be worn as a way to fool the judges into thinking that you are ssmaller than what you actually are. They would be worn to ensure that you aren’t flashing the judges while you are on stage! 

Depending upon the legging brand, some leggings can become extremely see-through when you are moving and especially under harsh lights. The Spank would not only help to keep you decent, but they would also help to eliminate any harsh lines underwear may cause, which eliminates a possible distraction for the judges. 

The proper use of the right accessories for both phases of competition is the utmost important thing. Accessories should not distract from your performance, they should be subtle enhancements that will help to increase your score. If you feel as if your wardrobe may need an enhancement, the items listed above can definitely help you discover what you need to fix that. 

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How to walk in pageant swimwear

Contributed by Maria Giorlando

Walking in swimwear can be an empowering experience when you understand how to move your body in the most flattering way. The swimwear walk is meant to be faster and more upbeat than evening gown to show your enthusiasm showing during this phase of the competition. Swimwear is not just about your muscles and physique, it is about feeling confident and secure in the body you have worked hard to get! With the perfect swimwear walk you will be showcasing your personality and physique to the judges.

Watch and learn

One of the best ways to learn how to walk is to analyze the walks of successful contestants and try to emulate their style. Find a contestant that channels the vibe you want to give off during swimwear, whether that's energetic, flirty, sassy or sexy, and watch her walk over and over again. Film yourself while practicing your walk. Now, compare the two videos side by side. What do you need to improve about your walk to give off the energy you desire?

Watch the Miss Universe 2018 contestants during the preliminary competition. Which walk do you want to channel when you're onstage?

Glitz Pageants

During your walk you want to keep your shoulders pulled up and back to keep your posture looking tall and your body looking lean. Your opposite hand should sway with the opposite leg. For example, when you step forward with your right foot then your left hand will sway forward with it, and vice versa. Moving your hips in a swimwear walk shows confidence and style. However, check with they system you are competing in to see if they are more conservative regarding swaying your hips.

Lastly, you want to keep your legs flexed and strong in your walk because it helps them look more toned. You want to do your best to walk with one foot in front of the other to keep your legs looking lean and to allow your hips to move in a natural rhythm. Again, swimwear is all about the judges seeing your dedication to your physical health and your confidence in who you are. Stand tall, keep your spirits high, and show the judges you are proud of the body you are competing with!

Male Pageants

In male pageants you also want to keep your shoulders pulled up and back to straighten out your posture and to show off your chest. You will also want to sway your opposite arm with your opposite leg as this is how you would walk naturally. Keeping your chin up is essential too in order to appear taller and more confident. Your chin should be parallel with the ground to give off this appearance.

Men should also walk with longer steps since shorter steps can make your walk look quick and nervous. Since you will not be walking in heels it is important to keep your legs flexed and extended when you walk. Your posing will be your opportunity to flex your arms more and showcase the muscles you have to the judges, so keep your walk simple with no distracting movements or gestures.

What NOT To Do During your Swimwear Walk

In any system and at any age you want to keep an energetic vibe during your walk. However, when your nerves are high and the beat is fast it is a common mistake for contestants to rush through their footing, eye and head movements, and arm gestures. You can avoid walking too fast in swimwear by spacing out your steps a bit farther apart. To ensure your head and eye movements are not too fast you will want to use the three second rule. This is where you keep your eyes and head in one direction for at least three seconds before moving it to another area in the audience or to the judges. Most importantly, take a deep breath before going on stage and remind yourself that the judges and audience want to see you feeling good about yourself, so enjoy it!

How to pick your pageant swimsuit poses

Contributed by Maria Giorlando

The ultimate way to receive a top score during the swimwear portion of a competition is to nail your walk with the perfect pose. No matter how your body looks, how your walk goes, or how you have done in any other portion of the competition you want to make sure the judges see that your confidence is glowing when you hit the end of the runway or stage. The judges are going to be looking at your smile, your physique, your swimsuit choice, and your overall look put together. You do not want to just show up to the pageant without having your perfect pose prepared. With some guidance and practice you will find the pose that is most flattering to your and your body!

Natural Pageants

Your pageant swimsuit poses matter more than you'd think for the competition. We've all been caught in a photo from a bad angle and let's be honest, it's not pretty. The same can be true with your swimsuit poses. It won't matter how much time you spend in the gym or how clean you eat if your angles are all wrong. Luckily, there are some go-to poses for swimwear that are easy to throw into your routines.


This pageant classic is always a safe go-to pose. There's a reason it's a classic after all. This pose makes your legs pop and twists your torso slightly, giving you that "hourglass" figure. A word of caution however, turning your torso too far front-facing doesn't do the same thing for your proportions. In other words, practice this in the mirror before you perform it on stage.

A contestant for Miss Earth USA 2018. Photo: Miss Earth USA

Side pose

You worked hard for those legs, girlfriend. Put them on display! If your legs are your asset, try out a side pose. Because the judges get a side profile of your body, this pose creates a long line and makes you look taller and longer. Once again, this pose is all about angles so practice, practice, practice!

Tianna Tuamoheloa, Miss Nevada USA 2019. Photo: Miss Universe Organization

Wide stance

Another pose to elongate your legs is the wide stance pose. You'll see this post commonly at Miss USA and Miss Universe as it can be seen as bold and sexy. The trick to this pose is to lean into one hip or another, instead of standing straight on. This gives your body angles on stage and helps to elongate your lines.

Sthefany Gutiérrez, Miss Universe Venezuela 2018. Photo: Miss Universe Organization


T-Stance or ‘Pretty Feet’ 

This term is often used to describe the pageant pose called the bevel. This is where your back foot is on a 45-degree angle and your front foot sits perpendicular to your back foot with the heel meeting at the arch of your back foot. Your entire body is going to be on a slight angle to give your figure narrower appearance. The front knee can have a slight bend to it, and the back leg is standing straight up tall. You can choose to keep one arm up on your waist, both arms up, or to keep both arms at your sides. You would want your hands to sit at your waist since this is typically the narrowest part of your body. You can practice the poses in a mirror to see which arm positions are most flattering to your body and in your swimsuit.  Your shoulders should be held up and back to lengthen your posture as well, and your chin will be parallel to the ground. This is a very flattering pose for women who want a lean-hourglass figure look.

Photo: Pinterest via @glitzygirlzz

Wide Stance

For the wide stance your arms, chin and shoulders will all have the same rules apply. The main difference is that your legs are going to be separated a little bit farther than hip-width apart. One foot is going to be pointing straight and the other is going to be pointing outward. This pose is flattering for women who want to showcase their legs since you can flex each leg muscle as you strike the pose. In either pose, you can choose to showcase a big smith with teeth showing or a sultrier look with a smile and no teeth showing. 

Photo: Pinterest via @chrystalbellspageantwear

Male Pageants

As opposed to female poses, male poses are focused more on making your body and muscles look larger. Rather than keeping your body on an angle, you will want to keep your shoulders squared with the stage or audience in front of you. You will still want to keep your shoulders pulled up and back to accentuate your chest muscles. You will want to be flexing your abdominal muscles in to give them a tighter look. Just flex them enough to make them pop a bit more, do not tighten your core so much that you look uncomfortable. You can practice in the mirror to see how to flex your muscles while still maintaining your facial expression.

It is also best to keep your arms resting naturally at your sides and not too far away from your body. It is untraditional in male pageants to put your hands on your hips, but if you do it is usually best to put them at your hip bones to maintain a masculine stance. Your legs should also be about shoulder-width apart with your body angled towards the judges.

Photo: Mike Ortiz Haz of Nicaragua winner Best Body for Men Universe Model 2015 via Apollo Male Gods

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How do I get my pageant swimwear to stay in place?

Contributed by Maria Giorlando

It is essential to have your pageant swimwear stay in place during your time on stage. Not only will you feel uncomfortable during your walk, but it can askew the judges and audience attention to this unfitted aspect of your swimsuit. Not to mention this can diminish your confidence and cause you to lose points in swimsuit. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your pageant swimsuit.

Contestants at the Miss USA 2015 pageant. Photo: Pinterest Via PageantPlanet

Get the Right Fit

It’s no secret that pageant girls want to be in their best shape while they are on stage in a swimsuit. You may even lose a bit of weight for the competition. This is fantastic for your self-confidence, but you want to make sure that these extra few pounds you lost don’t make your swimsuit look big and baggy on you. You will want to try on your swimsuit as you notice a physical change in your body to ensure it hugs your curves properly. Proper support and fit is essential. If anything, your swimsuit should be just slightly tight when you try it on. Getting it too loose before you even arrive is going to cause it to slip. If your swimsuit is too big on you, it is best to take it to a seamstress to take the suit in to fit you perfectly. You should only have it done by a professional who has worked with swimsuits before, but this has been a lifesaver in the past if a certain part of the swimsuit just isn't working.

Seek Proper Coverage

Depending on the size of your backside and your chest, it's essential to know what styles work best for you. This alone can keep your suit from moving around on stage. Larger chests should not be wearing triangle string tops, for example, because they don't give the support or coverage needed for a bigger chest. You can start by taking your own measurements at home with a tape measure to know what size dimensions you will be looking for in a swimsuit. If you are not sure how to select the right swimwear for your body, take a look at the section ‘How to Select the Right Pageant Swimwear’ portion of this course.


Walk around your house in the suit and shoes you will wear as if you are already on stage in the competition. Where is the swimsuit moving? Is the back riding up? Do the straps on the top seem to get looser as you walk? These are all key indicators of what could happen to your swimsuit while you are on stage. Take your suit to a seamstress or maybe take a look at getting a different size of swimwear that will stay in place during your practice time and during the competition.

Use Adhesive

More popularly known as ‘butt glue’, this is an adhesive that pageant girls use to create a seal from their swimsuit to their body. Apply adhesive carefully and practice doing it before the night of the pageant. This can come in two forms: a roll-on or spray. The roll-on is preferred since you can directly apply it to the area where your swimwear will meet your skin. Again, it is always best practice to try the adhesive with your swimsuit before the day of the competition to make sure it works properly. While you can use hairspray if needed, keep in mind it will stick to your body for the duration of the competition! These simple tips can keep your swimsuit in place and help boost your score!

Photo: Pinterest via ABCnews

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Do I need to spray tan for pageant swimwear

Contributed by Eddia Watts

Spray tans to a pageant are like peanut butter to jelly, you can not have one without the other. Of course, here we’ll dive into the importance of a spray tan and if you genuinely need it or not. Many contestants find a spray tan to be an integral part of the process of the swimsuit competition. Spray tans, if done correctly, can alter the image of a contestant and give her a dewy, sun kissed look that not many moisturizers and the sun cannot achieve.

What is a spray tan and why do I need one?

A spray tan is the safer version of sun tanning without running the risk of various skin cancers from too much sun exposure. It is a light mist of color that is sprayed over one's entire body to ensure a uniform color and an even glow. Spray tans come in many different colors and can be administered very different ways, like through spray can or going to a tanning salon where spray tans are offered. Spray tanning is the best way to show that golden glow onstage.

Depending on your age range and type of system, the right spray tan can be extremely important in setting you apart from the rest of the competition, if done correctly. Spray tans highlight the hard work you’ve put in the gym by highlighting your physique in a strong way. The phrase, ‘spray tans make one look slimmer’ is fairly true, but it can also work in the opposite way. Spray tans highlight the cut of your body and can help with the appearance of making you look smaller onstage, but it does not make up for a lack of eating right and hard work leading up to the big day. You still have to put in those hours at the gym. If you want your hard work to shine, it’s best to get one done!

For skin pigments, the stage lights can also wash you out, making you appear to be lighter than you actually are. If you are washed out onstage, the judges’ eyes will have a hard time adjusting to seeing your beauty onstage. It is in these moments as well that igf you believe that you may have this problem, you should look into your spray tan options. Alyssa Klinzing, Miss Kansas USA 2019 Miss Kansas Teen USA 2013, and Teen Miss Earth United States 2015 says this, “In my opinion, spray tans or self tanner can help make your muscles pop onstage so I have always preferred to compete with some form of tan. After years of competing, I found that custom airbrush tans worked for my skin the best and stayed the longest.” 

Alyssa Klinzing rocks the Miss USA 2019 swimsuit competition. Photo: Miss Universe Organization

Spray tans based on age divisions and systems

Based upon your age division and type of pageant, spray tans can be highly encouraged or highly discouraged. For example, systems like National American Miss are against any form of enhancement, spray tans included, to their younger contestants, as it alters their natural physical beauty. Whereas certain glitz pageants leave that decision up to the parents of the children competing. 

Spray tanning fears

Now, if you choose to spray tan, the one thing that you need to do is begin your spray tanning early! Do not try to rush to get a spray tan at the last minute, unless you go to a professional, that is the worst thing to try to accomplish. Horror stories are born from contestants trying to rush to apply a spray tan before a big competition. 

The biggest suggestion one can give is that if you decide to go the more affordable route of buying a self tanning spray tan can, start spraying yourself months in advance. You want to ensure that you’re using the right shade for you. If you wait until the final minute, you may pick a darker color than you intended and you run the risk of being too orange onstage, which is something that will hurt you more than help you. Also, invest in a spray tanning mitt, which helps to evenly apply a spray tan to avoid the looks of streaks on stage.

Even the pros have horror stories. Alyssa shares hers with us, “At Miss USA this year, I had a huge mishap where I was sprayed at the pageant the night before I competed with a tanner I had never used before and it washed off in huge patches! I had to have my roomate use her airbrush face bronzer all over my body to cover up the patches. When it comes to spray tans, no matter what, it depends on what makes you feel your best. I have met girls who always tan and those who don’t tan at all. I would definitely try it before your competition rolls around so you don’t end up like me at Miss USA!” Alyssa still made the top 10 at Miss USA, which is an amazing accomplishment! Her story goes to show that no matter what mishaps may happen, keep a level head and you’ll still succeed! 

Spray tanning is safe for all ages and is totally up to the contestant at the end of the day. It’s a personal preference that one can make that decision for themselves. If you choose to go against the grain and highlight your natural complexion because it highlights your features then go for it! I may complement your fiery auburn hair, or you may feel more confident without it, you have the last say! 

How should I do my hair for pageant swimwear?

Contributed by Eddia Watts

A pageant hairstyle has always been a hard one to hammer down for contestants, especially during the swimsuit round. With so many styles to choose from, one can get overwhelmed in trying to figure out what exudes the most confidence. Don’t fret, because listed below are the top pageant swimsuit and fitness wear hairstyles and how you can rock them!

‘Pageant’ Curls

This hair style never goes out of style. The pageant curls, reminiscent of the 1940s era hairstyles, is always flattering on any contestant. The curls in this hairstyle exude confidence and frame the face beautifully, depending on how voluminous you make your curls. Styles like these can be achieved by using a curling iron or a wand, a teasing comb, and tons of hairspray. You want to make sure that you do not have all the curls going the exact same way so that they don’t all blend together. This hairstyle is great to have your hair be picked up by the wind and show the judges that you came to slay! 

Model wears her hair in Pageant Curls. Photo: pintrest.com

Half Up Half Down Curls

Similar to the pageant curls, the only difference is that you’ve now pulled the hair that is more towards your crown back and away from your face into a nice ponytail! This style is great for contestants who want a more youthful look, teens, and those who want to have their hair away from their face. It still gives you the effect of hair your hair blow in the wind, without having the possibility of your face being hidden. This look can also be achieved with sleek straight hair as well! 

Model wears her hair half up and half down. Photo: Pintrest


Completely different from the last two entries, a pony tail can give a contestant a pretty different, regal vibe. A sleek low pony can bring all of the attention to your face and your facial expressions which means that your facial expressions will be the main focal point. This means you must spend hours practicing this and know exactly how to entice the judges with multiple looks. Meanwhile, a high ponytail can give more teen vibes and brings more hair forward. A pony gives a contestant the ability to effectively swing the hair, showing more confidence. Wear a pony if you’re feeling powerful and want to show more of your beautiful facial structure!

Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015, wears a ponytail during the 2015 Miss Universe Competition. Photo: Miss Universe Organization

Buns and updos

If you want to be a really daring contestant, try a bun or an updo style for the swimsuit competition! This style shows that a contestant isn’t reliant on her hair to show her confidence and the judges can view you in an entirely different light! A bun brings the focal point completely onto you and your physique, as there’s no hair to cover any part of your body. This daring style is one that will truly set you apart, but you must practice perfecting the perfect bun before your pageant. Queen Beauty Michigan 2020, Corrin Stellakis, effectively wore this style back in 2016 when she won the title of Miss Earth United States. She says this about the style, “I modeled my style after Audrey Hepburn and I believe that simple elegance cannot be overstated. The tall bun with wrap around braid was unique, elegant, and sophisticated. It represented the business woman in me, while also maintaining the glamourous, beauty aspect of pageantry.” 

Corrin Stellakis wears a tall bun during the swimsuit round in Miss Earth United States 2016. Photo: youtube.com

Time Constraints

Now the biggest thing to keep in mind when it comes to pageant swimsuit hair is that a majority of pageant systems often have their swimsuit rounds before their gown preliminaries. This means that you, as a contestant, do not have much time to switch your hair between phases of competition. This is something that you need to take notice of and practice, because if you want to do two seperate styles you must practice getting them done effectively in enough time. Sometimes, time doesn’t exist! Therefore, however you choose to wear your hair for swimsuit, is how your hair will look for evening gown and the rest of your pageant. So choose wisely! Pick a hairstyle that suits all of your wardrobe just in case you don’t have enough time. 

No matter how you choose to wear your hair, just keep in mind, it’s YOUR hair! Rock it in whichever way you feel is best! Whether you want to go for a voluminous pageant curl, or a sleek pony, it’s all up to you! The judges will be looking at you, so you want your hair to compliment your personal style! Do not choose a style because everyone is doing it, choose something that makes you happy! 

How should I do my makeup for pageant swimwear?

Contributed by Maria Giorlando

The swimsuit competition is a contestant, crowd and fan favourite in most pageants because it is known for showcasing the contestant’s upbeat energy and fun personality. It is so important to feel good with your body no matter how you look, but there are some beauty and makeup tips and tricks you can utilize to enhance your overall look. The judges are going to be looking at your full image, from head to toe, to see how comfortable you look and how confident you are with yourself. Do not make the mistake of having your makeup be very dark, harsh or distracting, as this will take away from your own natural beauty. Makeup is not meant to be distracting, it is meant to accentuate and highlight your current facial features. You’ll want your entire makeup look during swimwear to be polished, bright and complementary to you. Let’s take a closer look at some of the very important steps and products to consider when applying your makeup for this part of the competition.

Miss Tennessee USA 2018, Alexandra Harper modeling a great makeup look for swimsuit. Photo: Miss USA


It is essential that your facial foundation matches the skin on your body. Some girls choose to get a spray tan before the pageant, which is a great idea, however you will want to ensure that you also get a new foundation color to match the new tanned color of your skin. There are many helpful tricks you can do to find the perfect foundation to match your skin tone.

Most beauty counters or makeup boutiques, like Sephora or Mac, will have consultants that will help you match a foundation to your skin tone. You can also request to try a sample of the foundation before buying to ensure the color is an accurate match throughout the day in different lighting.

Another trick is to combine two colors together to achieve your perfect shade because we often do not match precisely what the makeup manufacture created in that tube. You have invested your time and energy to get your body ready for the swimsuit competition, so be sure to invest in a new foundation if needed!


The next step is to add concealer and powder. Your concealer will need to be one to two shades lighting than your foundation color to add a bit of a lighter appearance to the areas you apply it to. Concealer will go over any dark or red areas you want to cover up as well. Typical areas to conceal include under the eyes, your chin, the area above your upper lip known as the cupids bow, the centre of your nose and in the middle of your forehead. This is because these areas are typically darker in color or contain more acne and skin texture due to the oils that can build up in your t-zone. It is beneficial to try your concealer and foundation together before going on stage to make sure the colors give your face enough coverage on stage but are not too heavy that they look cakey on your face.


You will want to set this concealer with a powder that is like the color of the concealer, since you do not want the concealer to settle into your fine lines and wrinkles when you smile and naturally move your face. A new common setting technique is called ‘baking’ where you use a brush or sponge to apply a layer of loose, usually translucent, powder to the areas you applied the concealer. The powder is left on for a minute or two to allow the concealer to set into the skin, so it does not move around. It also brightens up this area. You do not want to use a powder that has the ingredient ‘talc’ in it. Talc causes a flashback effect in photography where the areas with the powder applied can look stark white in photos. For the rest of your face you can use a powder the same color as your foundation to set it in.


Adding contour, blush and highlighter is important to give color and dimension back to your skin. It is also important when on stage because the bright lights can flatten out your natural facial structure and it can visually wash out your face shape and definition. Contour is a darker powder that you add to the areas of your face you want to look smaller, narrower or more prominent. This includes defining your cheekbones, reshaping your nose and narrowing your jawline. There are many tutorials on Youtube to teach you the perfect way to apply contour to your face without overdoing it. Just because you are on stage does not mean you want to apply the contour very dark and harsh. Remember to blend the color out to give a clean contoured look.


Highlighter adds another layer of dimension to your skin by creating a glow to certain areas you really want to pop on stage. You will want to make sure the highlighter is contained to certain areas and not put it all over the face. A little goes a long way, and this way you are not too shiny looking from an audience standpoint. The places to use highlighter are at the tops of your cheekbones, on the bridge of your nose, and on your cupids bow. If you want to add a bit more, you can put the highlighter in the inside of the corner of your eyes and over your brow bone. Similar to blush, you will want to choose a highlighter that is smooth and shiny, and nothing with chunks of glitter or sparkle in it.

Photo: Pinterest via @Byrdiebeauty


Next, you need to put a long wearing blush on the apples of your cheeks. You will want to apply a bit more blush to your cheeks since blush is typically the first thing to fade away on your face. You might apply a few extra layers of blush so that way when it naturally fades and when the stage lights are on your face you will still be able to notice the blush. The shade of blush you choose to use should compliment your skin tone while also matching your eye look and lip color. Typically, you will want to stick with a matte formula and avoid a blush with glitter or sparkle to it.

Photo: Pinterst via @PureWow


Now that we have covered the base of your face, it is time to think about the eyeshadow. The smoky eye is one of the most popular and most flattering eyeshadow techniques that can suit any skin tone and any phase of competition. This is where you have darker shades on the outer corner of your eyes and then a light ivory, white or neutral shade over the lid. If you are unsure of the colors to use for your smoky eye, see the photo attachment below. You can use whatever color that compliments your eye color, skin tone, swimsuit and gown color. It will be most convenient to you to pick colors that will complement every look of yours on stage, so you do not have to apply any makeup in between dressing changes.

Photo: Pinterest via Girllovesglam

Photo: Pinterest via Dailymail


While you usually apply your lip color last, this could be the most important part of the entire look because it is what will tie your makeup look together! You will want a lip color that is pigmented, does not come off on your teeth and doesn’t bleed onto the skin around your lips. A way to prevent this is to line your lips using a lip liner that is the same color as the lipstick. You can also choose to overline your lips with the lip liner to give them a more pouty and full appearance. For the lipstick color, choose something that will match your skin tone and eye makeup. It is common to wear a nude color during swimsuit, and then apply a bolder lip color for evening gown, like a deep berry or red color. To finish off the lips, add a clear or colored gloss on top. This will give your lips a glow that will accentuate your smile while you are working it on stage in your swimsuit.

Photo: Pinterest via Intothegloss

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Do I need a personal trainer to prepare for pageant swimwear?

Contributed by Maria Giorlando

While it is common for a contestant to increase their physical preparations for pageant swimwear, it is not necessary to use a personal trainer to reach your fitness goals. There are many gym classes, online programs and fitness apps that a contestant can use to help stay on track with their physical preparations. However, if you find that you are having difficulty consistently showing up to your workouts or skipping on healthy eating, you may want to prioritize and budget to hire a personal trainer to help you stay on track. Not only can a personal trainer keep you accountable to your health and fitness goals, but they will also motivate you trainer harder and to push farther than what you perceive you can do. Whichever way you choose to prepare your body for pageant swimwear, there are three key components to consider: eating healthy, cardio, and weight and strength training.

Eating Healthy

Having a consistently healthy diet is what is really going to help you achieve your fitness goals. You can choose to hire a dietician or a nutritionist if this with within your means, however it is not required as well. If you choose to forego working with a trainer or a professional in the healthy eating industry, you can still make healthier food swaps every day. It is recommended that you track your food intake with an app which will help calculate the calories and macronutrients you eat at each meal. Two food tracking apps you can utilize daily that also help you to determine your calorie intake to help you achieve your goals are MyFitnessPal and Lifesum. 


Cardio comes in MANY forms. Running, swimming, cycling, HIIT, LISS, dancing, kick-boxing and many other options. Cardio is a fantastic way to kick-start your workout and also aids in burning calories and in fat loss. It is very important that you are not only doing cardio though. While cardio can help your body lean out, it will not help you build muscle or define muscle tone. On stage, you want your body look physically appealing and flattering in your swimsuit. In other words, add two or three days of cardio into your workouts to aid in your training program. A personal trainer is going to help you create a training program during the time you are preparing for your pageant. If you want clarity on what type of cardio to do in order to be most effective at helping you achieve your goals, then definitely ask a professional trainer for their assistance. 

Photo: Instagram via @weightlosswell

Weight and Strength Training

Since the judges and audience are going to see almost every muscle on your body, it is so important that you train each body part. Even if you do not enjoy working out a specific muscle group you do not want to favour another body part during your workouts. This is where a personal trainers knowledge and expertise can assist you. They will be able to tell you which muscle groups to work out on which days, what exercises to do, and how long to do them for. It can be very overwhelming to an individual who is not familiar with weights and gym equipment to create a fitness training plan with no experience. A personal trainer can also help you track your progress and adjust your fitness training plan as needed. To find the perfect personal training to help you reach your fitness goals check out our personal trainer directory

Photo: Pinterest via Hello Spoonful

Where do I find a personal trainer to prepare for pageant swimwear

Contributed by Eddia Watts

Beginning the process of becoming a contender for the crown you are pursuing is not an easy feat, but the easiest place to start is by beginning to find a personal trainer that will help you to get in shape for the pageant swimwear competition. Finding a personal trainer should be the first thing on your mind when you sign up to compete for a pageant and the earlier you find one, the better! There are many different ways to find a pageant trainer like Pageant Planet’s personal trainer directory, thumbtack.com, and through the fitness sponsors of your pageant! 

Pageant Planet Directory

Visit our Personal Trainer Directory. There you can find hundreds of personal trainers who are dedicated to working with determined pageant contestants like yourself! This is the absolute easiest way to scour the web for a trainer because the ones who have listings through our websites know exactly what your body will look like at it peak on a pageant stage. 

Browsing through our directory cuts down on time and research that could be used working with a trainer. The trainers that have been listed in our directory have been vetted as far as how they operate and they are the best in the industry! Our trainers are based all throughout the United States, which means you can find a trainer near you to make your life easier! Michael Brooks of Lead fitness, who is in our directory, says, “When you go to find a personal trainer, it’s like finding the right hairstylist. You need to make sure that they are certified and that they have the credentials to back it up.”

Michael Brooks with Miss Maryland USA 2020 Taelyr Robinson. Photo: IG @leadfitness


Thumbtack is an app and a website that specializes in connecting consumers with the right kinds of professionals for their needed tasks. You can find so many kinds of professionals here for your pageantry needs, cobblers, tailors, hairstylis, but the one type of professional that we’re focused on is the personal trainer. With Thumbtack, you can input multiple kinds of data to find the right trainer for you. You have the say over where the trainer is based, where you’d like to meet the trainer,  how much you’d like to pay per session, and even if you’d like to work with a female or male trainer. 

Once you submit your quote for exactly what you want, the professionals read your quote and come to you. This way, you don’t have to do work in researching or figuring out exactly what you want. Before meeting with anyone from this app, especially if you’re underage, make sure that you have vetted the personal trainer by making sure they have a legitimate website and company with previous clients who have made substantial progress. With any sort of app like this, you always want to make sure that you are protected. 

Pageant Sponsors

Most pageants nowadays have a laundry list of sponsors who help them put on their pageants as long as they can get them in touch with the contestants. Most pageants will have a personal training sponsor to help their contestants prepare for the swimsuit competition at a discounted rate. The sponsor is also often the personal trainer for the winner of the pageant, so if you work with the sponsored trainer beforehand, if you prepare enough and win, you will have a repertoire with who would’ve been your new trainer! Sponsored personal trainers often have a laundry list of successful clients who have won their respective titles, which will give you the confidence boost you may need to continue to work with this trainer. 

Body by Craig, the official fitness sponsor for Miss Virginia USA and his client Susie Evans. Photo: @bodybycraig

Finding a personal trainer may seem to be difficult, but if you find someone who cares about helping you to achieve your goals in a healthy and safe way, you’ll know how to get started. Personal trainers are meant to be a great addition to your team, but you also need to have the drive to continue to work with them consistently. 

How do fitness competitions differ from pageant swimwear?

Contributed by Eddia Watts

Fitness competitions and pageant swimwear differ greatly. Fitness competitions like IFBW Pro are a completely different world from pageantry. Fitness competitions are meant to showcase competitors extremely hard work in the gym. Fitness competitors are women and men who are into the more muscular look of the body and who go to the gym and diet as if they survive from it. They are extremely strict in how they eat, when they eat, and how much work in the gym that they put in. They are all about bulking up their muscles and cutting their fat before their competitions. 

These fitness competitions are often only consisted of contestants parading around in swimwear and that is all. They do not have an evening gown or interview competition. The contestants for these fitness competitions know that the focus is only on how large their muscles look onstage, whereas, for pageants, contestants want to focus on looking lean and healthy. These competitions also differ in tanning, swimsuits, poses, and shoes and the differences are covered below. 


Unlike the tanning that we covered before where pageant contestants are going for a subtle, darker glow, fitness competitors often get tans that are many shades darker than their actual skin tone. Some contestants have gotten tans so dark that they become controversial. Fitness competitors tan because darker skin tones make muscles look more pronounced while they pose and flex their muscles. Pageant contestants tan to ensure that they have an amazing, warm glow onstage. Some competitors for fitness competitions even go as far as getting into tanning beds because they participate in so many fitness competitions and find it easier than spray tanning to achieve their desired color. 

Tan displayed by Ashlyn Brown, winner of IFBB Bikini Pro. Photo: @ab_bikinifit on Instagram

Swimsuits and Poses

Swimsuits and poses for fitness competitions are extremely different from the swimsuits if pageant competitors. The swimsuits and poses are the main way that many can tell the difference between the two types of competition Both phases of competition are trying to accomplish the same thing: showing the contestant and their hard work in the best light. There’s a difference between how the two types of contestant like to show off this hard work.


Swimsuits for fitness competitors often display more skin than the swimsuits that pageant contestants wear. Like we discussed in the previous sections, the fit of a pageant swimsuit should be conservative are far as the bottoms are concerned, as it is unflattering to show too much or your bottom to the judges. Fitness competitors are encouraged to show as much as possible to show the extreme work they’ve put into their bodies. This means that the bottoms to their swimsuits are often cut like thongs so that they can show the judges the hard work they’ve put into the muscles in their posterior.  Swimsuits for fitness competitions also have small straps to showcase how the muscles can support themselves and do not need the additional lift of the fabric from the swimsuit. Swimsuits for fitness competitions are also emblazoned with crystals unlike pageant swimsuit to have the fitness contestants shine onstage. 

Fitness swimwear by Anestezia Competition Wear. Photo: @anesteziafitness on instagram


The poses used during the fitness competitions are ones that we would not recommend for pageant contestants to do on the pageant stage, as the judges won’t be focused on your overall beauty, but your muscles instead. The way that fitness competitors pose, they make sure to flex their muscles with every step they take. They want their muscles to pop and take center stage. Their main facial expressions rest between a smile and a serious look. They also change poses at least six times during their performance. In an earlier section, we divulged that pageant contestants should only change poses once or twice and have the focus be on their overall beauty. This is not what fitness competitors do.  

One pose that fitness competitors often do is the pose where they show their backsides to the judges for an extended period of time. It is this style of pose that a pageant contestant should stray away from, as the judges are not expecting this sort of view. Fitness competitors take this pose to show the judges the muscles they’ve built in their back, as it is one of the hardest places to build muscles and the muscles in their bottom. The way they stick their bums out to be judged is especially a big no-no for pageant contestants, as this pose will have you viewed in a negative light. 


The premise of the shoes for fitness competitions lie in the same premise as the shoes for the pageant swimwear competition: lengthening the legs. The kind of shoes that fitness contestants tend to wear are clear, lucite heels where the straps look completely invisible from a distance. They often embellish these shoes with crystals on the heel to add some more sparkle to their outfits. As covered in the section above about shoes, pageant contestants often wear nude colored shoes to achieve the same goal. 

Fitness competition shoes by The Shoe Fairy. Photo @theshoefairy on Instagram

Although both competitions have the same goals, the way they go about finding their ultimate winners is highly different. Those who participate in fitness competitions are highly competitive and extremely strict about how they prepare for their competitions. Pageant contestants are the exact same way but are looking for different results. Whether you compete for a fitness competition or a pageant, make sure you go on that stage ready to show the judges the preparation you’ve put into being on that stage!  

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