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What You NEED to Know to Increase Your Pageant Fun Fashion Score

06, September 2015

Fun Fashion Wear has quickly become a staple in pageantry. Girls love another reason to get all glitzed up and sparkle like a disco ball.  After all, no pageant girl can have enough rhinestoned outfits; Elvis would be proud. But for girls who have never done Fun Fashion it can be confusing and overwhelming.  Fear not, Kimberly Mulkey, Idaho International Pageants Director, is here to help.

Miss International 2018 Kaylee Ewing. Photo: Kaylee Ewing Instagram

What Fun Fashion is

“Fun Fashion Wear portion of the competition is designed to provide each contestant an opportunity to express her own personal sense of style,” she explained. “Fun Fashion Wear should consist of something that you would wear on the red carpet or to a dressy celebration like a New Year's Eve party. Also should be out of the box and FUN! Think of glitz, glam and dressy; but not casual or sportswear.”

Getting the picture yet?  If not, Mulkey goes on to describe it as, “It's more fun and flirty than an evening gown and may be a dress, shorts or pants outfit. It should not be another evening gown.”  In the International system, Fun Fashion is worth 20% of the score for both Teen and Miss. Contestants must register their outfit with a photo and style number with the State and National offices to avoid duplication during competition.

What the Judges are Looking for

“Our judges are looking at the way the contestant wears the garment. Is her Fun Fashion showy…This should reflect her personality and be something that shows off her flair for fashion and style,” Mulkey said. A bonus is that often, the judges have already interviewed the contestants before seeing them onstage in Fun Fashion. “…so each judge should have an idea of the contestants personality from their paperwork, social media and interview,” she explained.  Fun Fashion should also be age appropriate for your division and Mulkey said, “It should leave a lasting impression!”

Modeling Your Fun Fashion

Sometimes we see girls doing all sorts of turns and moving their outfits every which way to show it off.  We also see the opposite, with girls doing a basic walk as they would in evening gown.  Even though this is supposed to be Fun Fashion you want to be sure to find the right balance between over-modeling and under-modeling your outfit so it isn’t distracting or unenthusiastic. “Over modeling or not modeling enough, at International you have to have the right combination for Fun Fashion,” said Mulkey, “If you have a multifaceted garment then by all means "work it," if you have a removable skirt or jacket then by all means show the garment in all its glory that's what Fun Fashion is all about!”

But, like we said, there is a fine line and Mulkey goes on to warn, “However, with that said there is a time and place for everything! You don't want to have a garment malfunction. Know your limits! Practice at home in the garage or on your driveway or back patio. Video tape yourself and play it back; watch how your body moved! Watch runway videos on YouTube and learn how to "walk the runway," all good advice.”

Choosing the Right Fun Fashion Outfit

So, since the outfit should be age appropriate, are Miss and Teen Fun Fashion different?  “Teen & Miss are different. When choosing your Fun Fashion you should first think is this age appropriate,” Mulkey said. She offered some questions to ask yourself such as, “Is the slit to high? Is the color right? What kind of fabric is it made of.... these are all valid points when choosing a Fun Fashion.”

Even when you make it to nationals, you need to consider your division, Mulkey explained, “If a Teen (13-18) is wearing the same or similar outfit to a Miss (19-30) as a judge you must think to yourself is it correct for a Teen or a Miss?”  To avoid this question from arising with the judges, make sure the color, fabric and slit height are appropriate for your age division at each level of competition.

USA National Miss Grand Canyon Preteen 2019 Alyssa Hernandez. Photo: Amanda Ferguson Photography

Fun Fashion Trends

Just like evening gown and swimsuit, there are trends and styles that are “in.”  Fun Fashion is not immune to this.  “Common styles in Fun Fashion right now are two piece, shorts/pants with a ball skirt, however if you watch fashion, that's so last year.

Right now polka dots and floral prints are in,” said Mulkey. It’s an ever changing trend, but that’s what makes it fun.  Of course, look at what girls have worn in the past to help understand the competition, but look at styles that are on trend now, and go from there.  Basically you want to predict what will be on-trend when you’re competing so the judges don’t say, “I’ve seen that before.”

How to Stand Out in Fun Fashion

With so many styles and so much sparkle, it can be a challenge to stand out in the competition.  But it is not impossible. “Be you,” said Mulkey, “You are the only person on that stage that can show who you really are. If you’re a plaid girl with biker boots, steampunk, tie-dye, floral, chiffon, sequin rhinestone goddess, then be that.  No one can define who you are better than you can. Use your imagination and have fun. After all, it is called FUN FASHION!”

So there you have it; imagine walking a Red Carpet, rockin’ your brand new title, with a gleaming crown on top of your head and whatever outfit you are wearing in that vision, that’s the outfit you want to rock in Fun Fashion. 

If you watch the award shows, everyone is different, and it’s the same in the pageant.  While there may be similar styles, each garment is different, and each girl wears and models it differently.  Have fun, show who you are, and don’t be afraid to take a fashion risk if it’s exactly who you are. Remember, the judges have met you in interview, watched you on social media and now they want to see you shine on stage.  Do not disappoint them.

Need help selecting your fun fashion attire? Check out our pageant prep feature!


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