Pageant Tips for National American Miss, American Coed and International Junior Miss Pageants

When it comes to natural pageants for girls and teens, National American Miss (NAM), American Coed (Coed), and International Junior Miss (IJM) are popular choices for many families. My daughters and clients always rave about the quality of these pageant systems when they participate in them. Because these three pageant systems have similar categories of competition, when you prepare for one it’s easy to compete in the other two.

The 3 main areas of competition for state pageants are formal wear, personal introduction, and interview. Fun fashion/Modeling is added as a fourth category of competition at the national IJM pageant.

Special Tips for Formal Wear:

  • Gowns must be full length and touch the floor for all three pageants. Better a little too long than too short; but the contestant must be able to walk in the gown without stepping on it. The shoes should not be visible when they are standing still.
  • Make sure there are straps on gowns for the girls ages 4-12. The 13-15 age groups are a bit tricky. You will see both strapped and strapless gowns on girls in these age groups. Here is a question to ask yourself when looking for a Jr. Teen gown. When she is wearing the dress, does she look older than 15? It’s better to be conservative. If she could pass for an 18-year-old in the dress, it’s too mature. Add straps. In the teen divisions, strapless gowns are perfectly acceptable.
  • Make sure the skirt isn’t too full or puffy. The judges want to see your daughter. If the dress is too wide or too ruffley-puffley, it will shorten the contestant’s height on stage and take attention away from the girl. There is a fine line between making a statement with your gown and it being too much. You will start seeing the straighter gown skirts and mermaid styles on the Teens in COED; and on Jr. Teens and Teens in NAM and IJM. Slit skirts are not common on Teens in these three pageant systems; however, occasionally you will see one. It all depends on the how tasteful the dress style is. Again, I feel it is better to be conservative and opt for no slit. A high slit is never appropriate in these three pageants.
  • Single colored gowns with tasteful embellishments tend to score best in these systems. If you think the colors of sherbet ice cream flavors, you’ll get a pretty good idea of the color palette you’ll see on stage. And of course, you will always see white.

Special Tips for Personal Introduction and Interview:

  • Coed introductions must not be longer than 20 seconds. You will have points deducted if you go over the time limit. In NAM and IJM, 30 seconds is a guideline and you can push it to 40 seconds. The focus here is not on how long it is but in the delivery. The introduction must capture the judge’s attention within the first 7 seconds. If you think about how TV commercials are crafted, that will help you write your introduction. The line is fine between showing your personality and being over the top. You want people to be drawn to the real you and your personality.
  • For interview, all contestants need to wear pantyhose and closed toed nude shoes. Children need to buy nude colored dance character shoes. Your best bet is to order them online at a discount dance outlet because you won’t find them in department shoes. Capezio is a trusted brand new.
  • A solid colored interview suit with minimal stoning or beading is your best choice with the hemline being slightly above the knee. Mid thigh is too short. It should fit your contour perfectly without being too tight especially across your bottom. If your bottom looks like the capital letter D in your skirt, it’s too tight. Most suits for children are custom-made because you can’t easily find them in the stores.

Special General Tips:

  • There is no makeup on girls 12 years old and under. Don’t even put shiny clear gloss on their lips. Makeup for the older age categories must be age appropriate.
  • No tight ringlets or prom hair styles. They like hair to look natural in these systems. Natural does not mean stick straight, even though a few blessed girls can pull that look off. Hair down with lift at the roots and soft body at the ends is the style to shoot for. Hair must be out of the contestant’s face. If you have bangs, gently sweep them to the side, or lift them up from your forehead. Bangs will cast a shadow over your eyes and face and the judges won’t see those features.
  • The style of clothing for the fun fashion and casual wear modeling competitions is real clothing NOT costumes or glitz wear. You’ll see high low dresses, jeggings with cute tops, and a variety of clothing expressing the contestants’ personalities. Avoid denim. Display your fashion sense by accessorizing and customizing your outfit but don’t cross the line of tacky.

Twinning Fashion: The New "Hot Thing"

We all know this horror very well: you walk into a dinner party with all your glamorous vibe and confidence, strutting the latest trendy designer pair you got and then all of a sudden, you make an eye contact with a stranger, or worse, your enemy sporting the same exact outfit.

“Oh! You have a twin!”

Yes, my dear friends, that can make you feel like you want to strangle her or yourself.

But here’s the thing. Wearing identical wardrobe is no longer a “what’s not hot” this year. In fact, the New York Fashion Week for 2017 Spring Collection at Monse a week ago proved that matching looks are even better than what we can imagine. Two hot twin models took over the spotlight as they walked side by side wearing off-the-shoulder shirtdresses and pinstriped skirts with only a slight difference in the style (basically, the other model wore an extra wide belt).

Matching looks had been around for quite some time. They are not only limited to twins having to wear the same outfit all the time. If you recall boy bands and girl pop groups in the 90s, they are often seen performing wearing matching looks, so this is not a surprise for millennials. The Olsen sisters had been famous fashionistas that manage to sport matching street style look without being too literally identical. Moreover, it is the same as Veronique Branquinho’s 2015 Spring collection that presented the “how to’s” twin-match outfits in similar tones, but it didn’t get as hype as this year.

Clearly, this year runways are hiring more and more twin models since it appears to play into this modern flux in what is perceived “beautiful.” Each year is a period of experimentation bringing people to the greater and striking world of fashion, seeing new ideas of beauty on the runways which will eventually rev up to the everyday fashionistas as a street style. Soon, twinning fashion may not be seen infrequently anymore.

I am very curious as to why it is only this year that the fashion industry got infatuated with the concept of twinning. Its domination stoked Mulberry’s creative director, Johnny Coca that led him to play with the “twinness,” on an autumn 2016 advertising campaign with only a few tweaks to slightly differentiate the looks. But on the other hand, it is just in time that it gets recognition. The streets should be the next big thing to reveal the results of twinning fashion.

I get it. You are not marching the runway. So, let’s set the New York Fashion Week aside for a bit and get into how you can rock this new trend on the loose. Don’t shy away partaking on this latest trend because there are tons of complementary additions you can add to matching ensembles that can still highlight a distinct look. You can even keep your signature style if you want. A D├ętacher, Rebecca Minkoff, and Oscar de la Renta are only among those who presented designs that are hinting more ideas to play with your wardrobe. Not bad right?

How Can We Pull Off This Fashion Trend?

I am not writing this entirely to just simply shout out that there’s a new fashion hype going on; big names in the fashion world shared a number of hints about the made or making-over idealism. Here are some of the best tips coming from the gurus in the fashion world. Matching outfits shouldn’t be a conundrum. It should be fun! Greater ideas revealed the styles that stay on the boat. These are the pleated skirts, poplin shirts, and all sorts of unfuzzy pieces like pajama-inspired pants. Stripes stick to the trending spot as well. Let’s get down to the highlights.

Keep It In The Family

That’s a straight out tip and way fun to play around. If your best friend is wearing a pair of blue skinny jeans matched with a sexy off-shoulder top, then wear any of the two. Perhaps, a blue flared belted jeans matched with a tank top. You can also be in the same kind of shoes but just wearing it differently. Wearing similar tones and texture in alterations can be entirely fully styled.

Add Something Extra

What do I mean by this? Each of us has our favorite accessories, whether it’s a hairpiece, a headband, a very eye-catchy bun holder or those really cute and fancy hair draping hair harness and chains. Hats like Fedora and Floppies do work well with twinning fashion. Even as simple as adding a belt if the other person isn’t wearing one, or whatever she isn’t adding to her ensemble, add it to yours! Just like how Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid strut their matching outfits, They can all spice up your ensemble despite resembling another person’s outfit. They are great in drawing attention away from having an almost identical style. Remember, parallel lines don’t meet; it is the same concept you should apply to pull off twinning style.

Let The Print Take Part But Not Take Over!

We don’t necessarily have to be compelled with what should look “alike” because it is more of what is “complementary,” or as simple as they look great together. Simply rank the shades of whatever printed outfit or accessories you have. I am sure the way you break down the colors won’t be too exactly the same as the other person. Use your taste when you do this since matching outfits would always be based on your personality and mood. These are essential keys in using prints even if we aren’t talking about twinning.

Should we be expecting more about this not-so-new but totally on the hype trend? Yes. Since the collaboration of Oscar de la Renta with Monse’s unusual fabrications of everyday styles and reincarnating it in a “mirroring” manner, you don’t even need to be always on the lookout. The streets will be invaded by people wearing twin-inspired fashion and it is a crystal-clear accepted challenge that everyone is pretty much excited to get on.

How to Dress and Act Like a Ghetto Prep

If you don’t like ghetto, and you don’t like prep, you might like the two mixed together. Urban dictionary defines ghetto prep as a style of attire rather than attitude. It’s true that you really can’t act like a ghetto person and a prep at the same time, but you can dress like one. It almost seems conflicting as preps and ghetto people sometimes seem like complete opposites, but if you match the clothes right, you can look cool without being accused of being ghetto or prep. Mixing these two together is actually a lot easier than it might sound, you just have to know where to start. Just follow these steps and you can dress like a ghetto prep.

1. When you pick out clothes, make sure you they’re always basic colored. If your clothes are to colorful you might be mistaken for scene or emo. When buying name brands, you should definitely consider Hollister, Baby Phat, Southpole, and Ambercrombie and Fitch.

2. Girls should stick to wearing mostly skinny jeans. Guys, wear loose jeans and jean shorts that sit a little bit below your waist. If you start waddling like a penguin that’s a pretty good sign that you’re wearing them to low. Guys and girls both can wear plaid shorts, these are more preppy for guys and ghetto tom boy for girls.

3. For shoes, you should definitely invest in buying some Jordans or Nike dunks. These work whether you’re a guy or a girl.

4. Girls should wear their hair in a ponytail or have it straightened. Guys need to keep a short, clean cut. Keep your facing looking fresh by shaving off any facial hair and make sure your eyebrows aren’t bushy.

5. Guys should try to get their hands on a gold chain, or at least counterfeit gold. Girls have a lot of option when it comes to jewelry; hoop earrings, monroe piercing, and large intruding necklaces. Just try experimenting with jewelry until you have the right look, what looks good on some people doesn’t on others.

6. If you really want to look like a ghetto prep, then you need to have a ghetto prep attitude. Ghetto preps have the qualities of both preps and ghetto people. Some traits might be; nice, assertive, and just out there. You have to be a good person but be able to stick up for yourself when necessary. You have to be able to have fun all time and be fun to be around. You should also consider joining basketball, track, or football. If you join more preppy sports like golf or tennis you’re pretty much guaranteeing that your image will be ruined as a ghetto prep.