What Is Casual Wear for Pageants?

By Nicholas Rossillo
Some, but not all, dresses are okay for pageant casual wear.

The casual wear portion of the pageant can test your creativity. Choose apparel that shows who you are and what you are about. This portion of the competition produces more different looking outfits than formal wear and swimsuit events. If your competition does not have a swimsuit event, casual wear will be your best opportunity to stand out. Choose carefully; there are many decisions to make.

Dresses

Dresses for the casual wear portion of the competition should be “dressy casual” in style, not formal dresses. Clothes that are appropriate for an office or religious services are also appropriate for the casual wear in pageants. There is a lot of room to show individual personality in your choice of casual wear, but sexier dresses should be reserved for teenagers. It should be well-fitted and not too tight or baggy. Younger girls should not wear dresses that are too frilly for this event. Solid colors are better than prints or multi-colored dresses. Dress fabrics that are too shiny sometimes look cheap in the bright stage lights, so test the fabric under bright lights or avoid shiny fabrics. A conservative hat is also appropriate. Choose shoes to match the dress and do not over-accessorize.

Suits

Slacks, Capri pants or a skirt coupled with a blazer, conservative blouse or a sweater are also appropriate for the casual wear portion of competition. Apparel that would be appropriate in an office environment is acceptable. Younger girls can also wear tailored suits for the casual wear event. Wear solid colors rather than multi-colored suits or printed fabrics. Use limited accessories and shoes that match the suit or outfit. If you have a figure flaw, choose a suit that highlights your best features and camouflages your weak points.

Sportswear

Sportswear is another term for the casual wear event in pageants. Sportswear is the same as casual or casual dressy. It should not be confused with workout apparel such as sweat pants, spandex or shorts. If your competition has a sportswear event, choose dresses or suits that are suitable for an office environment or religious services.

Alternatives

You can show some of your individualism in the casual wear portion of the competition. Some pageants encourage contestants to dress in the attire of their hobbies. This includes a karate outfit, horse riding attire or a cheerleading outfit. Props are encouraged in some competitions. Books for a studious contestant, a soccer ball or other representation of your hobby or interest are appropriate in these pageants.

Competition Guidelines

The director of the pageant decides on the guidelines for each event in the competition. Check the guidelines for the pageant you are entering or speak to the director if you have questions about what is appropriate. While they can give you general rules and guidelines, they cannot offer advice on particular outfits. This would give you an unfair advantage over the competition.

About the Author

I have professional experience in Public Relations, Advertising, Marketing, Publishing, Teaching, Sales, the Health Industry and the Chamber of Commerce. I've written for big businesses such as SUBWAY, Best Buy, RadioShack, John Assaraf and StubHub, but I prefer helping small-business owners. I’ve built my business from scratch, enabling me to communicate with small businesses with accurate and empathetic insight.