top of page
  • Katryn Barwise

Free Pageant Dress Code Tips

Do you understand what Smart Casual Really means?

In todays life people rarely dress according to the right dress codes. You will find people showing up in jeans to a semi-formal event, where has style gone? Fortunately in the modelling world dress codes are still taken seriously and therefore you need to understand a dress code before showing up in a garment that will count against you!

The most Popular dress codes are: Casual, Smart-Casual, Cocktail wear and Evening wear.

Do you know the difference? Let me give you some free tips on how to dress correctly for your next pageant or event.

Casual wear:

Casual wear means Very casual. It could include jeans, t-shirts, but in pageants you will still wear heels with this outfit, although heels are not really casual for other events. Be careful to not wear shirts with slogans to a beauty pageant, if it does have a name brand make sure it is appropriate for a beauty pageant. Showing up with a shirt that says #Rebel is not exactly good for business in the pageant world! You always want to come across as very girly, mature and Humble. Be careful to not look sloppy when wearing casual wear, you want to still choose an outfit that looks stylish!

Smart-Casual wear:

This is more smart, than your casual wear. Therefore the correct way of dressing Smart-casual means no Jeans and no Leggings, as those are casual. Be smart when choosing this outfit, you want to look very trendy and sophisticated so go for colours that best represents that. I personally prepare light/pastel colours its very popular at the moment and nothing says "I am a true Queen and worthy of the Crown" better than a classy smart casual dress in a light flattering colour. Wearing black is a big no-no for pageants, especially for girls under 16years. It's not age appropriate.

If you wear Smart-casual for the interview you want to look a bit more official. For girls age 16+ a business suit is appropriate however for younger girls it is important to still dress your age. For the interview don't wear Bulky jewellery or anything that attracts too much attention, you want your interview skills to be the most noticeable, not the oversized Earrings that dangles against your face the whole time!

Cocktail Wear:

A cocktail dress means, its a short dress. A high-low dress is also acceptable but be careful that it's not too formal, then its classified as an evening gown. Cocktail dresses are not smart-casual dresses, it should be made of shiny fabrics or more formal fabrics. It often has diamonds and embellishments where smart casual dresses don't. Many pageants allow girls under 12 years to still wear cocktail dresses as evening wear simply because you don't really find long gowns for jnr models often.

Evening wear:

I am sure this is quite self explanatory, when choosing an evening gown choose the correct style for your body type. If you have a really big bust then a sweetheart neckline is not your best bet! High Slits are risky, have a look at Miss South Africa's evening gowns, you won't see the finalists opening their dress to turn. This could make you look arrogant and full of yourself and in pageantry it's best to show the judges that you are humble and easy to work with. It's funny how a dress can say a lot about a girl, make sure your dress says "I am worthy of the crown" and not "I better Get the Crown" Always make sure your gown is the correct length, nothing can make you loose more marks that constantly battling with your dress on stage, holding your dress while walking is a no-no!

Colours also play a massive role in your overall impression, remember at this point in a pageant the judges are looking for someone who will look best wearing the crown, they need to look at you and think wow she looks like the winner. Your dress shouldn't be too over the top, trying too hard will make you loose that elegant and classy look. You need to feel like a princess in your dress, that is when you will walk with the most poise, so choose wisely. Sometimes less is more!

I hope my tips helped you prepare your outfit for your next pageant, leave me a comment or share this on social media to help other girls with some valuable tips for their next event!

View my upcoming pageants here Or

Subscribe for FREE on for FREE Updates of our Upcoming events and More Valuable Modelling Tips!


All the best with your next pageant!

Rise, shine and Sparkle!!!

Lovies xoxo

Katryn Barwise

CEO Limpopo Beauty Modeling Academy

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page