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What is the Difference Between Casual Wear and Fun Fashion?

I’ll never forget competing in Miss America locals in Arizona in the early 2000’s and all of us being confused by Casual Wear.

I had Theme Wear in pageants in the years prior to my MAO years, and we seemed to always wear a Casual Wear type of outfit, but in MAO, the definition seemed a bit different.

Fast forward 10 years and I was competing in a pageant with Fun Fashion. I was confused then, too. (Read: Runway and Fun Fashion…What’s the Difference?)

But, with a little help and explanation, you can certainly rock the runway at your next pageant.

The Difference Between Casual Wear and Fun Fashion

Casual Wear

Junior Queensland Australia, Ayva Yoeub,ijm
International Jr. Princess 2016, Ayva Yoeub. Photo Courtesy/IJM.

We live in a world where “casual” has multiple meanings. Business casual, fitness casual/athleisure, jeans, leggings, dresses, rompers, jumpsuits.

It’s often what you see celebrities wearing to award shows like Kid’s Choice.

Senior Virginia, Lexi Crosen. Photo Courtesy/IJM.
International Teen 2016, Lexi Crosen. Photo Courtesy/IJM.

Casual Wear is your everyday style, so consider what is in your closet that you’d wear on a day that you want to be stylish. Not sweats – you still want to be fashionable.

This would be clothing that you would wear every day. Something that you would wear to the movies, a picnic or to the mall.

Older girls, consider what you would wear on a first date.

Senior Grand Canyon State, Katie Schaaf. Photo Courtesy/IJM
Grand Canyon State Jr. Teen 2016, Katie Schaaf. Photo Courtesy/IJM

Fun Fashion

Junior New York, Alyssa Dass. Photo Courtesy/IJM.
International Preteen 2016, Alyssa Dass. Photo Courtesy/IJM.

Fun Fashion, on the other hand, is what you would wear to the MTV VMAs or People’s Choice. (Read: 5 Trendy International Junior Miss 2016 Fun Fashion Outfits)

Senior Illinois, AMaiya Allen. Photo Courtesy/IJM.
International Jr. Teen 2016, A’Maiya Allen. Photo Courtesy/IJM.

It’s supposed to be fun and show off your personality while you work the runway like it’s Fashion Week.

This would be clothing that you would wear to an event. Something that you would wear on the red carpet, a gala or an award show.

For older divisions, think of the MET Gala and Dancing with the Stars.

Senior Northern Illinois, Jasmine Guy. Photo Courtesy/IJM.
International Miss 2016, Jasmine Guy. Photo Courtesy/IJM.

International Junior Miss

While many pageants offer one of these two areas of competition, International Junior Miss (IJM) offers both.

At IJM, Fun Fashion is a required category of competition, but Casual Wear is an optional. This means that you can get experience in both areas of competition in one pageant.

In addition to Fun Fashion, the required areas of competition include Interview and Evening Gown.

Optional competitions include Casual Wear, Talent, Spokesmodel, Photogenic, Photoshoot and Media Correspondent.

IJM is a scholarship program and offers a variety of age divisions including:

Jr. Princess Division: Ages 4 – 6 Years

Princess Division: Ages 7 – 9 Years

Preteen Division: Ages 10 – 12 Years

Jr. Teen Division: Age 13 – 15 Years

Teen Division: Age 16 – 18 Years

Miss Division: Age 19 – 24 Years

State, Regional, Country and appointed titles are available.

Going Forward

When choosing your pageant wardrobe, it is important that you understand what the system is looking for and requires for the various areas of competition available.

If you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification on the rules or definitions of competition areas. You spend a lot of money on pageants, so you want to put your best foot forward.

Want to compete in both Fun Fashion and Casual Wear areas of competition? Consider IJM for your next pageant.

IJM is a fairly new system, but it has grown by leaps and bounds in its short time. If you have questions about the pageant, its areas of competition or want to get involved, contact IJM for more information.

Good luck!

Which dress do you like better?

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