But, there were some trends that I saw that I think we can expect to see a lot more of rolling into 2020 and are totally worth mentioning. Check them out...
TREND #1: LESS IS MORE
Something that I saw a lot of (especially in the optional Runway Contest) was really simple, clean looks that were elevated with a bold shape or unique print. In the past for Runway, it seemed like girls would take formal wear dresses and cut them apart to make into what looked like shorts with a cape over it and there was lots of bling, print, color, texture - just a lot going on. But, these 5 looks not only scored high during runway, but I think the reason they did score well was because the girls took the less is more approach, thus letting their stage presence and modeling skills command the stage instead of their outfits.
We've seen the high/low a thousand times before, but I thought Miss South Texas Jr. Pre-Teen really made it look elegant and youthful. I think what set this high/low a part was the material. It looked elegant, but fashion forward and because it was a heavier material, it took a shape on the runway instead of just being flowy. Also, I loved that the dress was simple, but the color popped on stage and the whole look was super age appropriate.
I thought Miss Oklahoma Teen, Hosanna Hales, really gave us a unique look in this ensemble. Pairing a classic black dress with a flowy white vest, was a unique spin on a very classic look. I think I would have gone with dramatic ear cuffs if it were me, but other than that - I love the simplicity, elegance, and shape.
TREND #2: MINIMAL SEQUINS
First, lets' be clear - it's a pageant. So, there was plenty of sequins and sparkle. But, a lot less than usual. Fabrics seemed to dominate with lots of texture. Where there was rhinestones on a gown, it was minimal. I think it was refreshing to see and many of the girls that kept it fresh scored well. In fact, most of our National Queens who took home the crowns really kept it light on the bling, but heavy on the textures in their gowns. Check out what I mean.
This precious one shoulder dress was simple and clean on our new National Jr. Pre-Teen, Ava Gresser. The one shoulder bow kept it youthful and elegant. She did add a bit of bling at the neckline and on the trim of the bow, but it was minimal and her earrings were simple dangles. All eyes were on Ava, and not on her dress.
Olivia Wynkoop, our new All-American Teen sported a really timeless dress. Variations of this style have been seen in the 80's, 90's, and through today. The base of her dress was a simple white lace and the cape skirt added a bit of flair that looked angelic and soft as she took the runway. I love that she chose an off the shoulder dress. Olivia is tall and so this really complemented her height.
This little nugget stole the show during the Top 5 Question, professing her interest in #thatguy (AKA - Loren, one of our Official NAM entertainers). But, before she opened her mouth, she was already gliding across the stage in this lavender gown which features a simple textured pattern on the whole dress and minimal stoning at the waist. It was soft and elegant, which made her witty attitude all that much more of surprise! Well done, Brielle Skye!
Caitlyn Kramer's Johnathan Kayne dress is a black crushed velvet, strapless dress. It was elegant and simple, but the multi-tier ruffles created a super trendy vibe. I love that with Caitlyn's dark skin - she took a chance on wearing a dark dress because it totally payed off and she captured the title of All-American Miss.
TREND #3: CURLS FOR THE GIRLS
Back in my pageant day, everyone was chemically straightening their hair and a chi flat iron was in every pageant girls tool kit ...and by everyone I do mean yours truly! HELLO! Now, this really isn't just a NAM trend I am seeing, but it's becoming a pageant trend. (Hello Miss USA) Girls are rocking their natural locks, and even doing so for ALL hair textures..... and I am totally here for it. These were some of my FAVES (also, I too have naturally curly hair that I haven't worn natural since college....and I wish my natural curls were as pretty as these girls'!)
Maranda Saltzman snagged the 1st Runner-Up spot with her bouncy curls and bouncy attitude. Not only was she polished, she won Miss Personality -and you can see why!
Our New National Teen, Faith Pierre-Charles, has been competing in NAM for a few years and I have never seen her rock her natural curls. In fact, I didn't even recognize her for the first few days. But, Faith came to NAM this year being authentically herself, from her hairstyle to her attitude...it paid off.
Briyah Love Nobles is the epitome of "authentic and natural." I remember her as a Jr. Pre-Teen at Nationals a few years ago and her bold personality and ability to stay authentic to herself is no surprise why she won the National Pre-Teen title this year - she celebrated her authentic self, from what was in her heart to on top of her head ;)!
Miss Oregon was a STAND OUT on stage! I loved everything about her styling - hair, gown, you name it. She oozed style and poise and the judges saw it, too - which snagged her a Top 5 placement!
Hosanna Hales, Miss Oklahoma Teen, has naturally curly hair, and she always wear it back (I don't think I have ever seen it down since she started as a Jr. Teen with us a few years ago), which I think is a unique and rare look. It is uncommon to see girls with natural curls pull their hair up and off their face, but this look has become her signature and I think it's worth highlighting for that reason alone!
Miss Iowa Teen, Olivia went bold with the fro. I remember her wearing her hair like this at state during preliminary Formal Wear competition and when she walked out - the whole audience gasped (seriously). I think time stood still as she took the stage - she was a beacon of beauty and it was such a fresh look! I am so happy she rocked the same look at Nationals, snagging a Top 12 finish, Runway winner, and Destination Model winner!
TREND #4: BOSS BABES IN PANTS
Yo, the pants and jumpsuits were here for the party! Interview & Personal Intro competitions saw girls of ALL ages dominate their communication skills while wearing these. I think there is something about pants that makes a girl feel like "I can do anything a man can do" and I'm loving that jumpsuits are becoming power suits. Hello Glass Ceiling, it's a NAM girl....crash!
Yes to Miss Fresno and this seafoam green, off the shoulder pantsuit! Talk about looking chic, but total #bossbabe!
Miss South Carolina made a clever move with a simple color, high neck line and simple detailing. This really elongated her figure and brought the eyes up to her smile, making us pay attention to what she was saying vs. what she had on. Well done!
The one shoulder ruffle made a power pant suit feel girly and is totally age appropriate. Loving this look on Miss New York Jr. Teen!
How precious is Miss Oregon? I'm loving the bow detail at the waist and the coordinating bow detail on the shoe. The ruffled sleeve paired with the bow detailing and soft color kept this fashion trend looking little girl pageant perfect.
Terri Lynn, Miss Tennesse Jr. Pre-Teen, really went bold with this fabric and print. The whole plaid/houndstooth fabric/print can come off really heavy and non figure flattering if you don't do it right, but she did. Adding the simple belt accented the look and kicked it up a notch to be even more on trend. The look is youthful, classy, and totally fashion forward. Well done!
Miss Wisconsin Princess, Avrianna Artus, slayed in this adorable 2 piece pant suit. It was a fresh, new look on the old 2 piece interview suit classic. The bow in her hair helped to keep it age appropriate. It's no wonder this look made its way into the Top 12 at Nationals!
TREND #5: #GIRLINTHEGREENDRESS
When Miss Jamaica was announced as the winner of Miss World, her runner-ups were more ecstatic than she was...especially Miss Nigeria!!!! If you haven't seen the video, I posted it below and just watch #girlinthegreendress to see what I'm talking about. But, while I swear, I'm not just trying to bring the focus back home on really whats important at NAM...sisterhood and besties! But, this was a year that I saw SERIOUS support and LOVE for one another amongst the girls...on a whole new level. Is this a pageant thing? A generational thing? I'm not sure. But, I want to truly commend each of you girls AND your parents who were at #NAMnationals19 for having the same spirit as #girlinthegreendress and for making COMPASSION, LOVE, SUPPORT, SISTERHOOD...all the goodness ....ON TREND!
Well, that's a wrap on reviewing the hottest trends we saw this Thanksgiving. Will we see you be a trendsetter at next year's #NAMnationals. I sure hope so!
Signing Off in NAM Style,