The wildest outfits in the history of Miss Universe’s National Costume Show

  • In honor of Miss Universe 2018 (December 16), we’re taking a look back at all the best costumes from the National Costume Show – including 2018.
  • The National Costume Show is a separate part of the pageant, and doesn’t count towards contestants’ overall scores. It’s a chance for them to honor and celebrate their countries.
  • In the last decade, the costumes have become more elaborate, ornate, and, in some cases, a bit confusing.

Miss Universe 2018 is quickly approaching, and the 2018 National Costume show was held on December 10.

In honor of (perhaps) the best part of the entire pageant, we’ve rounded up the most elaborate national costumes for your viewing pleasure. Whether you loved Miss Canada’s hockey ensemble with a working scoreboard or Miss India’s portable couch, there was probably something for you.

Keep scrolling for some of the best national costumes in Miss Universe history.


Miss Universe Thailand 2018 Sophida Kanchanarin paid homage to her country’s national animal, the elephant.

The Miss Universe pageant is being held in Bangkok, Thailand this year.


Miss Universe India 2018 Nehal Chudasama carried around a portable throne on her back.

The costume weighs 105 pounds.


Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2018 Kiara Ortega’s costume featured three pairs of hands and a star headpiece.

Her costume was meant to represent the people of Puerto Rico rebounding after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.


Miss Universe Singapore 2018 Zahra Khanum’s costume referenced the summit in Singapore between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and American president Donald Trump.

The dress’s designer said the dress represented “world peace,” but the internet wasn’t so sure.


Miss Universe Laos 2018 On-anong Homsombath carried two additional figures with her.

Homsombath is the second-ever representative from Laos at Miss Universe.


Miss USA 2013 Erin Brady’s Transformers-inspired costume made a statement.

The costume is a patriotic Optimus Prime.


Miss Brazil 2013 Jakelyne Oliveira wore a cape that depicted indigenous peoples of Brazil.

There are indigenous tribes living in the wilds of Brazil’s Amazon even today.


Miss Thailand 2015 Aniporn Chalermburanawong rocked a dress inspired by a tuk tuk.

A tuk tuk is the most famous symbol of transportation in Thailand. It’s a three-wheeled motorized scooter/taxi hybrid with no windows or doors.


Htet Htet Htun, Miss Myanmar 2016, wore a costume depicting traditional Burmese puppetry.

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Miss Myanmar 2016 Htet Htet Htun.
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Erik De Castro/Reuters

Puppetry has been integral to Myanmarese culture for thousands of years, dating all the way back to the 15th century – and some legends date it even further back to the 11th century.


Miss Canada 2014 Chanel Beckenlehner wore a hockey-inspired ensemble, complete with a scoreboard.

“Hockey is basically the heartbeat of Canada,” said the costume’s designer Alex Kavanagh to Sportsnet in 2015.


Miss Panama 2016 Keity Drennan’s costume looked like a piece of art.

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Miss Panama Keity Drennan 2016.
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Erik De Castro/Reuters

The elaborate outfit featured two statues.


Miss Guyana 2016 Soyini Fraser paid homage to her tropical country by wearing a palm tree-inspired headdress.

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Miss Guyana 2016 Soyini Fraser.
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Erik De Castro/Reuters

Fraser didn’t place in Miss Universe, but she did win Miss United Nations in 2012.


Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez wasn’t shy about her love for red, white, and blue.

Having worked at Hong Kong Disney, Sanchez is no stranger to wearing costumes.


Miss Dominican Republic 2007 Massiel Taveras shouldered two massive dolphins and a coral headpiece.

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Miss Dominican Republic 2007 Massiel Taveras.
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Daniel Aguilar/Reuters

Dolphins are a frequent sight in the blue waters of the Dominican Republic.


Miss Sweden 2016 Ida Ovmar paid homage to Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s creation Pippi Longstocking, complete with her own horse.

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Miss Sweden 2016 Ida Ovmar.
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Erik De Castro/Reuters

“Pippi Longstocking” is one of the most well-known pieces of Swedish literature – or any literature.


Miss Vietnam 2016 Dang Thi Le Hang’s costume resembled a lotus flower.

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Miss Vietnam 2016 Dang Thi Le Hang.
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Erik De Castro/Reuters

The lotus is Vietnam’s national flower.


Miss Finland 2005 Hanna Poulsen (then Ek) channeled Elsa from “Frozen” eight years before it was released.

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Miss Finland 2005 Hanna Poulsen.
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Chaiwat Subprasom/Reuters

Dressing up as Elsa is something even Kristen Bell, who voiced Elsa’s “Frozen” counterpart, Anna, in the film, can relate to.


Zahra Redwood, Miss Jamaica Universe 2007, rocked Rasta-colored hair wraps and a Bob Marley shirt.

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Miss Jamaica Universe 2007 Zahra Redwood.
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Daniel Aguilar/Reuters

Redwood was the first Rastafarian to be crowned Miss Jamaica Universe: Rastafari is a religion founded in Jamaica in the 1930s drawing heavily from the Old Testament.


Miss China 2006 Ying Hui Gao turned heads with this ornate costume.

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Miss China 2006 Ying Hui Gao.
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Sam Mircovich/Reuters

Her ensemble was inspired by the costumes worn at the Chinese opera.


Avanti Marianne Page, Miss Universe Sri Lanka 2014, wore a vibrantly-colored costume.

Page’s costume was inspired by Sri Lankan guard stones.


Miss Universe Greece 2007 Doukissa Nomikou donned an outfit inspired by ancient Grecian armor.

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Miss Universe Greece 2007 Doukissa Nomikou.
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Daniel Aguilar/Reuters

The Trojan War might’ve been an inspiration.


Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe 2006 Kenisha Thom turned into a butterfly.

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Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe 2006 Kenisha Thom.
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Sam Mircovich/Reuters

Trinidad and Tobago – and Tobago specifically – have a lot of butterflies.


Miss St. Lucia Universe 2014 Roxanne Didier-Nicholas’s costume was a modernized take on St. Lucia’s national dress.

The St. Lucia national dress is called the Madras.


Miss Universe Great Britain 2014 Grace Levy wore a version of the Queen’s Guard uniform.

The Queen’s Guard stands outside the Queen’s official residences, including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.


Miss Finland 2014 Bea Toivonen’s costume was winter white, just like Finland’s snow-covered land.

The inspiration could also be from a swan: the national bird of Finland is the whooper swan.


Miss Universe Sierra Leone 2016 Hawa Kamara was the first woman to represent her country at Miss Universe.

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Miss Universe Sierra Leone 2016 Hawa Kamara.
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Erik De Castro/Reuters

According to MissUniverse.com, Kamara was born in Kono, the land of diamonds, and raised in Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown.


Miss Dominican Republic 2014 Kimberly Castillo had the patron saint of the Dominican Republic on her dress.

The patron saint of the Dominican Republic is Virgen de Altagracia.


Marina Jacoby, Miss Nicaragua 2016, channeled a peacock.

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Miss Nicaragua 2016 Marina Jacoby.
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Erik De Castro/Reuters

You can see the bedazzled beak peaking out from the top of her outfit.


Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2016 Brenda Jimenez got to wear a crown no matter what.

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Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2016 Brenda Jimenez.
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Erik De Castro/Reuters

Jimenez was chosen to represent Puerto Rico after the original titleholder was dethroned for not fulfilling her obligations.


Johanna Acs, Miss Universe Germany 2016, donned a castle headdress.

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Miss Universe Germany 2016 Johanna Acs.
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Erik De Castro/Reuters

The prop was meant to evoke the storybook castles that Germany is known for.


Miss Egypt 2007 Ehsan Hatem channeled Cleopatra.

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Miss Egypt 2007 Ehsan Hatem.
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Daniel Aguilar/Reuters

Though this might be a modern twist on Cleopatra’s actual garb, the last active Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt may have been around more recently than you think.


Miss Chile Universe 2005 Renata Ruiz wore a vibrant headpiece, complete with an Easter Island statue on top.

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Miss Chile Universe 2005 Renata Ruiz.
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Chaiwat Subprasom/Reuters

Easter Island is a Chilean territory. Its famous statues are called moai.


Miss Universe Japan 2006, Kurara Chibana, won the national costume show for her samurai-inspired garb.

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Miss Universe Japan 2006 Kurara Chibana.
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Sam Mircovich/Reuters

Her outfit came complete with a samurai sword.


Miss Honduras 2013 Diana Schoutsen’s costume combined peacocks and traditional Mayan clothing.

One of the most famous Mayan ruins is located in western Honduras: the ancient city of Copan.


Miss Haiti Universe 2013 Mondiana Pierre’s costume looked like it was inspired by the indigenous tribes of Haiti.

Taíno people and their culture were thought to have disappeared after colonization and disease, but they’re actually thriving.

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