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What to Wear (and Not Wear) During Your Production

10 Min Read

Often in video marketing, putting yourself or another company spokesperson behind the camera can be the most effective approach.

It could be for a brand video, where you or your CEO talk about your vision for your company directly to the camera in a flashy and inspirational commercial. Or it could be for a simple FAQ video, where you’re answering customer questions from behind a desk for your company’s social networks.

Either way, before preparing for your big on-screen introduction to the world, you’re going to find yourself asking the age-old question: What should I wear?

Believe it or not, what you wear on camera is very important, even if you aren’t a big celebrity or fashion icon. Even for small-scale productions, there are a few rules you should follow when figuring out wardrobe choices for your video shoot.

To help you out, we’re giving you a handful of video fashion do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you prepare for your big day!

1. Do wear something you feel comfortable in.

If you’re being interviewed or reading from a script directly to the camera, you’re going to want to feel confident and natural enough to perform like a pro. Like any other normal day, some outfits might make you feel more confident than others. The energy you exude in your video will come through in a much more natural, unscripted manner if you feel good in what you’re wearing.

This doesn’t mean you should show up in joggers (unless that’s your business of course!), but you should feel relaxed. If your clothing is uncomfortable, you’ll be worried about fixing little things the entire time. Remember, confidence is key!

2. Do wear something cool.

No, we don’t mean cool as in celebrity “cool.” We mean cool literally. Wear clothes that will allow heat to escape from your body. The lights on a professional production set can be very hot. Even with more LED lights being used on set than ever before, your production space can heat up quickly, and the last thing you want is to get sweaty or have all of your makeup come off.

As a precaution, it can also be helpful to wear layers, or bring backup options. It’s helpful to have alternatives for you or the director to choose from, as well as to be prepared for weather changes if filming outdoors.

3. Do wear something consistent with your brand.

Branding helps create and sustain your company’s image. If you’re shooting a professional interview, pitch video, or any type of inspirational commercial, you should make an effort to look the part. Match the outfit you’re wearing with the subject matter. You wouldn’t want to wear a suit and tie for interviews at an amusement park, and you certainly wouldn’t wear a t-shirt for an interview with the mayor.

If you’re shooting a studio interview, you should probably be dressed in typical broadcast attire: shirts, ties, skirts, dresses, or pantsuits – unless this isn’t standard in your profession. Shoes should always be polished and clean!

4. Don’t wear bright, hot colors.

Even with the infinite power of movie magic (editing), the colors you wear on camera still matter. For instance, wearing intense reds will bleed and could make the surrounding objects, including your face, appear red as well.

On the other hand, cooler colors like teal, purple, or coral will pop more on the screen without affecting how you look.

When it comes to patterns, most are problematic. For example, big patterns tend to be too distracting and take attention away from the subject speaking, while small patterns can create a “buzzing” effect as they appear to buzz around. This is especially true for plaids, zig-zags, and narrow stripes. Your only safe bet with patterns on video are medium-sized patterns, so aim for as neutral of a look as possible.

Oh, and don’t forget: don’t wear green in front of a green screen… unless you’re going for that floating head look.

5. Don’t wear colors that compete with your complexion.

If you have a pale complexion, stay away from pure white clothing. Any pure white shirts you wear will appear to glow after the camera operator adjusts the “white balance” (exposure) of the video. Instead, wear something that compliments your skin tone, like a nice light blue, teal, or cobalt.

In general, avoid wearing any color that too closely matches your skin tone. This can either wash you out, making your characteristic face and body features disappear, or it can cause an optical illusion of sorts, making viewers think you’re nude. Even if it’s very clear you’re not, a person’s subconscious can rarely help going there – so avoid it altogether!

You’ll want to avoid wearing all black, as well. This has less to do with your skin tone, and more to do with the color correction process that happens in the post-production phase, where the editing team adjusts all the colors to match one another. When the color is correctly adjusted to your face, the black of your outfit will look too dark and you’ll lose all the definition of your outfit, making your body look like a formless mass.

6. Don’t make any drastic changes the night before.

Just like you would before professional headshots or getting married, don’t change anything about your look the night before you’re set to get on camera. Whatever video you’re shooting the next day will likely live online forever, so make sure you’re picking a look you like and might not regret later.

Plus, whether you’re the company’s CEO or just the team member who volunteered to act on camera, you’re acting as a representative of your company, so pick a look you can live with. No last minute mohawks or green hair-dye is what we’re saying – tempting as they may be.

7. Do try on your wardrobe before the day of the shoot.

There’s nothing worse than buying a new outfit and discovering it doesn’t fit you the way you imagined. Sometimes our clothing looks great in the mirror, but its utility is not suited to match our lifestyle – skirts that are too tight to walk in, jackets that unreasonably restrict our arm motion, and shoes that are meant for anything but walking.

You can avoid clothing malfunctions on the day of your shoot by trying on all of your clothing ahead of time. Take it one step further by doing a complete dress rehearsal. For example, if you’ll be sitting down in your video, make sure your clothing is loose enough to allow you to sit comfortably.

8. Do take a deep breath and enjoy the experience.

Whether you’re filming with outside professionals or an internal video team, at a certain point you’ll need to let yourself take a deep breath and relax. Trust that the ones behind the camera will make sure you don’t look bad. It is their job, after all.

Instead, let yourself enjoy the experience and have fun with it! Let your personality shine through, both in your performance and in your choice of clothes. If you pick an outfit you feel comfortable and confident in, no matter what, you’re going to look great!

Do you need a video partner to help you shine?

Reach out! Our team of high-quality video professionals would love to make you the star. Or, if you’re the camera-shy type, we can cast outside talent for you. Either way, having a great video you can use across your website, your social platforms, your email marketing and beyond is crucial for success in the digital age. What are you waiting for?

Need more production day tips from the experts?

Give us a call! We can help you organize and execute your next video.

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