Wardrobe? What should I wear on camera?

If you are a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog post is for you.

“Wardrobe” is a performing arts term that refers to costumes, shoes, undergarments, hats, and personal props such as gloves, jewelry, etc. (wiki). In our business video production world, we are generally talking about the clothing that you wear on camera.

Making good wardrobe choices will help elevate your production to a professional level. Business men and women usually don’t understand how wardrobe can affect a video, so we try to share our knowledge in pre-production (before filming). Here’s what we tell everyone:

Bring several outfit options so that the production team can make a choice with you.

Avoid wearing white or red, unless it’s an accent or highlight color.
We also suggest avoiding too much black, as it can absorb too much light.
Wear solid colors that accentuate your skin tone, neutrals tend to be the best.
If the shoot involves a green screen, you should avoid wearing green.

Avoid stripes, herringbone, corduroy, high-contrast patterns, and zig zags (these cause the moiré effect, which look like wavy rainbow lines).

Avoid dangly jewelry that can be distracting and noisy.
Shiny or brilliant jewelry can reflect light unpredictably and distract the viewer.

“According to the Vision Impact Institute research, 3 out of 4 people in the U.S. have vision correction, and of those people, 71% wear glasses and 22% wear contacts.”

When it comes to making a video, contacts are ideal to avoid light reflections in the eyeglasses. However, most people do not wear contacts. Some people consider their glasses as a part of their persona. Either way, it’s best to discuss eyeglasses before filming.

If you are wearing a necktie or a scarf, bring options. Solid colors or simple patterns are the best.

If your budget does not include a makeup artist (totally worth the money BTW), then be prepared.

If you wear makeup, then you should come ready to go on camera with additional products on hand for touch-ups. If you don’t normally wear makeup, then you should be aware that you may need powder or invisible HD cover-up foundation.

We usually have a makeup kit on hand with some cover-up and hairspray.

Final word
The wardrobe should fit the video and be comfortable for the subject. We always err on the side of what makes the on-camera talent feel comfortable while still matching the look and message of the end-product.

We’ve filmed a number of business leaders and executives. Some simply show up and are comfortable to film in what they’re wearing; others want to carefully plan their look. Either way can be successful as long as the wardrobe supports the visual message. In other words, you want your wardrobe to add to the professional look of your video production.

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