What to Wear for Your Video Shoot

A popular question my clients ask when we are planning a shoot is, “What should I wear?” The answer depends on many different factors. Most of the videos I produce for Thespis Media are interviews or testimonials, so I’ve compiled a list of wardrobe tips to help you when it’s your turn to be in front of the camera.

What will your outfit match, or more importantly, not match? It sometimes helps to consider where you will be filmed. Think about what type of environment you'll be shooting in, and how professional you want to appear.

Wear Jewel Tones

Sapphire blue, ruby red, and emerald green are saturated colors, so they look good against most skin tones. Solid pastels work well, but you don’t want to be too muted against any background. Try to avoid bright white or red, neon, or fluorescent colors. Naturally our eyes are drawn to the brightest spots on screen. Wearing a solid white shirt is a "no-no" because it makes the camera lens compensate for that brightness, which means the shot will need to be darker. Layering a jacket or sweater over a white shirt is better.

Shirts hanging on rack in jewel tones of emerald green, teal, sapphire blue, navy blue, violet and ruby red

Wear Black Sparingly

Think about contrast. For example, you have fair skin tone and wear all black in front of a white wall, the contrast will be very dramatic vs. wearing a lighter color on white background. Black can look good on camera, but that’s usually when you have good lighting and makeup to add life back to your complexion. If you wear black, try adding another color with a scarf or tie as to minimize the darkness. Navy is a better choice if you want to wear a dark color.

Avoid Shiny Fabrics

Shiny fabrics are usually less than flattering, especially under bright lights. When you wear matte fabrics or thick cottons, it can create a smoother body line. Having your clothes pressed and well-fitting is more flattering as well.

Use Pattern Sparingly

I recommend solids as much as possible. Patterns that look great in person don't always translate well on camera. Small, repetitive patterns like pinstripes, chevron, plaid, and houndstooth are difficult to see on video. It causes video to moiré (visually vibrate).

Avoid Distracting Jewelry

Also keep your jewelry simple as long as it's not too reflective, which could cause lighting issues. Dangly or clunky jewelry can also cause sound issues. For example, if a video host is wearing a bracelet with several charms hanging from it, her arm movements would be heard and distract from what she’s saying.

Don’t Wear Green on Green Screen

If you are shooting on green screen, do not wear any shade of green in your clothing or accessories. The point of shooting on green is to make the background disappear so if you wear a green shirt, your shirt would disappear with it. You are probably not going for the “floating head” look!

Avoid Shimmery Makeup

Matte powders, shadows and lipsticks are best for film. Even shiny lip glosses can be distracting. So when you want viewers to pay attention, you don't want them to be noticing the shiny spots on your face from the bright film lights. Ladies, if you won’t have a makeup person on set, then bring your own powder for touchups.

Bring an Alternate Shirt or Suit Jacket

You may show up to the set perfectly ready for your close up, then you accidentally spill coffee on your freshly dry cleaned blouse. But the shoot must go on! This is the moment where having a backup shirt is a necessity. For men, bringing an alternate tie is a good idea. It’s nice to let the producer or stylist pick from a few items that you bring, once the set is coming together.

If you want to wear your company's apparel, consider mentioning your brand colors or style to us. We can sometimes chose a background to support the clothing choice that you have already made.

Generally, whether you are being interviewed, hosting a show, or just appearing in b-roll… you can’t go wrong with most shades of blue. At least, that is my favorite color!

These are helpful tips to keep in mind for the next time you plan to be on camera. However, every set is different and your video production company will most likely have their own expectations for your wardrobe. ​Our job is to make you look good, so trust the professionals you’re working with and I’m sure you will look your best!

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