What to Wear on Camera

Do:

  1. Wear solid colors. Pastels and jewel tones are preferred.
  2. Wear colors that are close to your skin tone. If you are dark-skinned, you should avoid wearing white or very light colors. If you are light-skinned, you should avoid black or very dark clothing.
  3. Bring a few extra clothing options with you. While that blue button down shirt you brought may look great on you, someone else before you may have brought the exact same shirt. If it turns out you are being filmed against a green screen, you’ll want to swap out that green tie.
  4. When choosing an on-camera outfit, consider its shape and fit. Video tends to make people look at least 10 pounds heavier. It is very important that you wear something that will emphasize shape and give a taller look, not wider.
  5. Make sure your clothing is ironed, with your alternates on hangers.
  6. Wear clothing that is clean and in good condition. Photos can often be retouched, but on video it is much more difficult to hide holes and stains.
  7. If you’re not sure what to wear, start with what you’d wear in a professional setting that is natural to you – a conference, a public performance, a lecture, etc.

Selecting your background

Don’t:

  1. Wear solid black. It’s very hard to light, so think grays, browns, or navy if dark colors are what you want.
  2. Wear solid white. It’s also very hard to light, so think off white, cream, beige, soft yellow or light blue. These colors can all give a soft, lighter look without throwing off the lighting.
  3. Wear bright red, orange or neon colors. If you like to wear colorful clothes, stick to a darker shade, like burgundy.
  4. Wear small stripes, small patterns or busy patterns. Close, high-contrast pin stripes, corduroy, and herringbone all create a wavy rainbow-colored pattern called a moiré effect with digital video, which looks like an optical illusion. It is very distracting.
  5. Wear clothing with logos or written words, unless the image is explicitly part of the interview (e.g., a politician wearing an American flag pin). These things are distracting and could even raise copyright issues.
  6. Wear shiny jewelry or watches. They can catch the light and cause a glare. You are the focal point, not your jewelry.
  7. Wear jingly jewelry (especially bracelets and earrings). Microphones will pick up that noise, which may make it difficult to understand what you are saying.