Marketing Bootcamp

What to Wear When You're In Front of the Camera

What to Wear When You're In Front of the Camera
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With video becoming an essential part of any marketing plan, it’s only a matter of time before someone pushes you in front of a camera.  Besides the obvious nerves that come with being recorded, you’ll likely have anxiety about what to wear.

However, wardrobe selection is essential to production planning. Before a Plum Productions shoot, I always email clients a list of suggestions for clothing as some items look better on camera than others. Plus, certain outfits actually pose technical challenges. Below, are some universal guidelines to follow any time you’re the star of a video production.

Related: A Checklist of 8 Best Practices for Successful Video Campaigns

Choose warming colors.  

Colors like teal, cobalt, purple and coral pop on screen. For women, wearing a top in one of these bright shades will really warm up your face. For men, neckties are your best opportunity to deliver a punch of color.

Avoid white, bright red and all-black outfits.  

All three of these colors pose technical problems. 

For instance, before shooting, your videographer will adjusts the camera exposure for your face, so if you’re wearing a bright white top, that top will glow. (A small amount of white is okay peeking out from under a jacket and tie, but your best bet is to opt for a light blue.) 

Black poses the same problem. When the camera exposure is correct on your face, black looks too dark or “crushed.” The definition of your garment will be lost, so you’ll look shapeless. 

And bright red sometimes “bleeds” on camera, giving off a slight, hazy halo.

Stick to solids. 

Big patterns are too distracting. Remember, the focus should be on you, not your outfit. Alternately, small, tight patterns (including even the subtlest plaid pattern in a suit jacket) can "buzz" on camera. On a necktie, opt for a medium-sized pattern, like stripes.

Related: 4 Tips for Hiring a Great Video Production Company

Stay classic.   

Your company is investing a fair amount of money in this video project and will likely use it for years. So choose an outfit that will stand the test of time. As tempted as you may be to rock those very-now culottes you’re so excited about, avoid any trends that will make the video look dated.

Keep jewelry simple.  

Dangly jewelry isn’t just visually distracting; it’s loud. Microphones will pick up your bangle bracelets or jangly earrings. Stick to studs and forgo the bracelets.

Don’t make a big change before the shoot. 

I once arrived to a shoot and my client was furious; the night before one of his staff members had gotten a funky haircut and colored it a shade of red not naturally found on the human head. 

If you’re “casting” certain team members to be in your company’s video, make sure they understand that their style and appearance is one of the reasons they were selected and major makeovers before the shoot are unnecessary.

As a rule of thumb always bring two or three wardrobe options to any shoot and let your producer help you make a final selection. While you may be the star, always remember that your outfit plays a supporting role.

Related: How to Create a Successful DIY Video on a Budget