You have a photoshoot coming up or you need to appear on camera for a live shot, a webinar, or even appear on tv, but like thousands of people, you have no idea what to wear or what looks best on camera. What people want is to look good and make sure the clothes don’t clash with the camera, but also most of you want to know how to dress to project a credible image. In this video, I will teach you all of the above and you will know all the tricks of the trade you need to know to be prepared and feel more confident when the camera is rolling. This confidence will transmit to your audience.
What people want when it comes to picking what to wear on camera is to look good and make sure the clothes don’t clash with the camera, but also most of you want to know how to dress to project a credible image. In this video, I will teach you all of the above and you will know all the tricks of the trade you need to know to be prepared and feel more confident when the camera is rolling.
I know for a fact that Feeling at ease and confident when taking pictures, making a video, or speaking in public makes a huge difference in the way you’re perceived and received. The way you look and present yourself can undermine you or it can fully support you so the idea is to feel so confident in the way you present yourself that it transpires. This confidence will transmit to your audience. So let’s get started.
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that camera magnifies everything so we need to pay close attention to every single detail.
You need to wear clothes that make you look professional. This means no casual clothing ideally unless it’s a fundamental part of your personal brand. Go for clothes that are professional looking or business casual at the very least depending on your personal brand. If you are in the business of teaching people how to make more money such as a business, marketing, or mindset coach, then it’s even more important for you to look super credible and look like you make good money and this means you need to wear decent quality clothes. Regardless of what industry you are in, you can have everything else in place, but if your clothes look too casual or too cheap like they come from Target, you will not look like the accomplished expert that you are and your potential clients will not see you as such either. As a personal stylist specializing in making women look like a successful expert, this is one of the most important aspects I emphasize over and over. If you give a lower end or out-of-style image. People will then feel like your content and what you have to offer might also be outdated or lower in quality. And people do notice if you look more polished or successful and therefore accomplished and good at what you do than the person who settles for “I look good enough”. And we trust people who look successful much more easily than the ones who don’t. The quality and the type of fabrics you wear has a lot to do with it.
It’s easier than ever to find sales out there and pay a lot less than retail prices for quality clothes. I’m all about getting the best stuff for much less and you can too.
I see women wearing cardigans and little knits vests over their dress to cover up instead of wearing a more structured blazer for example. I also see women wearing fabrics such as modal dresses that are too casual and can even be inappropriate for a professional setting. It doesn’t project a professional, polished, or credible image. You want to pick the clothes that make you feel great and that feel the most authentic to who you are and the vision of where you are heading, not where you’ve been.
The shape and fit of your clothes are extremely important. Protruding or shapeless clothes look awkward on camera AND make you look bigger. This goes for very thick fabrics like a thick tweed for example. It’s not as crucial to avoid these type of clothing when doing public speaking, but I still advise to stay away, which brings me to the next point.
Because of the extra ten pounds effect, wear something that will flatter your shape, emphasize your waist, and give you a taller look as opposed to wider. And this is done with fitted clothes, with V or U necklines. Necklaces or details on tops can also create the V neckline illusion. The last thing you want is to look like you are trying to hide something. You want to flatter your curves with the right kind of fitted clothes.
Pick colors that look good on you. Your power colors will flatter your skin tone and make you look better. See how the guy on the left looks so much warmer and glowy than on the right? Colors are also a powerful tool you can use to set a positive tone for your audience. There’s a palette of colors that look best on each of us and these colors become even more important on video as the camera magnifies everything. You can refer to my youtube video called “how to wear the right colors for your skin tone” to learn what your best colors are. Click here to access it.
Bold colors make a much bigger impact so try and go for bolder hues than you might wear on a regular basis unless it goes against your personal brand meaning you don’t feel comfortable wearing bold colors. This is a very efficient way to be more noticeable and memorable, not to mention that bold colors such as a hot pink look best on camera.
TV professionals usually say to avoid black, white, and reds. Nowadays, we see TV personalities wearing all kinds of colors and hues, but you can’t go wrong with reds, greens, and blues as they look good on most people provided you pick a shade that is part of your power colors palette. I think it’s ok to wear red, especially if the color is part of your personal brand style. If pastels are in your color palette and look remarkably flattering on you, then they are a great option. Colors are a powerful branding tool you can use to differentiate yourself and stand out.
Black can look good on camera, especially on people with darker hair. However, it typically requires better lighting and makeup to add life back to your complexion especially if you have light skin as black absorbs most of the light. Navy is also a good alternative if you want to wear dark clothes. White on the other end, is the one color that is mostly avoided on TV as it makes everything else look darker including your face. Just keep in mind that pure white has the brightest value and will draw the eye (or camera) more than any other color. This will somewhat take the attention away from you and onto your white attire. But again, I think it’s ok to wear white, especially if there is a reason for it and the color represents you, your style, and your brand. Many news anchors do it today.
Background colors: The color you shoot your videos against will impact how you look on camera. Light or white backgrounds will make colors look brighter, while dark backgrounds make colors lose some of their intensity. Keep your lighting very soft if you decide to use a white background. If you pay attention, you will notice that most news channels background sets are in the Gray or Blue tones. This is because these colors look good on all skin tones and play well with other colors. You should find out ahead of time the background color of the set if possible as you don’t want your clothes to blend in and make you invisible. Ideally and if it works with your brand style, choose an outfit that complements the background color such as orange on blue. Complimentary colors are opposite colors on the color wheel. Another example would be red on green. Wearing a complementary color will make you stand out very effectively. They can be bold choices, but they are guaranteed to highlight you. I am not saying to go and buy an orange suit, especially if it’s not part of your power colors, but knowing the background color helps to determine the color of your outfit. There are different ways to mix colors to make a positive impact.
The dress code has become more and more flexible and allows for more creativity. It’s now common to see TV personalities wearing patterns and prints on camera, but some patterns that look great in person don’t always look good on camera. Avoid small, busy, patterns like thin pinstripes, chevron, herringbone, or houndstooth type of prints. They can be distracting on photo and difficult to see on video. To the viewer it can look like your clothes are vibrating or buzzing which can even make viewers dizzy, which we don’t want. Large prints and geometric patterns will drive the eye toward the print instead of towards you. So If you REALLY like prints, try to pick more subtle ones unless large prints are a fundamental part of your brand style. It’s still a good idea to gravitate towards solid colors to avoid any distraction from the information being shared. Solid colors are also more timeless. If you plan on having your video around for a long time, wearing a print might make you look outdated much sooner.
Should you dress casual or formal, work clothes, or creative clothes? The next step to dressing appropriately for your camera appearance is to get a general understanding of your audience and what message you want to give. Are they professionals, artists, computer geeks? This information will guide you in dressing appropriately to maintain the attention of your audience while keeping in mind that it’s your responsibility to inform and entertain your audience. Visuals and how you present yourself play an important role in that. Your audience wants to be visually entertained. It’s a good idea to always dress slightly better than they do. Because you still want to look like you belong and they can relate, you will need to find an outfit that allows them to connect with you. You don’t want a total disconnect, so as an extreme example, I would avoid the whole business suit attire if your audience is filled with artists, but dress a little better with your clothing choices. Your audience will appreciate it. This being said, don’t try to be or look like your audience if it truly doesn’t represent who you are. Be authentic and comfortable, but also remember you are there to inform and to entertain them. You are a temporary authority and you need to signal that through the way you present yourself. They will expect you to. Quality content, effective communication skills, and good visuals are all important to have a successful career.
If you are going to appear on a TV show, you can also watch the program you will appear on in advance or ask the producer. Asking in advance is actually an important step as programs often have special requirements or suggestions. Make sure you pick something that makes you feel good and you’re comfortable in. If you get compliments on a particular outfit, bring it as an option. I recommend wearing clothes made of natural fabrics that tend to breathe easily under the warm studio lights. After the fact, It helps a lot to watch yourself with the volume turned off as it will make you more aware of what worked and what didn’t work visually. You can then fix it the next time around.
People might tell you they “saw you on TV” but may not remember what you said. They’ll be left with a feeling or an impression of you. So, your clothing and the way you present yourself is essential to getting your message across. This is why it’s important to understand your personal brand style and colors. It will also get people to remember you and your personal brand much more easily. You can discover what your own personal brand style is by taking a fun and really quick assessment I created. the link is right below.
Comfort: Whatever outfit you pick, you should always think about how it makes you feel. If you feel great in a suit or in high heels, then you should consider wearing that because it’s most probably part of your brand image. It will also make you feel more comfortable and confident. This will translate into your presence and the energy you give out. Another tip to consider would be to wear a blazer if again, it’s part of your personal brand and you feel comfortable wearing it. They are great to cover up underarm sweat and chances are you will sweat especially if you appear on TV. Additionally, blazers help to keep your shoulders straighter and give the impression you are not slouching, which helps with projecting a confident posture. If it’s hot and you’re wearing just a blouse, avoid light colors and fabrics such as silk that show wet circles. I’m all about natural deodorant, but I would definitely go for a strong antiperspirant to reduce the sweat problem, which can make us feel self-conscious.
Light reflects off shiny surfaces. This is why shiny fabrics, especially under bright lights, are usually not flattering. They can be very distracting and confusing to the eye. We all know the camera can add ten pounds, so it’s best to avoid making your body look bigger with shimmers all over it. You should also be careful about the type and amount of jewelry you wear. I would avoid anything too large and sparkling such as big sparkly bracelets, dangling earrings, and necklaces as they can be too distracting. Always opt for something simple and classy looking to keep the attention on you and your message. If you wear glasses all the time, you can wear them on camera, but try to get glare-proof glasses if possible, especially if you plan on being on camera regularly. A good tip is to lift the bows of your eyeglasses up slightly off your ears. This will angle the lenses down to reduce glare from lights. Avoid shiny frames and don’t wear tinted glasses or sunglasses, even outside. People need to see your eyes.
Studios are usually kept cool to protect the equipment and because of the hot TV lights. You may freeze for a while until the lights are turned on and then you may get hot. Dress for the heat, but bring a jacket or extra cover-up to be used while you are waiting to go on. Women should wear padded bras to prevent embarrassing mishaps.
- It’s a good idea to bring tissues to dab perspiration during breaks.
- In doubt, Act as if the camera is always on and you are always on screen, especially if you are live.
- Consider dress shields if you perspire easily.
- Make sure a lavaliere or lapel microphone and transmitter can be attached to your clothing.
- Have a second outfit as plan B as you never what can happen.
- If using your phone or home camera, keep it higher than your eyes. It will make you look younger, diminish bags under the eyes, or saggy skin.
- Make sure the natural light from windows is in front of you and behind the camera.
Because you are working with bright lights, you have to worry about flyaway hair and the shadows cast by big hair. Make sure you smooth out the flyaway hair with hair spray as you don’t want to be playing with it while on the air and style your hair in a way that feels good and natural to you. It’s no longer necessary to wear really heavy makeup to look alive on camera. Today’s cameras can recreate color very well and makeup is used primarily to even out your complexion, reduce the glare of the lights on shiny or slightly sweaty skin, and bring some color to the face. From personal experience, you do need to apply more makeup than what you would wear on a daily basis for the camera because the bright lights will still wash you out. It’s also a good idea to use some contouring which will help to recreate the lost dimension. Avoid wearing a foundation that has SPF in it as the light will reflect, whitens your complexion, and make you look pasty. There is one great natural brand that looks good on camera even though it has an SPF. It has no chemicals and is even dyed with fruits. This brand is called 100 percent pure. Even if you need to apply more makeup, you should still go for the more natural look to look like you and avoid too heavy makeup like bright red lips or lip gloss, which can be distracting unless it’s an integral part of your personal brand. A more natural lipstick color is typically a better choice. Again, keep in mind that everything is magnified on camera, and keeping it simple and classy is always the best way to go. If it’s your first time, I highly recommend hiring a makeup artist experienced with on-camera makeup and take a lesson with them to know how to do it yourself. Bring a variety of lipsticks; some will look better on camera than others. Most importantly, you need to be you and look like you.
The last but not the least most important tip on what to wear for the camera: Make sure that what you are wearing makes you FEEL awesome, that it makes you FEEL good, Confident, and sexy, and successful, and powerful. It’s so important for this energy to come across in the pictures or on camera.
Finally, I have a game-changer acting tip you want to use for your next headshot photoshoot.
Casting directors regularly asked actors what they were thinking during the audition and some said “I wasn’t thinking about anything”. Those actors didn’t get picked – ever. Because the camera can pick up what’s going on behind those eyes. If nothing is going on, then the receiver gets nothing. Not good.
So I want you to Look at that lens and think to yourself: I AM so sexy. you won’t be able to resist me. Can you see how I’m already feeling animated just by saying it? If this particular statement doesn’t do it, Find one as powerful that does and that fits who you are. What we want is to get that great eye-catching and sexy energy coming out of your eyes and out of you. Try it – It’s an acting trick that works and it will make all the difference in your headshots.
I know this was a boatload of information, so I created a written version of this video called “what to wear for the camera” that you can access by clicking HERE. This way you can refer to any specific points easily when you are ready for your next on-camera appearance.
In this video, you learned what to wear for the camera and you also learned that defining and clarifying your personal brand is an important marketing and personal asset that will uplevel your image. This is why I created a fun and really quick personal brand style assessment you can take by clicking here. In it, you will learn what personal brand style you are, what can inspire your brand and specific stores you should consider finding clothes that are on-brand for you.
Au revoir! Xx