The Do’s and Don’ts of On-Camera Clothing

When you look good, you feel good! 

If you find yourself as the on-camera subject of your company’s newest corporate video(s) or broadcast, you may be feeling anxious and overwhelmed. However, some wardrobe planning can help you create a look that projects confidence as you relay your message. And yes…you have to wear pants! 

Although content is king, wardrobe should never be overlooked in the production planning process. It’s important to not only wear clothing that gives you the best possible on-camera appearance, but clothing that doesn’t pose technical challenges. Also keep in mind that you want your audience to focus on whatever you’re communicating, rather than your outfit.  

Below are some do’s and don’ts of on-camera attire:  

DO  

  • Do wear rich, deep colours. They pop and relate extremely well on-screen. Colours like teal, cobalt and purple pop on screen and warm up your face. 
  • Do keep it simple. It’s likely that your company is investing a good amount of money into this project and will want the video to stay relevant for years to come. Wear an outfit that is classic and that will stand the test of time, rather than a trendy statement piece that will make your video appear dated quickly.  
  • Do consider your backdrop. The colour of your video’s backdrop will impact the appearance of your clothing’s colour on-camera. Against a white background, colours appear brighter and more saturated. Against a dark background, colours lose some intensity and appear duller. Muted/neutral colours are the most likely background colours, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t disappear into the background by having a chat with your producer ahead of time. 
  • Do be wrinkle-free. Use a spray bottle of water or Febreze to dampen your clothes, and then pull firmly in opposite directions to pull out the wrinkles. 
  • Do wear blue. It is the safest colour to wear on-screen and looks good on everyone. Try bringing different variations of it — light blue, dark blue, and navy. Depending on the background and lighting, the camera crew will advise on which one looks better.  

DON’T  

  • Don’t wear patterns or small, intricate designs. Depending on the pattern, they can sometimes have the effect of “vibration” on screen. Steer away from prints like stripes, herringbone, paisley, small polka dots, pinstripes and plaid. Avoid big patterns as well — you want the focus to be on you, not your clothes. 
    • If you absolutely must wear a print, try wearing the print as an accent instead of the main garment. Wear a printed shirt under a solid sweater or blazer, or a printed tie against a solid button-up. 
  • Don’t wear light-coloured pants. They are generally not very flattering on camera.  
  • Don’t wear certain clothing materials. Crisp nylon, polyester, some rayons, and some tech fabrics may result in an audible distraction to your viewers.  
  • Don’t wear heavy necklaces or earrings. Dangly jewelry is noisy, and the microphone will easily pick those sounds up. If necessary, stick to stud earrings and avoid the bracelets and necklaces. 
  • Don’t wear any visible logos or sayings — unless they are your own brand. There could be issues with copyright, and it can be distracting or send the wrong message. It’s also very time-consuming and costly to have to remove a logo from a shot during editing.  
  • Don’t wear solid white, black, or bright red. 
    • White can glow with high camera exposure and become the most noticeable thing on the screen.  
    • Black is too harsh and can suck up all the light. It can also appear too dark, causing your garment to lose definition and give you a “shapeless” appearance. Wearing dark clothes can also have an aging effect on you, as they cast shadows on skin and can make dark circles more pronounced. 
    • Bright red can be difficult for the camera to adjust to, giving off a hazy appearance and being distracting to the viewer.  

Bonus tip: Bring several options for clothing, and the director or camera operator will be happy to help you choose the best look to make you shine!  

In Conclusion 

Keep in mind that these are universal guidelines when it comes to on-camera clothing. At the end of the day, we recommend you wear colours that you love. This is because you’ll feel most comfortable in them, boosting your confidence and creating a successful shoot and product. You could technically wear any colour, it’s just that certain ones tend to read better on-camera. Fortunately, our crew at JIL & Associates have the expertise and knowledge to assist you with your wardrobe and what makes you and your company look best.  

Ready to shine as the star of your video production? Let’s Talk.  

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