Although you may be the picture of fashion on a day-to-day basis, there are some important things to keep in mind when preparing yourself for a television appearance.
When choosing the perfect outfit for your appearance, there are several things to remember.
Color: First and foremost, you want to choose a shirt or blouse that is in contrast to the background on which you will be shooting. If the set behind you is white/light, choose a bright color or jewel tone to provide contrast. Gentleman might go with a navy blue or black suit with a bright tie. If the background is dark, gentleman may go with a lighter or khaki colored suit or blazer. Alternatively, you might lighten up your look with a contrasting shirt and tie combination. Ladies, again, jewel tones are the way to go whether the background is light or dark.
Patterns: It is very important to avoid small, tight patterns when appearing on video or television. Small patterns like lines, small polka dots, plaids, etc. can actually move or “dance” when on video. It is best to avoid those so that your audience can focus on your message, rather than your clothing.
Layers: Depending on the nature or length of your appearance, you may want to consider dressing in layers. Studios can be packed with lighting elements which can, at times, make presenters/talent uncomfortable or hot. Also, if you are not particularly accustomed to being on television, nerves may kick in and you might feel the heat. That said, some studios may over compensate for the heat from the lighting and keep a very cold studio. Being able to layer up or down to your comfort level is great! Just be sure to talk to your crew about your microphones before losing your sweater or jacket!
Fabric: Try to avoid “noisy” fabrics like taffeta, linen, and some silk. These fabrics make noise when you move and that can and will be picked up by your microphones. Your viewers will thank you if you stay away from those types of fabrics.
Make-up is a must for both men and women in the world of television. Women definitely want to appear natural on camera. If you are going to have access to a make-up artist, you may want to come in wearing your own make up and let the stylist simply touch you up. If you want to have your make-up done by the stylist, consider bringing your own make-up. You will undoubtedly have found good colors for your skin tone—perhaps better than what a make-up artist will have in his or her kit. If you are doing your own make-up, at a minimum, be sure to apply
- Powder/foundation – to even your skin tone and “de-shine”
- Blush and or bronzer – so that you won’t appear washed out
- Mascara – to help define your eyes
- Lip balm or lipstick – Try to stay away from extremely glossy lip color. It can pick up the lights and appear overly shiny on camera.
Men don’t need much in the way of make-up, but don’t forget to use some powder to keep the shine away and perhaps some bronzer or blush just to add a bit of color for the camera.
Big jewelry is very “in” right now, but it can create some issues on camera. So, try to avoid bangles or “loud” jewelry. While they may look great, the sound will interfere with your production. Additionally, large necklaces or earrings can be very visually distracting. Small, understated jewelry is definitely preferable for your on-air debut.
Most people don’t give their hair style too much thought, but ladies in particular, be sure to style your hair simply and keep it off your face. Large hair-dos, like large jewelry, can be very distracting to your audience. Also, in this day and age of bangs and side-swept dos, be sure to spray or pin your hair in such a way as to keep it off of your face. You want your audience to be able to see your whole face, and you certainly don’t want to spend your time on television trying to tuck loose hair behind your ears.
Last, but not least, be confident and, remember “you’re never fully dressed without a smile!” You’re ready for the spotlight!