Dressing for the Camera

By Jill Bremer, AICI, CIP

Dressing for the camera, for TV or a videoconference, can be tricky. The camera sees everything and is especially sensitive to color, pattern, and reflection. Care must be taken to select clothing and accessories that play well to the camera and audience.

You can never go wrong with solid color suits with moderate shaping and padding. They work on virtually every body type and communicate professionalism and polish. To look wrinkle-free, choose garments in wools, silks, or knit. Avoid anything shiny or sheer as they will reflect light back to the camera. Traditional lapels are an important feature; they will help with microphone placement. If you choose to wear separates, select skirts or slacks in a color darker than the jacket.

Any shade of blue works well on-camera, from light blue to navy. Other good colors for suits or jackets include dark reds, teal, dark greens, dark grays, deep purples, and rich browns. Avoid bright red, bright yellow, hot pink, lime green, pure white, and black. For shirts and blouses, choose ivory, blues, light peach, pink, mint green, pale orchid, or aqua. Plaids, stripes, dots, and checks are not camera-friendly; they can appear to take on a life of their own.

Buttons and jewelry should be brushed metal, non-reflective, covered with fabric, or the same color as the garment. Women should avoid having too much clutter around the face; avoid large jewelry, dangling earrings, noisy bracelets, printed scarves, and hats altogether. Men should wear knee-high hose to avoid the appearance of leg when the leg is crossed. Choose ties in small prints or foulards; no novelty ties or wild geometric prints or patterns.

The rule for dressing for any camera: keep it SOLID and SIMPLE.

© 2004 Jill Bremer All Rights Reserved