ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR BIG SCENE
TIPS ON HOW TO DRESS TO APPEAR ON TV
In today's world video cameras are everywhere. Think about it, even many of our mobile phones can shoot a video. There are also more and more places to show these videos. In additional to traditional broadcast and cable television outlets, you now have the internet with videos on websites. And sending out DVDs of yourself or for your company or organization is easier than ever. So you need to be prepared, as you never know when you may be asked to be on-camera. So, how should you dress for your next big appearance?
Don't panic, it's not hard. At a minimum ask in advance what you should be wearing. Then choose clothing that fits the requirements and that make you feel comfortable. It can be just that simple. But here are some tips to help with your big appearance.
- Avoid wearing white. Television cameras typical find the brightest object in the picture and make it white or 100% video level and the darkest item in the picture becomes black which is typical 7% video level. Every other color and brightness falls in between that range. For example, a white shirt can almost glow and becomes very noticeable on TV. So avoid wearing white. It will make your face look brighter.
- Avoid wearing black, for the same reasons as above. Black colors are usually harsh and need more light to show up on video camera, so as the camera lets in more light everything else in the picture becomes washed out possibly including your face.
- Avoid highly saturated colors, especially red. The way video cameras work saturated reds can almost bleed into other parts of the picture for different reasons but giving the same effect as they can bleed in you wash.
- Avoid wearing pin stripes, checks, herringbone patterns or small intricate designs as they may appear to vibrate on television. Video cameras scan to make images with a number of scanning lines or pixel arrays. Often times the patterns in clothing will interact with the camera's scanning pattern and generate new patterns or what is known as moray patterns. To the viewer this looks like your clothes are vibrating or buzzing which is distracting. To see a simple example of this, look through two pieces of patio screening and move one piece screen in front of the other and you will see a number of new patters or morays being generated.
- PASTEL SOLID COLORS WORK BEST. If you have a pastel outfit that draws compliments when you wear it that is most likely the outfit you should wear on TV. You'll be more confident and relaxed and will be able to be yourself. Check the day before to make sure the outfit still fits properly and that it is clean and wrinkle free.
- Don't get too carried away with too wild an outfit unless of course you are fashion designer or artist that can justify it. Women may want to avoid short skirts or shorts or short blouses that show your midsection. You want TV viewers to focus on your face and what you are saying and not on your clothes or the lack of them.
- If possible, avoid anything that glints, shines, or reflects. As a general rule don't wear flashy jewelry, dangling earrings, charm bracelets, or even necklaces that may make noise when you move. A good rule of thumb, not to make a pun, is not more than one ring per hand. Light reflections or flashes become a distraction in the picture and noises made by jewelry will be picked up by the microphone creating a distraction in the audio. You want the viewer to pay attention to what you are saying, not to your accessories.
- Avoid message buttons or stickers as they may become the message that is remembered. Often times today we may be videotaped at work or at a convention, so be sure to take off the name or security badge before you go on camera.
- Makeup definitely matters. Makeup should be used in moderation, but at a minimum you should powder your nose, forehead and face to avoid looking shiny, oily or plastic. Be sure the powder you use on your face is the same color as your skin. Lighter or darker make-up may be noticed by the camera. If the studio or production company offers a make-up artist, accept it, but don't let them go overboard. Again, you need to be you.
- Don't forget the top of your head. If you are bald or balding, be sure to powder your head. The way most TV lighting works the forehead is the most likely place to reflect light or shine. If you have hair, comb it before you go on camera and keep your hair out of your eyes or viewers will focus on your hair and never get your message.
- Some professionals even suggest shaving your mustache for a TV appearance as the mustache obscures your mouth, teeth and facial expressions. Some people can get away with a mustache, but most cannot. Likewise, most recommend that women don't wear lip gloss or any shiny makeup because it may take away from what is being said.
- If you wear glasses all the time, then wear them on TV, but try to get glare-proof glasses, especially if you are going to appear on TV regularly. However, don't ever wear tinted glasses or sunglasses, even outside, unless of course you are Jack Nicholson. People need to see your eyes.
- Most women know how dress to make their size look best. But for guys this is the rule: if you have an overweight waist or you are wearing a suit that is not perfectly tailored, then keep your jacket buttoned. This will keep your tie in place, your suit symmetrical, and minimize your gut by showing less of your shirt which may look huge hanging out from your coat. On the other hand, if you have zero fat on your waistline, have a new, perfectly tailored suit and a perfectly tied necktie, you can leave your suit jacket unbuttoned.
Even if you follow all these rules, you still have choices. Should you dress casual or formal or work clothes or play clothes? The best way to narrow this down is to watch the program in advance or ask the producer. Asking in advance is the single most important rule of all aspects of television. Programs often have special requirements or suggestions. Things will tend to go smoother if you can accommodate these.
Remember, television is impressionistic. People will tell you they "saw you on TV." Often they may not remember what you said. They'll be left with an impression. So, your attention to clothing and grooming is essential to getting your message across.
Oh and don't forget to watch yourself as well. Watching yourself with the volume turned off will make you more aware of how you appeared. Most people will recognize what worked and what didn't and will fix it the next time they prepare to go on camera.
SIDEBAR: Dressing for TV
Make up is needed, but in moderation
Your hair should be combed or head should be powdered
Distractions: Avoid White / Avoid Flashy / Avoid clicks, clinks and dangly jewelry.
Remember your audience. Remember your cause or organization.
Extremes in looks will seldom help your cause or organization
Select what makes you feel good, what you're really comfortable in.
Select an Outfit that has drawn compliments.