How to Dress for an On-Camera Interview

If you talk to professional TV anchors or talent, it can be quite an education in terms of how to dress for on-camera situations like interviews, talk shows or events. Unless this is a completely candid camera situation or live coverage of an event, you do have control of your appearance and how to appear telegenic. Putting just enough of the wow factor into your looks, while keeping yourself discreet and dignified, dressing just right for your role as either interviewer or interviewee can be a challenge but it’s an art and a science that you can definitely learn from pros in the field of media and communication. Follow these professional tips before you show up to shoot.

Color it Right: Remember that you’re going to be viewed on camera and the lens is very different from the human eye. What looks good on you in real life could be disastrous on screen. Generally, it’s best to avoid loud patterns, checks, stripes and florals because they create movement and distractions that in turn can be annoying. Solid colors are recommended and here, avoid pure white, black or red. White is highly reflective and can be dazzling, while black is too well-defined and can soak up the color from your face. Red in certain shades can “bleed” into the background and give you a fuzzy look. Pastels are best for tops and wear the pastel shade that flatters you most closest to your face, in the form of a scarf, shirt or blouse. If you are going to be shoot on a green screen or chroma key, avoid blues and greens.

Options: Check before-hand with the crew what the background, furniture and carpet colors and the colors worn by others in the frame are or carry an alternative set of clothes and shoes with you – otherwise you could end up blending into a sofa or worse, wear the same colors as your interviewer or interviewee.

Checklist: Women should avoid too-short skirts, dangly jewelry, tight tops, low necks and badly-fitting clothes. It’s OK to err on the side of caution rather than have wardrobe malfunctions on camera. Men should ensure that their clothes are pressed, shoes polished and hair neatly styled. Light-colored trousers, loud ties, too much make-up, vests, all-black suits are all definite no-no’s for men on TV or video. Ensure that your make-up is minimal and something you’re comfortable with, even if it’s being done by a professional. Don’t try out a new look or new products before you go on camera. Matte finish make-up is recommended.  Never use foundation that’s lighter than your skin-tone, it can look ugly under the harsh camera lights. If you wear glasses, ensure that the lenses are anti-glare.

It’s true that you shouldn’t be judged based on your appearance alone, but sadly, that’s what happens on screen. So, the next time you re going to appear on camera – follow this simple guide and you will have one less thing to worry about!