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On-Screen Style: How to Dress for TV Interviews and Corporate Video Production Shoots

May 21, 2024
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As one of the top commercial production companies Los Angeles, we routinely film high-level business executives for corporate video production projects. For some reasons, these projects are almost always last minute, we receive the call today, and the shoot is a day or two away. In the midst of the discussions, the question of how to dress for TV interviews and corporate video production shoots always comes up.

Professional Wardrobe Styling Helping You Dress for TV Interviews and Corporate Video Production Shoots
The first option we offer is for our team to style and dress you if you are appearing on camera. Our wardrobe stylists have dressed some of the most famous actors for the camera, and they will make sure that you are properly styled not only to look nice for the naked eye, but to look fantastic specifically for the camera for the camera. There is a difference; knowing how to dress for TV interviews and corporate video production shoots is crucial because what looks great in person may read differently on camera. As we will quickly discover, that which looks fantastic to the naked eye may easily read as frumpy, too bright, too dull for the camera. However, in case you’d prefer to style yourself for the shoot, you’d need to be aware of a few things.

Tips for Dressing Yourself for a Corporate Video Production Shoot
So if you are appearing for a TV interview or a corporate video shoot, and you have chosen to dress yourself instead of using a wardrobe stylist, below are some bullet proof tips:

Understanding the Context
First things first : as you pick your outfit you may want to ask questions about the nature of the video, audience, and location, questions such as :

  1. What is the nature of the corporate video production ?
    Is this a formal “news style” interview? A relaxed “podcast style” conversation? A video pitch for investors? The more formal the nature, the more buttoned up you may have to be.
  2. Who is going to watch the video ?
    If the video is targeted for C-Suite decision makers, professional attire may be necessary; something a tad more casual could work for general interest or lifestyle segments.
  3. What is the location ?
    Is this going to be filmed in the controlled environment of a studio, or will this be filmed next to the Niagara Falls?

Wardrobe Styles to Go By
Color Choices
No plain blacks and plain whites. Plain white is not the best look; it may reflect too much light and appear too bright on camera, and plain black creates too much contrast and in trying to balance the colors you may just end up looking a tad washed out. Softer, neutral tones such as beige, light grey, light pastels are your friend when considering how to dress for TV interviews and corporate video production shoots.

No patterns. Stripes, houndstooth, checks will likely cause a moiré effect on camera, that is, appear as if there are tiny, wavy lines moving on your clothes. This can be distracting, so avoid the same.Go for solid colors.

The pattern of this shirt may cause moire effect best to avoid

Consider the Background: Green Screen
If we are shooting on green-screen, for heaven’s sake, do not show up in any shade of green. In fact, before you bring green or blue clothes to the set, make sure that the production does not have either color as the background screen. This is a critical aspect of how to dress for TV interviews and corporate video production shoots. I remember filming an executive in Culver City and he had asked to dress himself. The brand’s color was green, and oh yes, he came with several teal green suits. Luckily, we had a wardrobe stylist on hand who saved the saved with a nice Tom Ford suit in dark grey.

Fabric and Fit, Glasses, Jewelry
Try to avoid items that will reflect studio lights, so keep clear of satin, sequins or items that have a sheen on them; you don’t want to end up looking like a disco ball – unless of course, you do. When in doubt on how to dress for TV interviews and corporate video production shoots, choose matte fabrics and comfortable fits.

Similarly, studio lights do tend to make you hot, so if you are scheduled to shoot for long periods, I’d pick cotton or cotton blends that are breathable and you are not sitting in a pool of sweat. Go for something that fits comfortably, anything that squeezes too tight or is too billowy is best left alone. You want to feel confident in front of the camera, and not be concerned that a button will pop or a zip will split open. Wear contemporary, classic fashions that will age well with the video; this is not the time for your favorite 70s look or 80 disco looks, it will lend a quirky quality to the corporate video.

For jewelry, especially for corporate videos and videos that target business decision makers, the best advice is to keep it simple. Stud earrings are the way to go; forget the loop earrings. Classic watches are perfect. Bling jewelry is a no. If you do wear glasses, make sure that they are not reflective, otherwise the camera will be able to see lights shining off your glasses. Confer with the crew beforehand, they may have something to spray on the glasses that would take the shine off and make the glass temporarily non-reflective.

Formal TV Interviews: For News or Business-Related Interviews
Men: Well-fitted suit in navy or grey, collared shirt, tie with solid color.
Women: Blazer, blouse, dress pants or perhaps knee-length skirt. Classic colors are the way to go. Stud earrings, classic watch, simple hair style.

For both men and women, I prefer to avoid scarves, unless this is outside and in the cold. In case the sound engineer wants to mic you, scarves will likely cause noise on the mic. If you can, leave them out.

Casual Interviews: Business Podcasts & The Like
Men: Collared shirt, khaki or dark pants, chinos.
Women: Blouse, dress pants, flats.

Video Production Shoots: Commercials and Corporate Videos
Our rule as one of the premier commercial production companies Los Angeles is that the more upscale the brand, the more formal and professional the attire. If the brand is casual, match the “vibe.” Do bring clothes that match the brand colors, and it is always great if you have at least two extra options as well.

Grooming: Hair & Make-Up
You can’t go wrong with neat and natural hairstyles when considering on how to dress for TV interviews and corporate video production shoots. Avoid over the top hairdos. For men, if you have a short haircut, going to a barber to freshen up a day or two before the shoot would be a great idea. The two extra days help for the cut to “grow in” and look natural.  If your hair is in braids and or in dreadlocks, it would also be great to get it locked afresh a day or so prior to the shoot. It may help to have the locks are pulled back from the face and neatly frame your face.  A few years back we worked with a beautiful brand ambassador for an Olympics campaign. She had natural hair locks, and we convinced the client for us to send a hairstylist the day prior to relock her hair.  The brand ambassador showed up on the set looking so beautiful, so gorgeous, the styling just quietly elevated the whole campaign.

Matte foundation can help both men and women reduce the shine and looking washed out under the bright film lights. For men who may not feel comfortable wearing makeup, I recommend the ColourPop moisturizer. It offers excellent hydration, making your skin look healthy and hydrated, while providing light coverage for spots and uneven tone. With ColourPop you may even be able to get a tint that is close to your natural skin tone. For women, avoid colors that are too bright, reach for the natural tints and tones. A dash of mascara, a hint of blush could help define your face without being too overbearing.

Dressing for a corporate video shoot is a bit more work than just picking an outfit that looks good, it is about picking something that would look great for the camera. Always bring a spare, so have at least an extra pair of everything – two shirts of same color, two blazers of same color etc., just in case of spills, stains, wardrobe malfunctions etc. In the case you need help, our wardrobe stylists would be more than happy to help style you for the shoot.