In my previous article “how to dress for success in your video presentations” I mentioned how it is important to take extra care to present your “best self” to ensure that the way you “look” meets the expectations of your target audience and builds your credibility.
What you wear has a big impact on how you will be perceived by your viewing audience. However, unless you are in the business of selling clothing, you want your viewers to spend more time looking at your face (and hearing your message) than staring at or being distracted by your clothes in your video presentations.
What you wear has a big impact on how you will be perceived by your audience.
Wardrobe Tips for Women: Who Wears the Pants?
Consider wearing pants with a long hem. Pants tend to make women look more professional and businesslike on video, compared with short skirts and dresses, especially if you are seated while presenting or interviewing on video. Short skirts and dresses do have a tendency to ride up, and you want to avoid tugging or pulling at your clothes as it will draw attention to the area. If you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious with your wardrobe choice it will show on-screen.
If you prefer to wear a skirt or dress, unless you are deliberately trying to sell your sex appeal to a male audience, make sure the hemline is on the knee (or slightly above). How much skin you show is up to you of course, but you need to carefully consider whether it adds or detracts from your message.
Beware of sleeveless dresses or tops too, as they tend to draw the attention away from your face. Also, without the right makeup applied, your arms may appear to be a different color than your face.
Make a Shape
As I have mentioned previously, the camera tends to make you look bigger and heavier than you really are, so choose clothing that makes you look taller and emphasizes a narrow waist wherever possible.
- Tailored shirts and jackets with collars all help to provide shape and accentuate your feminine figure
- Fitted capped sleeved tops or form-fitting blouses also help to create an attractive shape on camera
Watch your neckline! If you are filming front-on to camera realize that when you lean forward you can actually reveal more than you intend to! Unfortunately, I see this far too often in video presentations, and in my opinion, it undermines the credibility of women who are selling business products or educational courses. Don’t let your wardrobe choice upstage you or your message.
Bonus Tip: With regard to skin exposure, if you want to show your arms, then cover up your neckline and vice versa. Showing both (depending on the cut of the neckline) can look like too much skin exposure when operating within the confines of the camera’s framing. Using the same principle, if you want to show great legs, then cover up your top half and vice versa.
Wardrobe Tips for Men
Men generally have an easier job of dressing for the camera than women. My clothing rule of thumb for both men and women is: “Dress like your audience does, but 10% better”. Your audience needs to identify with you, but you also need to look somewhat aspirational and authoritative.
- A shirt with a collar looks better than a t-shirt unless of course, your target audience expects to see you in a t-shirt
- I recommend wearing a fitted undergarment under your business shirts, and even your t-shirts. This will help to prevent nipples from showing through and lessen the appearance of “man boobs” if you are a little on the heavy side. It sounds awful, but I had to mention it because I often see guys wearing t-shirts on video, and the jiggle can visually distract from their message
- If you are plus-sized, avoid wearing loose clothing on camera, as it will only make you appear larger onscreen. Instead, opt for clothing styles that offer structure or are tailored to your body type
- As with women, tailored shirts and jackets can help to add height and emphasize your shoulder to waist ratio
If you are being filmed seated, make sure your socks are pulled up. We don’t want to see your hairy legs poking out from under your trousers! (Ooo…nice)
The video camera is unforgiving and will add a few pounds to your physique no matter what size, shape, weight, or age you are. The camera loves chiseled facial features, sharp angles, and shapes and seems to make these attributes pop onscreen. We can’t change our genetics, but we can keep this in mind when it comes to styling our appearance and choosing a suitable wardrobe.
Have Nicely-Styled Hair
Get a good haircut. Shorter hair generally looks more businesslike. If you have long hair, make sure you style it off and away from your face – this will prevent your hair from casting shadows across your face, especially under bright studio lighting.
- Voluminous hair generally looks great onscreen, but you want to avoid “helmet hair” as sometimes worn by TV News anchors where every strand of hair is “sprayed” into place
- If you do use hairspray/hair products – avoid those that contain silicone or dimethicone which is designed to smooth the hair and create shine. Hair shine products tend to make the hair look greasy, not shiny on camera
- Where possible, try to avoid any humidity as this will flatten hair fast
- Try not to touch your hair once it is styled, as the transfer of skin oils onto the hair can flatten your style
- Excessive sweating under the lights can make your roots look lank on-screen, so try to keep yourself as cool as possible (drinking chilled water etc).
Bonus Hairspray Tip: check out my full hair guide to help you prep your hair for your video shoot.
Remember that the camera “sees” things differently than the human eye. You want your clothing to reinforce your personal brand and your message – not detract or distract from it.
Thank you so much for stopping by!