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How to Dress for Video -- Online Marketing Tips

May 01st, 2013

Knowing how to dress for video is an often overlooked part of shooting video marketing content – but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

how-to-dress-for-videoWhile converting PowerPoint to video is a great way to generate professional video marketing content quickly, there are still situations where marketers need to shoot live video footage. There are lots of options and formats for putting people in front of the camera, such as:

And on and on it goes. But with so much attention paid to planning the shoot, storyboarding the content, securing the talent and more, it’s easy to forget about some of the little things. For example, what should the people on camera wear?

If you’re new to creating video marketing content, the answer may not be obvious, and the people who are scheduled to be on camera might not even know to ask. Here are just a few best practices to keep in mind when considering how to dress for video.

#1. Dress comfortably. It’s only natural that a person being recorded on camera will want to look their best, but you don’t want what they wear to affect their performance. If a person is uncomfortable on camera, it will show, so it’s a good idea to have them choose an outfit that makes them feel relaxed and confident.

A suit jacket might look great, but it can also be restricting for some people. Too many layers can get warm under the lights or in certain weather. It sounds simple, but small details like these can make a big difference when it comes to how the folks on camera perform.

#2. Avoid stripes and tight patterns. Flannel was a great look for Pearl Jam videos (back when they made videos – “Evenflowwwwww!”), but stripes and patterns are rarely a good fit for video marketing content. More often than not, they’ll distract the viewer from the message you’re trying to get across. Best practice? Stick to solids.

#3. Don’t go too light or too dark. In general, muted colors are recommended and tend to look the best on camera. It’s also important to consider background colors when thinking about how to dress for video. For example, a black shirt in front of a black background could create a “floating head” effect, which is… well… kind of creepy for a marketing video. Make sure the colors chosen have enough contrast.

#4. Say no to logos. This might not come up often, but when creating video marketing content, you probably don’t want another brand splashed all over the screen. Make sure on-camera folks dress professionally for the day and leave the Nike sweatshirts at home.

#5. Remember the mic. For “talking head” style videos (not to be confused with Talking Heads videos), you may find yourself… with the need to use a lavaliere or clip-on microphone (sorry, couldn’t help myself). Of course, that means you’ll need something to clip it to, and pinching it on the front of a long-sleeve T-shirt won’t look very nice.

For men, the necktie is a good option for a lavaliere, or you can have them string it under their shirt and clip it above one of their buttons. Women rarely wear ties, but a button-down shirt, jacket lapel or cardigan-style sweater are all very microphone-friendly clothing options.

#6. Leave the big jewelry at home. I’m not saying married people need to discard their wedding bands for the sake of the camera, but you still want to make sure any jewelry worn doesn’t distract the viewer. Dangly bracelets and earrings, elaborate necklaces or large broaches can be noisy (especially when using a lavaliere), or create a shine that distracts the eye. Again, you want to keep your audience focused on the message, not how much bling the people on camera are wearing.

So there you have it – six simple steps that will help you figure out how to dress for video the next time the need arises. For more tips and advice on shooting video marketing content, check out our on-demand webinar, Taking the Intimidation Out of In-House Video Production.