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2.1 Clothing

You know what they say: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Image and appearance matter, especially for a visual medium like video. In this lesson, you’ll learn what to wear/avoid in terms of clothing colours, shapes and textures.

2.1 Clothing

Welcome back, I'm Cindy Burgess for Tots plus. In this lesson. You'll learn all about clothing as it relates to the video camera. Which colors, shapes, and patterns work well on camera, and which you should avoid. The first thing to consider though, is your overall image. What you wear ultimately depends on what kind of image you want to portray. For example, when I was working as a news anchor, I always wore a suit, because I needed to appear polished and professional. Subject matter was usually serious. And it was important that people see me as a reliable and trustworthy source of information. When I'm teaching online, though, I prefer to wear casual clothing. I want to appear friendly and approachable, and a little bit more relaxed and conversational. Some people even develop a signature look, so they don't have to worry about what to wear. A perfect example of this is the late Steve Jobs, the head of Apple. He always wore blue jeans and a black mock turtleneck. That was his look. So ask yourself, how do I want people to see me? Is what I'm wearing appropriate for what I'm talking about, the subject matter. Is what I'm wearing appropriate for who I'm talking to, the audience. And just as important, is it comfortable. Can I move around freely. Do I feel good in it. Trust me, the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether your collar is crooked or your pants are just a little bit too tight. The next thing to consider is color. I recommend solid colors over multi-colored prints or patterns, and the reason is simple. You want people to focus on you and your message, not your clothing. Solid colors next to your face are pretty unremarkable, forgettable even provided you choose the right colors that is. So, what's a good color. Well, the camera loves rich, jewel tones. Think sapphire blue, emerald green, ruby red, amethyst purple, turquoise, topaz yellow. These colors really pop, and look great on everyone. And amethyst purple, did you notice? Now, for the fun part, what not to wear. Avoid solid black. I know, it's the go to for creative types everywhere. But it's harsh. Black can make you look tired and old, it washes you out. Do I really need to say anything more. If you need a conservative color try navy or gray instead. Avoid solid white. It reflects light and will become the brightest thing on the screen essentially stealing the show. White also makes you look pale and washed out. If you want to wear a white shirt, wear a jacket or sweater over top. Avoid bright orangey reds. Video cameras have a tough time handling this color. It usually ends up over saturated and glowing. If you want to wear red, go for a darker shade like ruby or burgundy. Avoid pastels and earth tones. Unless, they're under a jacket or sweater. These colors are dull and lifeless on camera, and they'll suck the life out of you. Who wants that? And if you're planning to use a green screen don't wear green. When this color is removed or keyed out during editing. Your green clothing will disappear to. Speaking of backgrounds. They play a role in what color clothing you choose as well. In my case, I'm using a light gray backdrop. So, I chose a color that would stand out and be complementary. Obviously, a grey shirt would not be a good option. You don't want to disappear into your background. This goes for all video settings. Whether you're shooting indoors, in a house or office, or in the great outdoors. You want to stand out from your background. Now, let's take a look at textures and patterns. As a general rule, avoid them. Big plaids and bold stripes can be distracting. And again, you want to focus on you, not your clothes. One absolute no-no is tight repetitive patterns like high contrast pinstripes, herringbone hound's tooth and fine checks. These create a weird more a effect on camera where they sort of appear to stroll been dance. I see a lot of this with neckties in particular go for solid colors instead. Be aware of silk, satin and other shiny fabrics, they will reflect light as well, velvet, velure and suede has the opposite effect. It absorbs light and ends up looking muddy. When it comes to clothing shapes, keep it simple. Think in terms of clean lines. Avoid fussy details like frilly colors and lots of buttons. Again, these can be distracting. You've probably heard that the camera adds ten pounds? Sadly, it's true. So, stay away from clothing that's baggy or boxy in shape. You're just going to look bigger. Your clothes should be fitted and follow the contours of your body but not be too tight. We don't want to see any unsightly bulges or muffin tops. A few more tips. Be mindful of dressing too seasonally. Choose clothing that has a year round appeal. Don't wear logos unless they're your own. These are trademarked images. And if you're interviewing someone, and they're not sure what to wear, ask them to bring a few different outfits. That way you have some options. One final thing to keep in mind when choosing clothing is microphone placement. This is especially important if you're planning to use one of these little clip on or lavalier microphones like I do. These are also known as lapel mikes because that's where they're usually clipped on. The lapel of a jacket. Make sure that when you put it on the hide the cord. Common mistake is to leave it hanging out. The easiest way to hide the cord is to run the mike up inside your shirt and bring it out near the top. Here's a little trick I learned in the news business to help keep the cord in place. Make a little loop and tuck it into the clip. This will help hold chord out of the way. A few other clothing considerations. Avoid really light. Flimsy fabrics them I can drag them down and out of place. If you're using a wireless lab mike. You need to have somewhere to put the transmitter, usually you can just clip it to a waist band or pocket. If you're planning to wear a one piece dress, though, you might have to get a bit more creative. Duct tape anyone? So just to recap, keep clothing simple. Go for clean lines, solid colors, fitted shapes. In the next lesson will take a look at the do's and don'ts of clothing accessories. Things like eyeglasses and jewelry. I'm Cindy Burgess for Tots plus. Thanks for watching.