Some items of clothing look better on camera than others – so here’s some top tips for choosing a filming outfit

You know when you’re settling down in front of the TV before a bit of dinner, and something like The Chase or Pointless is on.

How many times do you watch it and think ‘dear lord, that outfit is gash. Where did they find it, their grandma’s cupboard?’

Well the thing is, TV shows in particular have very stringent rules on what you can wear, because certain things look terrible on camera.

No stripes, for example. And some colours are a no-no.

So quite often, contestants are scrabbling around for something which fits the bill, rather than their first choice ‘man I look fit in this’.

While you don’t have to be quite as careful when filming a video for your business, there are still some things to look out for.


What’s the video background going to be?

Have you decided yet where you’re going to film your video?

If not, don’t worry, I do have a video about how to find the perfect filming location.

But if you’ve got that in mind, think about what is going to be behind you in the shot. You don’t want your clothes to severely clash with it, or blend in.

The worst offender is white clothes in front of a white wall. There’s just not enough colour and contrast to set you apart from the background – and risks just making you look like a floating head coming out of your t-shirt!

But also be aware of patterns; stay away from a striped shirt in front of striped wallpaper, for example.

Although really you should be staying away from stripes anyway…


No tight stripes

Have you ever seen tight stripes look a bit crazy on camera? Like the lines go a bit zig zaggy?

This is called the moiré effect. It’s kind of complicated, but it’s basically where the stripes of the clothing don’t hit the pixels of the sensor quite right.

You don’t need to understand it though, you just need to avoid it! So no stripes or tight patterns.

Man in a stripy shirt


What microphone are you going to use?

Lavalier/lapel microphones are a very popular choice for business videos, as you can move around and the sound stays the same, plus it gives a better audio quality than the microphone built in to your phone/camera.

But if you’re using one, you need to wear clothing you can clip the microphone to around your chest height.

As the name suggests, jackets with a lapel on them are a great choice for this.

Probably the main thing to avoid is t-shirts or polo neck jumpers. The only place you can clip the microphone on is at the collar at the top, which is too close to your throat – it can sound a bit reverb-y so close to your voice box.


Bright green is out

Avoid any distracting neon colours anyway, but DEFINITELY avoid bright green.

This is the colour of green screens – which is a large background that video effects can be added to later.

I’m not saying there’s a hoard of people sat at their computers waiting to photoshop your clothing (like what happened to the Queen when she wore that bright green outfit), but you don’t want the chance either if your video did go viral!


Are you using a video light? 

I’d always recommend you use some kind of video light when filming, to improve the image quality.

And if you are, and the light is in front of you, then it’s worth considering if your outfit has anything reflective in it.

The main issue is glasses, I’m afraid. You want the audience to be able to see your eyes, and connect with you, but quite often glasses just reflect the bright orb of the video light.

So if you can take them off, I would!


Looking for more advice about how to present yourself, and your business, on camera? I offer a free 30 minute marketing review, which you can book here.