Sara E. Teller

The saying “dress the part” is a mainstream motto for a reason.  When preparing for an audition, you’ve likely spent some serious time reviewing a script and memorizing lines. Yet, even if you feel confident in your ability to present with ease, you may miss the mark without the appropriate dress.  So, what should you wear?  The short answer is – it depends.  There’s really no clear-cut formula, and choosing the perfect attire isn’t as simple as it seems.  However, there are a few tried and true guidelines to remember.

 

Consider the role and dress accordingly.  This can be easier said than done for some roles, however.  It’s much easier to wear a suit and tie to portray a lawyer than it is to bust out the Halloween make up, wig, and garb to depict a deranged clown.  Plus, if you don’t feel comfortable in your clothing, this will be tough to hide.  Showing up in clown costume may certainly help you to stand out from the competition, but will it take away from the effectiveness of your dialogue delivery?  It’s all about your level of confidence and comfort-ability.  Some actors don’t mind taking center stage even when behind the scenes, but care should be taken to ensure your clothing selection doesn’t overpower your voice.

 

If you’re auditioning for more than one role at one time, you may choose to stick with versatile attire.  For example, you could start off in a sweater and slacks for the role of a professor, peel off a layer and present in a t-shirt for the part of a sports coach, then slip on a ball cap to portray the parent of a player.  Creativity is key, and as long as you can showcase the versatility of your acting ability along with your wardrobe selection, this could prove to be a winning strategy.

 

Remember, the camera can play tricks on the eye.  Try to wear solids and steer clear from too much white or stripes, which can make you blend in with the background or appear too “busy”.  The genre of the part should be taken into consideration as well.  If you’re auditioning for a lighthearted commercial or comedy, choose brighter colors.  For dark films and dramatic roles, stick with deeper color options.

 

Heidi Dean of Marketing 4 Actors suggests highlighting your unique best features and not straying too far from your true self.  When dressing to impress, bottom line, it’s important to remember you are showing off who you are and what you can bring to the table.