First, psychological. Start with your message. Try to analyze what your target audience thinks you should wear while speaking to them. Does the clothing you wear improve the chances of your message being heard or does it detract from your intent? Wearing a tuxedo would not be appropriate while promoting the relaxed atmosphere of your sports bar. Likewise, a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals would not create the correct impression for a distinguished jewelry store. Next time you watch broadcast TV, pay close attention to the wardrobe of the people pictured in different types of commercials. Unless they are trying to create a humorous impression by dressing against the stereotype, you'll see all the actors outfitted to reinforce a certain impression the commercial is trying to make on the viewer.
Second, technical. Video is an optical medium with certain technical limitations that limit the amount of detail that can be reproduced on TV screens.
With the advent of HD TV very fine detail can be transmitted. But sometimes, fine details like a herring bone pattern or corduroy strips or some fabrics, can create a moire effect. Moire is created "when two geometrical patterns, such as grids, are visually superimposed over each other." In the case of video production, this means that the pixels making up the imaging chip in a camera are almost the same size or pattern of the object being photographed. The result is a kind of vibrating pattern that seems to move or creep, even though the surface, in this case cloth, should not move. Thus, clothing that contains fine patterns should be avoided. Big, bold, loud patterns are also a no no, just not for the same reason. They're just plain distracting.
Extreme colors should also be avoided like brilliant reds or black and white clothing. Although these extreme colors can be reproduced better than in years past, they can still cause problems.
Green Screen presents another reason for choosing the correct color clothing. Modern editing software can now easily superimpose one image over another, to say, replace the background behind a person. The key to this process is photographing the foreground element against a green background. The software then replaces everything that is green with another image. Obviously, if you are wearing green clothing, those green areas would be replaced by the background. This is how you achieve the floating head effect or the Invisible Man look when green clothing is worn while shooting on a green background. At all costs, avoid wearing the color green to guarantee a successful shoot.
As you can now see, there is a reason why you see costume designer credits in movies. Besides covering the naked bodies of the actors, the clothes they wear help create the character they play. The same holds true for web videos. Clothes make the man or woman, so it's important to carefully consider what kind of an impression you want to make with your choice of wardrobe. Will it enhance your message or detract from it?
At Joyco, we can help you select what will work best for your message.
Have any wardrobe malfunction or fail stories? Share them below!