What to Wear on Set

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You’re excited. You’re going to be on a TV set the next day—all day. What should you wear? You know you’re not the focus, but you want to appear professional. You want to fit in.

You don’t want to dress wrong and feel self-conscious. The most important advice for dressing to be on set is to be comfortable.

You are going to be on your feet, hustling all day and maybe even into the night. You don’t want what you’re wearing to distract you from your job.

There’s nothing professional about a camera operator who's constantly pulling their pants up or hobbling as they move around due to uncomfortable shoes.

While extra-wide flowing sleeves are floaty and fun, it’s not good when it snags on your equipment.

Here are four tips for how to dress professionally, and comfortably, when you work on a TV set.

1. Wear Pants That Fit You Comfortably

If you like wearing pants that are so loose they’re practically falling off, that’s fine—on your own time. On the set, that will be a problem. Watching you pull your pants up all day will not shout professionalism, and it may interfere with your ability to do your job.

Likewise, if you like super tight pants, make sure you can bend and move easily with no discomfort. Also, make sure the pockets on the pants are usable.

Ideally, try to find cargo-style pants that fit comfortably and have lots of pockets. Pockets are especially crucial if you are a camera operator. You need your hands free. Having a pocket to put things in quickly can be a lifesaver.

2. Dress in Layers

You never know when conditions on the set, even if it’s an indoor set, can change. One way to be prepared for anything is to dress in layers.

If you tend to get chilled easily, put on a cotton short-sleeved or three-quarter sleeve shirt, and wear a light jacket or sweater over it. If you get too warm, you can easily take your jacket or sweater off.

3. Supportive Shoes That Hold Up All Day

Take a cue from nurses and waitstaff. Comfortable, supportive shoes are a must if you are on your feet all day.

Ideally, break in new shoes before you have to wear them on set.

Look for shoes with lots of cushion and tread that is good for even hard slick floors. Make sure you buy the right size. You don’t want your shoes pinching your feet all day. Leave plenty of room in the shoe’s toe box.

4. Be Prepared for Different Weather Conditions

If you’re going to be on an outdoor set, check the weather conditions ahead of time and be prepared for anything.

If it’s a sunny location, buy long sleeve shirts and lightweight cargo pants with built-in sun protection. You’ll be able to avoid getting sunburned without having to remember to put on sunscreen every 80 minutes.

If it’s likely to rain, bring a rain jacket and wear comfortable shoes that are weatherproof.

If you’re more worried about being cold, wear a thick jacket and warm gloves that still allow you to do your job. Don’t forget to wear a hat and thick socks.

Now You’re Dressed For Success on the TV Set

Follow the main rule and dress for comfort. You’ll feel good throughout the day and won’t be distracted by your clothes. As a result, you’ll be able to focus your attention on your job.

Aaron Ayhan