Wardrobe Basics for the Best Set Looks

APRIL 12, 2021
Man trying on wardrobe basics.

Putting your outfit together is one of the fun parts of being a Background Actor, but it can also come with some challenges, especially if you’re not familiar with a particular style or era. Follow these wardrobe basics to help you create a great look for set.

Where do I start?

Always start with your details. Details information will likely be sent as a details message through our casting platform and may include a show name and passcode to access your Details Blog. Wardrobe notes are based off your role or category and can include very specific instructions or may be given in more general terms. Either way, you need to base your outfit off the information given in your details.

If you’re working on a TV show that has already aired episodes, the show itself is a great place to look for wardrobe inspiration. Take a close look at what the principal actors and other background are wearing to get a sense of the show’s style and color palette.

Creating your outfit

Your roles as a Background Actor can vary dramatically from booking to booking. One day you’re a 1970s club patron and the next you’re a dignitary at a presidential gala. One way to make sure you’re successful at putting together different looks is to have some versatile wardrobe basics. Having some go-to items that are in good condition and fit well can give you a foundation to base your varying looks.

Your details may include the setting and time of year the scene takes place. This information can affect your wardrobe; please read your details carefully to make sure you don’t end up with the wrong look. For example, if you’re a Los Angeles Background Actor, your idea of a winter outfit could be very different than the New York set scene you’re filming.

For some roles, you may be tasked with creating an outfit from another time period. If you need some clothing ideas or outfit inspiration, check out our wardrobe article category, where you’ll find style guides from the 1920s to 2000s that can help you put together great period looks.

Bringing your wardrobe to set

One of the wardrobe basics of background acting is showing up to set in clean unwrinkled clothing (unless, of course, your wardrobe details and role warrant otherwise). In some cases, you will be asked to come to set dressed and camera ready. In others, you may be instructed to bring your clothes to set with you.

Keep in mind that you may have less interaction with the wardrobe department than you have in the past, so reading your details carefully and ensuring you show up as expected will help prepare you for a successful day.

Adding additional photos

With our casting platform, adding photos of yourself in different wardrobe is easy. Once logged in, scroll to the photographs section of your profile to upload photos. Pictures you add should reflect what you currently look like, only feature you, and be well lit so the Casting Director can clearly see your face and wardrobe. Remember, if you’re booked based off your wardrobe, you will be expected to show up to set with that look, so please only add photos to your profile in clothing that you own and have access to.

For more wardrobe basics and ways to prepare for set, read through our guides New Background Acting Skills You Can Learn Now and Wardrobe Essentials Background Actors Should Know.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

Article Category:

Industry Essentials