Business Basics: Model Wardrobe Essentials

For auditions and shoots, actors and models often find that they’re asked to wear the same type of thing over and over again. Many times on shoots, stylists ask you to bring pieces so if all else fails, they know they have something that will fit you and work well for the shoot. And when you’re starting out, many low budget shoots are relying on you to have the right pieces- so have the right looks on hand and you’ll get more work. Part of your business is inventory, and yes, that means doing a little shopping. But this is work shopping, not woo hoo! shopping (but it’s still pretty fun).

What you need depends on what kind of work you do, or want to do. In San Francisco, the social tech capital of the world, there are a few set roles I needed to be prepared for: The Modern Corporate Lady, The Aspirational Mom, The Affluent Consumer. So here are some pieces that speak to these roles.

The Modern Corporate Lady

Rules: Conservative cuts, muted tones. No crazy patterns. Minimal jewelry. The look is tailored and polished without being to “Banker” looking. Think Banana Republic. This look books ads from financial services, technology, and a B2B industrials.

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The Aspirational Mom

No shabby Mommy here. This is a polished, casual look. Brighter colors and a feminine feel. Twinsets, cardis and camisoles, great denim and ballet flats… you get the idea. Occasionally a a jersey knit dress. This is the put-together Mom who does it all. This look books lifestyle ads from retail to gaming to pharmaceutical.

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The Affluent Consumer

She’s casual, but with a little flash. A good evening dress (no beads or sparkle!) for hotel or resort shoots. Great shoes, maybe a statement bag. Dark colors: charcoal, jewel tones. The look is urban, chic, and books ads from tech to retail to travel.

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Great places to shop for these pieces include Banana Republic (stylists love Banana), JCrew, Gap, and Ann Taylor. Is this exciting fashion? Not really, but these are basics that can translate a million different ways for almost any kind of print job or commercial you book. I took my first big pay check and bought a semi-sexy dark suit (BCBG) and heels (Sigerson Morrison). Smart investments in my model start up inventory– that was years ago and I still own them! Just remember: simple style, great fit. Go to a tailor and get pants hemmed or waistlines taken in. This is time and money well spent.

Happy shopping and break a leg!

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