What Not To Wear To A Model Casting

  • Melissa Keen

Have you ever been invited to an interview and then worried about what you’re going to wear to it? This worry is even worse for models attending castings! A model must make a good first impression because their whole career is based on their looks.

Looking right is a skill all models need to master to boost their chances of success. At castings, models have a few seconds to make that all-important first impression. It’s therefore vital a model knows exactly what to wear.

Read on to find out what to wear at a model casting – and what to avoid – with our in-depth guide.

What to Wear to a Model Casting Call

You’d think that models should go to their castings looking glamorous – how they look in the advertising campaigns, almost – but listen closely; this could not be further from the truth.

Models, regardless of whether they’re undertaking catalogue or high-fashion work, are there to sell an image – but not their own image. A model’s job is to sell an image of a brand or a company.

Brands spend many hours creating concepts of how they want their products to be perceived. They will have thought about every last detail including hair, outfit and make-up prior to hiring a model. When it comes to the casting, the agent will simply be looking for a girl or guy to fill that position; else will have already been considered.

Model Casting Tips: What Not to Wear

It is for that reason that you need to present yourself as a blank canvas.


  • Crazy patterned clothes. Aztec prints may be in fashion, but they were not created for the casting room. Bright colours and clashing shapes will only serve as distractions to your physique and face.
  • Over-the-top accessories. A pink feather boa might get you noticed, but it won’t get you hired! It will distract attention and make you look inexperienced and unprofessional. Keep jewellery classy and minimal.
  • Ill-fitting clothing. A first impression is made within seconds. Wearing ill-fitting clothing will only hinder your chances of success. Agencies and brands want to see your overall shape so they can judge whether you’d suit their items.
  • Vibrant hair and make-up. A little bit of mascara and concealer is fine, but don’t overdo your make-up. A casting is not the time to experiment with colourful smoky eyes. Hair is best left natural; if it’s tied up someone will probably ask you to take it down, so don’t spend hours fixing it in place. That said, make sure you look clean and preened. Remember if you are successful at the model casting, make-up artists will be employed at the photoshoot.

You want to give the casting directors the best opportunity of imagining you fitting into their concept. The plainer your clothes, hair and make-up, the easier this will be for them to achieve.

Wear Something That Compliments Your Body Shape

You need to show potential agents and brands what they will be working with. That doesn’t mean you’re invited to walk in wearing your birthday suit, but it does mean you should avoid:

  • Winter accessories. Sure, wrap yourself up in a giant cocoon coat, beanie and snood as you make your way to your casting, but once you’ve arrived, whip them off. Big woolly accessories will cover up your figure and no casting agent will be able to hire you without seeing your body shape.
  • Oversized clothes. Save your Diane Von Fursternberg-inspired jumper for the weekend, oversized items will not allow casting agents to see your figure (and as we just stated, knowing a body shape is paramount to employing a model). Although you can whip a jumper off quickly, having to be asked to do this is firstly unprofessional, and secondly annoying. This may sound harsh, but remember that casting agents will likely have hundreds of girls to see in one day; they don’t have the time to hang around waiting for models to get changed into more appropriate clothing.
  • Clothes that don’t fit. These will not flatter your body and they will make you look like you’re not taking the situation seriously.


Let’s Talk Footwear

Let’s tackle the subject of shoes. Wearing heels to a casting is a must. Although this will be altering your height (thus contradicting the idea of going au-natural to a casting) female models 99.9% of the time will be required to wear heels on set. Casting agents will want to see you can walk well in heels. You can wear trainers or flats while travelling, but bring good heels in a bag to change into.


  • Heels you can’t walk in. This will only make you look unprofessional. Many casting calls ask for you to demonstrate your walk for them. Your strut needs to ooze confidence and power; stumbling or tottering on stilettos that don’t fit or you feel uncomfortable will not be a sensible choice for the audition.
  • Heels that are insanely high. Casting agents will expect you to be wearing a modest height heel. Platforms are a no-go; you’re going to an interview, not a night out. Professionalism is key, so wear footwear that is comfortable so you can show off your walk. Stilettos are a great choice.

What’s in the Model Bag?

Many models have a pre-packed bag with all the essentials needed for castings. If you have a busy day lined up, you might want to take with you a few staple items that will make you feel fresh, confident and ready to take on the day.

  • Haircare. A hairbrush, comb and bobby pins are found in many model bags to help tidy up any stray ends.
  • A few make-up essentials. A lick of mascara and touch up of foundation (if you have time) will make you feel a little bit more confident. Lip balm will keep lips moisturised and comfortable, and a sweep of blush or highlighter will help make skin look fresh and glowing.
  • Deodorant. Pack a small deodorant for a quick spritz to freshen up during a hectic day.
  • Heels. If you do chose to travel to the casting in daps, don’t forget those high heels.
  • Water. You may have to wait a while – stay hydrated.
  • Snacks.
  • Nude underwear. Some agencies or brands may ask to you try some items on. Bringing your own fitted nude items will help make underwear invisible.
  • A charger. You don’t want to miss an appointment if the time is brought forward or delayed; don’t let that battery go flat.
  • Entertainment. It’s a good idea to bring a book or magazine to keep you occupied during long waiting periods.

And that’s it! You’re now set to get dressed for your casting. Remember to dress appropriately for the agency or brand you are auditioning for; many will have a dress code on their website, so be sure to check first. Stick to basic, fitted items; skinny jeans and a plain white t-shirt normally go down well.

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Posted by Melissa Keen

Melissa's experience in the beauty and fashion world as a writer and blogger spans over five years. Her other interests include reading, yoga and music.