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What Not To Wear To A Model Casting

  • Freya Hill

Have you ever been invited to an interview and then ended up worrying yourself silly about what you’re going to wear? If you haven’t, consider yourself inhuman, because a good proportion of us freak out over what will look right/wrong/over dressed/underdressed compared to everyone else! Exactly the same can be said for models when it comes to attending a casting. Find what not to wear to a model casting with our in depth guide.

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What to Wear to a Model Casting Call

You’d think, naturally, 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 if we tried.

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

Brands spend many many hours creating concepts of how they want their products to be perceived, thus they will have thought about every last photo shoot 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 as everything 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 well be in but they were not created for the casting room. Bright colours and clashing shapes will distract the eye and subconsciously turn the mind off.
  • Over the top accessories. A pink feather boa will get you noticed but it won’t get you hired. It will distract attention and make you look inexperienced and unprofessional.
  • Vibrant hair and make-up. A little bit of mascara and blusher’s normally fine; otherwise keep your make-up downplayed to avoid looking inexperienced. 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

Second to that, you need to let them know what they will potentially 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 casting agents will potentially have hundreds of girls to see in one day, thus they don’t have the time to hang around waiting for models to get changed into more appropriate clothing.
  • Clothes that don’t fit. Again, for the same reasons as above. These will not flatter your body and they will make you look like you’re not taking the situation seriously.


Lets Talk Footwear

Finally, girls, 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. Therefore, trainers are to be left at the door. Avoid:

  • 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, therefore stumbling or tottering on stilettos that don’t fit or you feel uncomfortable in 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. Professionalism is key, therefore, wear footwear that is comfortable so you can show off your walk. It may be best to carry a pair of heels in your bag to change into when you get to the casting so your feet are not worn out from the run to the bus.

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.

  • A hairbrush, comb and bobby pins to tidy up those stray ends.
  • A few make-up essentials. I know we said be natural but a lick of mascara and touch up of foundation (if you have time) will make you feel a little bit more confident.
  • Pack a small deodorant for a quick spritz to freshen up during a hectic day.
  • If you do chose to travel to the casting in daps, don’t forget those high heels.
  • A bottle of water to keep you hydrated.
  • A charger in case your battery runs flat. You don’t want to miss an appointment if the time is brought forward or delayed.
  • A book or mag to keep you occupied as these things can drag on.

With that information out of the way, you’re now set to get dressed for your casting. Remember to dress appropriately (if you’re going to a surf brand’s casting, don’t wear a suit) and stick to basic items; skinny jeans and a plain vest normally go down a treat, as do bodycon dresses or skirts.

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Posted by Freya Hill

Freya is been writing for many years on fashion and modelling. Her hands are a bit too wrinkly for a 23 year old and she has worked with MTV, New Look and Vauxhall Fashion Scout.