If you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail

Remember the fifty-five percent rule: on film or television, how you look is more than half the battle. I’m not saying you should have every hair in place (and colour-coordinated). But television is basically pictures and the viewer’s perception of you is governed to a very large extent by how you look.


Should be simple and tasteful – no fussy patterns, etc. No large areas of white or black. Television cameras can’t see detail in very dark or light patches. Colour is a very subjective thing, but most people agree that a blue or grey suit for a man is better than a brown one. But what were you wearing when you got the most compliments? Clothes should suit the occasion and the location. Are you in your office or on the scene of a building collapse? If in doubt, under- rather than over-dress. Don’t wear anything too old or too new. Bare arms don’t seem to do so well on television. No trousers for women. No waistcoat for men. Ties and scarves should be solid colour or large pattern. No naked Hawaiian babes, thank you. Never carry pens or pencils in a shirt pocket. Empty pockets as much as possible. Be careful about short skirts particularly in a studio. And especially if you’re a man.


Be careful with jewellery – particularly earrings. Large dangly ones can be extremely distracting. Glasses can be a problem. No thick frames, thick lenses, glasses worn too low. Avoid anything that prevents the viewer seeing your eyes.

Hair and Make-up

Use only the minimum of make-up. Keep it soft and natural looking. Avoid frosted cosmetics – they can make you look bloated. Don’t use black or dark brown eyeliner. Avoid hard edges – blend. Apply blush to cheekbones, not centre of cheeks. Blend and feather edges. Powder afterwards if you think you might perspire. Translucent (non-coloured or faint flesh-toned) powder is best. Don’t shave just before an interview. If you’re worried about your skin, try a light astringent or after-shave. It will close up your pores and make you feel good as well as look good. Make sure your hair is tidy. Don’t experiment with a new style just before an interview. Men shouldn’t have a hair cut less than three days before an interview. Right. You’re looking good.