You are currently viewing What to Wear and Not to Wear When Live Streaming

Live streaming has become a common task for many employees due to the pandemic. Prior to the epidemic, mainly researcher, scientists, some media, and companies with several office locations used the technology for collaboration, conferences, meetings, and webinars. Today, this communication option serves a much larger population, and even has become common among far apart friends and family. Read what to wear and not to wear when live streaming so you look your best when on screen next time.



Disclosure: Sponsored post.


What You Never Should Wear When Live Streaming

In the traditional way of communication, people are in the same physical room. They are 3-D and in color. However, when live streaming people are in a virtual room. They see each other 2-D (flat), and pixelized. As a result, any garments with small pattern or prints will look like noise, and can make the viewer dizzy.

Today, employers expect that their employees are able to use webinar services in a professional manner.


example of dizziness caused by small weave patterns
Noise caused by small weave pattern of the plaid pants.


Therefore, avoid glen check, hounds tooth, gingham, needle stripes, thin stripes, herring bone pattern and alike. Furthermore, stir away from small prints like pin point, polka dot, small floral, snake, stingray, leopard as well as busy prints. Embellishment like embroidery, sequins, Rhinestones may also look noisy.


Expert tip: Don’t wear sun protective clothing that uses minerals for protection from harmful UV radiation. The minerals reflect the beams of lights. As a result, the garment looks noisy.


Take home message: Solid colors are less distractive. But …

… stay away from black, white, green, blue, and neon colors.


What Colors Are Best for Livestreaming?

Both black or white tend to wash you out, and  cast unnecessary shadows and during a live session. You would look sick and blah.

To obtain a balanced screen image search a room with a solid, deeply saturated wall. Pick clothing in a color that contrasts with the color of your background. If possible, wear clothes in the complimentary color of the background to achieve the most pleasant image.


Stylist tip: You will look your best when these colors are from your personal color palette.


examples of best colors to wear when live streaming
Examples of colors that work well when live online.


However, as soon as you do not want to show your real background, software is involved. Typical scenarios are that you want to use a background photo or film thru glass. In these cases, …


… What to Wear when Live Streaming Depends on the Technology You Use

When using a photo or PowerPoint as background, you can’t wear green (blue).


comparison of same sweater using different software for live filming
Comparison of the same saturated deep colors sweater when using (clockwise) a greenscreen, nothing, and a black screen. See what happens with the green and blue of the sweater.



Why to Avoid Green and Blue When Speaker Presence Is Important

When you prepare a PowerPoint presentation, you can film yourself against a green background. The software replaces the green background with your PowerPoint. Consequently, the audience sees you standing in front of the slides like at a conference or in a seminar room. The advantage of this technology is that you appear to be present. Many people can better follow when they also see your gestures.


Note: Some software uses blue instead of green.


Obviously, because everything green/blue is replaced by what is on your computer screen, you can’t wear this color.


Why to Avoid Black as Well

Educators often use a Learning Board. It’s a glass on which you write with a neon marker. The camera is on the other side of the glass, and films you thru the glass against a black background. The software mirrors the neon-color writing so students can read it. Black, chocolate brown and similar dark deep colors and even my ash brown hair don’t show.


Expert tip: The result of wearing black could be very spooky with just your hands and head floating over the screen.



Which Clothes Styles Are Best?

It depends on the purpose of the live stream. Whenever, the reason is related to your job/career stay within the HR-approved dress code. Dress up a notch. More on why it is better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.

When you are live streaming for fun and the audience are friends, family or followers stay true to your personal style. However, be aware that wide clothing yields folds that create unwanted shadows.

Students giving a class/homework presentation look most confident in their usual attire dressed up a notch. At a thesis defense, wear what the school dress code requires if there is one. Otherwise, wear a variation of what the dress code of your future profession demands for dressing for job interviews.


In all cases, keep in mind what not to wear color- and print/pattern-wise.


example of a pattern that works in videos
Large pattern work, but ensure the print has no colors that won’t work with the technology used.



Wear a Garment with Collar in a Live Video

When you use a microphone, wear a collar. Skip necklaces or long earrings to avoid audio noise. More on which earrings to wear.


illustration how to place the microphone in online presentations
Microphone placement suggestions.




What to Wear When Live Streaming in a Nutshell

To create the best experience for your audience

  • Dress in deeply saturated colors.
  • Go for pleasant color combinations.
  • Wear clothing that permits placement of a microphone.
  • Avoid blue, green, black, white, anything neon, busy prints and patterns, sun protective clothes with minerals, and bling.
  • Dress in a way that fits your brand, company’s dress code, or your personal style when broadcasting as an influencer/business, employee, or family member/friend, respectively.


Screenshots from my online classes

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