Friday, July 24, 2009

About those clothes......

Well, it's Friday, so why not open a real can of worms - clothes and hair for auditions - an interesting topic to be sure, and one that shouldn't be minimized.
I'll keep it basic to start:
  • Your outfit should be neutral - I should remember you and your singing, not your clothes.
  • Your hair should be out of your face, so I can see how you use your face expressively.
  • Coat and tie are not necessary, but you should dress in such a way as to be respectful of the situation - and no jeans!
  • If you're a mezzo or soprano, you don't have to dress androgenously to sell Cherubino, Octavian, Oscar, Seibel, or any of their brethren.
  • Don't underestimate the comfort factor - being comfortable - clothes not too tight, shoes that allow you to balance, etc. - all are important in letting you do your best work.
Well, that's my starting list - please weigh in with questions or comments!


  1. I'm going to take a slightly (just slightly) opposing point to your first bullet point. Of course, a singer should want the GD, AD, potential manager, or whoever to remember his/her voice. However, little things that make can make a singer standout (while still looking stylish and not over the top) don't hurt. I know one singer who wore a red suit to all her auditions during her first year with a manager (and she had a lot). She was also wearing a bright red sweater in her headshot. Now, this person has an amazing voice, but I do think that the red made her a bit more memorable in this instance (along with the voice and all of the other aspects of the audition). However, I do think that singer had great taste and knew exactly what she was doing (more so than most of us would).

    Another thing that you didn't stress (most likely because you're a man and tactful), but should have is the necessity of supportive undergarments. It's important to also practice one's audition in your outfit (and undergarments) in front of a mirror. What exactly shows when you breathe? Do the seams or lacy pattern of your bra show too much? If so, get a new one. Does a dress make you look lumpy? If so, get Spanx. They smooth out things and generally make any person look as though they've lost 5-10 pounds by creating smoother lines. How does your dress/skirt hang when you want? You might need a slip.

    And on a slightly related note, cleavage down to one's navel is never attractive. First, get a supportive bra. And secondly, if someone sees that much, perhaps a different dress/top might be more appropriate.

    If you're a woman and your legs show, make sure you're wearing the appropriate pantyhose shade. And if you're auditioning in warmer months and really feel that you can go without stockings, make sure that your legs look good (as in, are shaved and moisturized) and, if you're wearing sandals, make sure you have a decent pedicure.

    If you're a man who chooses to wear a suit (and I agree with the original post and don't think you have to), please remember than things rarely fit perfectly straight off the rack. Make sure it's tailored to fit you well.

  2. Absolutely agree with the above poster about use of undergarments!!!

    But here's a question--- don't we all kind of look alike after hours of auditions?

    -soprano hair (half back, ends curled)
    -that year everyone wore black
    -that following year the ladies wore dark purple
    -that following year the ladies wore some shade of gem tone blue

    Assuming two sopranos are tied for being 'vocally memorable' ie- not the shining star of the day, but something like, 'oh yea, really nice/interesting instrument..I kind of remember her, wasn't she wearing...."
    --can the outfit ever make difference? And if so, is it the 'bad' outfits that you remember more often and associate negatively with otherwise 'vocally' comparable auditions?

  3. I read a really good book called Auditioning for the Musical Theatre by Fred Silver that treated the subject of clothes in depth, even analysing the psychology of color choices. For instance, brown indicates that you are trustworthy! Red is exciting and passionate, pastels are feminine and sweet, etc.

  4. Just, please, dear God no more wrap dresses.

    -a Wisconsin-born soprano in Boston

  5. For an audition, should a mezzo-soprano wear a knee-length one color dress . . . preferably black?