okay boys - here it comes!!!
What do you wear for that audition?!??! For that performance?!?!?
There are some marvellous sites about formal attire for men - the history, the etiquette, the explanation of evening wear vs morning wear within a formal setting - just google it and see what you find!
Let's start with some basics though:
FIT!!!! Make sure whatever you wear, fits you. Audition, masterclass, performance...nothing worse than seeing a man in a jacket that is too big in the shoulders, too short in the arms...
SHOES!!! no scuffs, and dress for the outfit and the occasion! Again, you want to create length and the shoes are a part of that!!
A TOUCH OF YOURSELF!!! Get creative with colour and texture and pattern and cut and something uniquely YOU.
My personal pet peeve - the white man's business casual - khakis and a blue button down dress shirt. This might be what the corporates call interesting (!) but for an artist in an audition - HELL NO. WALK AWAY FROM THAT RIGHT NOW.
Okay - back on track...
Formal wear - for PERFORMANCE ONLY please. You don't wear a tux for an audition or for a masterclass in opera or in music theatre. Generally, and traditionally, it is EVENING wear, so the tuxedo doesn't have to show itself during the day. Obviously if you are performing with an orchestra in an afternoon concert you may want to use a dinner jacket tuxedo, and maybe a long tie, or monochromatic colour scheme instead of a traditional look. Your choice.
Tails - evening only gentlemen. Especially the full white shirt/white vest attire. After 8 p.m. ONLY.
Let your body type determine jacket type - single button, double button, double breasted...
When you perform, you should be buttoned up!
Vest OR cumberbund - not both.
If you perform regularly you should have summer weight and winter weight fabrics - as well as dark formal wear and light formal wear.
Men's formal wear has shown traditional, contemporary, corporate, trendy classifications. This has to do with cut, fabric, sheen, etc.
You can discover different lapel types to add to your individuality - traditional, shawl, mandarin - several to choose from. Daytime can be the same fabric as the body of the formal wear, evening could be a different fabric and texture.
Here are a few possibilities:
The Classic Tux - vest, tipped lapels, bow-tie:
2nd with cumberbund and studs:
the formal white jacket - for warmer weather performance
Classic Smoking Jacket - Velvet Formal in a COLOUR (!) for a Classic Look
Single breasted Smoking Jacket - Velvet
COLOUR can do so much - whether it's a full tuxedo, a smoking jacket, tie, cumberbund, vest - explore the possibilities to shake it up a little!!!
Here are some more contemporary aspects of the tuxedo that might appeal - again EVENING wear...
3 button tux - centre button fastened for performance
If you are auditioning for opera or taking a masterclass during the day or into the evening - a suit or suit jacket or even sports jacket is completely fine!!
Again, cut, colour, fabric and your personal tastes and personality can influence this greatly!
How you accessorize a great suit - through shirt of tie colour and texture and pattern, shoes etc can really make an outfit pop.
Here are a few possibilities that would work for masterclass/audition during the day:
For MUSIC THEATRE auditions
- which are much less formal than a classical masterclass or audition - you need to dress for TYPE as well as body!
A suit jacket or sports jacket may work for you - if that is the type you wish to be seen as. You can also try a less formal and more trendy look in how you pair it with jeans, more casual shirt etc:
Again - REAL SHOES GUYS!!! No flip flops and such. Make sure they are clean and polished, not scuffed, not broken...
Invest in some audition shoes guys, that are NOT dance shoes.
Boots are great too depending on your type.
Even if you are auditioning for a contemporary jeans and tshirt show - pull yourself together!! Don't look like you just rolled out of bed. Make sure your clothes are CLEAN and FIT YOU!
Don't wear shorts. You are not at the park or at the beach, you are at the audition!!!
Give it some respect with your presentation!
Don't wear Tshirts that distract from YOU - with slogans or pictures...
Your theatrical type and your personality can infuse your look in that audition room.
Take some time to enjoy that and develop that.
If you are a leading man type - then you can enjoy a more classic look, even with a suit or shirt and tie, or sports coat.
If you are the guy next door - a more casual look is possible, but still pulled together.
If you are the bad boy - let it EVOKE that not lock it in...
If you are the poet, the dreamer - EVOKE it...with colour and fabric
Here are some ideas - I purposely picked neutral colours so you can infuse your OWN look on the idea!
Guys, decide what your best features are and play them up through colour and fabric and cut!
Create LONG lines
Draw colour and texture and pattern to evoke a type and to intensify your assets!
Example: Bring out your eyes with a complementary colour from a tie, or a shirt
Ultimately, you need to be comfortable in your own skin and then in your own clothes!
This is your BUSINESS and your attention to it reflects in how you present yourself.
Pull your pants up over your ass! Make sure your clothes fit and aren't ripped up or falling off!
What you wear to hang out in shouldn't be what we see in the audition room!
WE SEE YOU FIRST. Whether you like it or not, we make a value judgement immediately. Let it be a positive one! Look like it matters to you that you are there.
Let this simply be a jumping off place of possibilities and ENJOY the creativity of YOU.
This is JUST the beginning!
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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