One of the funnest parts of prepping for a show is choosing your suit! I always urge competitors to NEVER discount the importance of presentation. However, the decisions necessary for ensuring a flawless presentation can become overwhelming, especially in regards to your suit.
Fret not! Just follow the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Silly). The following 2-step method is one I personally use when consulting with clients and determining their color choices:
First, choose the right suit color for your complexion. Stepping onstage in a color that looks good with your complexion (even after being spray tanned and oiled) can be a make-it or break-it point in your presentation.
For example, I have a “warm” complexion. My skin tone emanates hints of yellow and orange, and overall my skin is light brown. Therefore, I never wear red! After getting spray tanned, the nature of my complexion still comes through. So, no red for me onstage. Why? Under stage lights, a red suit with my warm complexion will be completely washed out.
So, choose a color that will contrast your complexion. The intensity of the color (how light or dark the color is) will depend on the second factor outlined below and the intensity of your tan. For the most part, a show’s official spray tanner will use the same product and color on every competitor. Depending on your complexion, the tanning experts will determine the number of layers you’ll need. Keep in mind, the spray tan is not a mask. Your complexion’s undertones will not be erased, especially when you have bright (often yellow) stage lights shining on you. This is why I put the most effort in determining the best onstage suit colors for my clients.
- HAIR COLOR
The second factor to consider is your hair color. After determining the color that will look best with your complexion, move on to hair color as a gage for the intensity of that color. Brunette and dark haired competitors typically have the whole light-to-dark spectrum with which they can play. This includes ladies with dark red and auburn hair. Blonde and and light haired (including strawberry blondes and light red) competitors would be best suited in medium to darker colors for contrast.
Simple method, right?
As an example, take a peek at the following picture. Warm skin is generally characterized by golden and/or reddish undertones. Another indicator of warm skin tones is the ease at which you tan. I tend to tan just thinking about the sun!
Under stage lights, the warm undertones of my skin are especially apparent even after two layers of spray tan. By choosing a contrasting cool color for my suit, I evaded the “wash out” effect caused by the stage lights.
Alternatively, if I had chosen a warm color for my suit, I would have surely looked “washed out” under the stage lights.
Professional Stage Shot Photography: Gustavo Alfaro, gustavoalfaro.com
After choosing a suit color, everything else in regards to embellishments and their corresponding colors falls into place! The decisions become easier to make, and you are one step closer to slaying the stage!
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, or to get started on your perfect suit!