The fashion industry can be riddled with expectations, especially for models, so it’s wise to be as prepared as possible. That being said, it can be confusing to determine what will be provided for you versus what you should/ should not walk with to modeling jobs and bookings.
Here’s my list of the top things that models should always carry with them on shoot and show days:
As with any job, models are expected to be on time. Being punctual is a sign of respect for the people you work with, and lets them know how much you value the opportunity to work with them, and their precious time (because time is money!). Punctuality is also one of the first signs of your professionalism and seriousness about what you do. If for some reason you are unable to attend the gig or are running late, please give ample notice! Last minute cancellations can be interpreted as highly unprofessional, and usually result in bruised reputations, and time and money being wasted on production efforts.
Nude Seamless Underwear for the Ladies
This might seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised. Generally speaking, thongs are preferred because they guarantee an even greater panty-line vanishing effect, especially if the clothing is transparent, super tight, or has a cheekier/ lower cut. Also be mindful of what colour would be classified as nude on your specific skin tone.
Form Fitting Undies for the Fellas
The age-old question: boxers or briefs? The answer: both. Guys, try to walk with a variety of form-fitted underwear in both black and white.
Panty liners are extremely important, especially in the case of swimwear or resort wear, and they should be worn at all times by models during fittings, shoots and shows.
Not every designer will want you to wear a bra, but it is still wise to have at least two in your arsenal: a standard simple bra, and a strapless bra. Bras should be in nude tones and black, and non-padded! Push-up bras are a big no-no; you can always add cutlets if desired by your designer or stylist. It also helps if they are seamless and wireless, but those aren’t really a necessity, as long as they fit properly.
Vests for the Guys
Male models should also walk with plain, sleeveless vests in both black and white as a precaution as well.
More commonly, you’ll find models to be without bras. In that case, it can always be handy to have a pair of pasties, and revisiting points one and three, they should be as close to your skin tone as possible.
Clean Skin and Nails
I’ve seen many a model show up to a shoot with a face full of makeup or greased down in baby oil. Unless requested of you by the designer or stylist, you should come with clean, fresh skin, and nails clear of polish- a blank canvas essentially.
Colourless, Odorless Deodorant
Deodorant marks are annoying on our own clothes, so imagine getting them on somebody else’s! Colourless, odorless deodorants are available and should be worn by models to fashion events to avoid the soiling of pieces. I also recommend taking it with you, to ensure that you stay fresh throughout the day or night.
Nude Heels and/ or Flats for the Ladies
Nude, nude, nude… there’s a reason why! A model’s job is essentially to display the look that she’s wearing- not distract from it, and with shoes nowadays being available in every size, shape and colour, it has become increasingly difficult to depend on models to have an appropriate pair of heels. EVERY model should equip herself with a pair of simple, elegant, heels in both nude and black. Pumps are a thing of the past! Keep it minimalist.
Casual and Dress Shoes for the Guys
Just like with women’s shoes, the options for guys are limitless. Follow the instructions of your designer/stylist, but generally try to stay away from loud colours and styles, and veer towards simple, neutral toned shoes, with appropriate socks for each pair.
Comfortable, Easy to Remove Clothing
Nothing is harder to watch than a model trying to pull a tight top off after her hair and makeup have already been done. It’s downright cringeworthy- you really feel for the hairstylist and make up artist. On shoot/ show days, remember to wear clothing that is easy to remove to avoid messing up hair and makeup, and to make changing easier and more efficient. Button-up shirts are probably the best option.
Water and Smart Snacks
The waiting game can sometimes be long and unpredictable, so be sure to have some healthy snacks and water handy. As a general rule of thumb, try to stay away from snacks or drinks that are messy and have the potential to soil garments. Also, try to bring smart snacks, meaning healthier options, and snacks with higher protein content to keep you full for longer. Some good options would be nuts, protein bars, and non-messy fruits and veggies like apples and carrots.
A Positive, Professional Attitude
Being a model in the middle of the hustle and bustle can be overwhelming, but it’s important to keep your cool. At times, people may say or do things that you disagree with, but take a deep breath, process your thoughts, and respond if need be, in a cool, calm and respectable manner. Remember, on these days everyone involved tends to be stressed to the max, so try your best to be patient and professional 100% of the time.