What to wear? What to wear? – Wardrobe Staples For Actors (Men)

Wardrobe Staples: MEN

I think guys get overlooked in the fashion world – it’s not easy to find good clothes – but that’s no excuse to overlook your own image as an actor. Especially when it comes to auditions.

Here are some basic staples I think every man should have ready to go in his wardrobe:

A Good Suit.

You will always need a good suit as an actor. Whether it be for industrial work, extra work or simply a role where the character works in an office. As a guy a suit can really clean you up and no matter what “type” you are, you should have a nice suit on hand. You might need two suits in the long run. One black that can double as a black-tie kind of suit and the other a neutral color that can be worn in an office AND out to a nice meal, etc. Only downside is that suits can be quite expensive.

HINT: I recommend going to stores such as Daffy’s, Loehmans, Century 21 or hit the sales at J. Crew, Banana Republic, or Macy’s. You will make that money back by booking a job and you’re more likely to book that job if you look the part!

A Good Casual Jacket

Something that you could wear outside in the fall or spring but that isn’t too dressy. Depending on your “type” it could be sporty or retro – your choice!

A Good Pair of Jeans

This is a given, right? Well, not necessarily. Most of us have one pair of jeans that we live in. And pretty quickly they can look a little too lived in. That’s good for some jobs/auditions, but sometimes you will need something just a little bit sharper. In that case, it’s good to have a back-up pair – and make ’em smart.

HINT: If you’re not into fashion trends and such you can never go wrong with Levis 501. They seriously never go out of style. Go with the darkest blue you can find – they’ll last longer and look nicer for longer, too.


Especially in the summer, auditions might call for you to wear khakis. If you do get them, make sure to keep them clean as they can look worn very quickly.

A Couple of Great T-shirts

You have to feel comfortable in them, but a good t-shirt is a great addition to your casual attire wardrobe. Can be worn with jeans, khakis or even a suit.

Button Down Shirt

You will need a button down shirt that can be worn casually. If you can, you might be able to find one that doubles up as a business shirt that you can wear with a tie, but the difference between a casual shirt and a dress shirt is the tails at the bottom. A casual shirt won’t have any because it’s meant to be worn un-tucked whereas a dress shirt has tails – to keep that sucker tuck-ed in! Generally a shirt with tails that is untucked can look weird and untidy. So, if you can, get one of each.

HINT: Get a white one AND a good color – one that is nice on you AND on camera. Blue, green or grey are good. And steer clear of too-close a pattern (or stay away from a pattern at all)

Good Shoes

There are 3 basic pairs of shoes every actor should have.

Dress shoes

Casual shoes


HINT: DSW and David Z are great resources for every kind of shoe you need and the price is right (generally)

Dress Shoes




Every actor should have a belt and a tie. Maybe two of each – in different colors/styles. Definitely have a black tie.

HINT: If you have brown shoes, you will look just a bit more pulled together if you wear a brown belt. The same goes with black.


For the hell of it, grab some fun socks. Its a little fun that only occasionally peeks out of your pants – but it looks great.


Paul Smith

French Connection



About The NYC Actor

Angela Dee is a professional actress working in Film, Theatre, TV, Commercials and Voiceovers. She currently lives in New York. www.angeladee.com


  1. What to wear? What to wear? – Wardrobe Staples For Actors (Women) « Aesthetic NYC - July 25, 2011

    […] (Read about men’s wardrobe staples here) […]

  2. What to wear? What to wear? – Wardrobe Staples For Actors (Women) | The NYC Actor | The NYC Actor - July 25, 2011

    […] (Read about men’s wardrobe staples here) […]

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