[Perform-Talk] What to wear for things as a performer

Julie McGinnity kaybaycar at gmail.com
Thu Sep 12 13:43:22 UTC 2019

Hi Cierra,

Great questions!

As for what might be appropriate to wear, this depends on your
performance.  If you are playing guitar at an informal event or
restaurant, you will want to dress more casual.  If you are going for
an audition for an opera company, you will want to dress quite
formally.  So first, think about your audience and what they might

I suggest you learn as much about the kinds of clothes that would work
for your performances as possible.  I believe you are in training now,
and this is the perfect time to learn what you need to know.  How you
dress is extremely important as a performer.  It defines your look and
gives the audience an impression of who you are.  It's part of your
presentation.  So, learning about clothes is valuable and can be super
fun.  Learn what different textures and styles feel like.  You can
feel the difference between a blouse and a more casual shirt, for
example.  Learn which tactile qualities might make a dress more casual
than another.  The material of the clothes can be a good place to
start.  Then you can determine by touch if something is loose-fitting,
fitted, or meant to be snug.  You can also determine cut and the line
of the clothes by touch.  Fashion is not a purely visual art.  Yes,
you'll need colors and patterns described, and you'll want to form a
kind of understanding of what makes light blue more appropriate than
florescent green in certain situations, for example.  For that, I
recommend getting one or two people you trust, I mean seriously trust,
to describe colors and patterns to you.  Work with that person
consistently until you have a grasp of what looks good on you,, what
you like, and even what's out there.

So first, think about the people in your life who like shopping and
fashion and have a strong attention to detail.  Then ask them if they
can advise you on your wardrobe.  Ask them to help you go through what
you have and tell you if it's formal, business casual, or casual.  Ask
them why so that you can learn to identify some of these
characteristics on your own.  Some time later, ask them to go shopping
with you.  Make sure they know to be completely honest with you.  If
something doesn't look good on you, they need to tell you.  Everyone
has a different body type, so if one thing doesn't look great on you,
there will be another item that does.

I had friends back home who loved describing clothing to me.  They
taught me a lot about what to look for (with my hands) when shopping.
We had a great time, and I am now completely confident in my ability
to pick out the perfect outfit.  I know that if I am picking that
outfit out of my own closet, I can do it completely independently, and
I know when I'm shopping and need a second (visual) opinion.
Sometimes I don't even need that opinion when shopping.

Just a pro tip: it's good for everyone, particularly performers to pay
or barter with a sighted person to go through your closet twice a year
to eyeball your clothes.  The truth is that clothes can fade, acquire
snags, etc, and those things can be difficult to feel.

Another tip: simple is never wrong.  If you want to stick to mostly
solid colors, there is nothing wrong in that choice.  It is
unadviseable to dress too flashy in most audition situations, so I
would recommend keeping things classic at first until you're ready to
experiment with different styles and looks.

I much enjoy discussing this topic, so feel free to message me with
any questions.

Best of luck!


On 9/12/19, Joshua Hendrickson via Perform-Talk <perform-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi Cierra.  I've never had any kind of rehearsal, or audition, but I
> have played guitar and sang at various local events in my area.  It
> all depends on the event.  Sometimes I wear a nice shirt and jeans, or
> more casual.  I'm totally blind, I usually have my mom help me.
> Sometimes my dad would also help me.  It all depends on the event.
> I'd presonally recommend someone help you pick out what you want to
> wear.  Good luck.
> On 9/12/19, Cierra Theriot via Perform-Talk <perform-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>> Hello my fellow performers.
>> Hope you are all doing well. I was wondering if you are totally blind, do
>> you have someone help you pick out outfits for head shots, auditions, or
>> rehearsals. Also what is appropriate to wear professionally for these
>> things? I’m trying to figure out if I need sided help or if I should just
>> pick something. But I do know that certain things can’t be worn due to
>> being
>> too distracting or plain. Thank you all. Hope you all have a wonderful
>> rest
>> of your day. Hugs from me.
>> Cierra Theriot
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> --
> Joshua Hendrickson
> Joshua Hendrickson
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Julie A. McGinnity
MM Vocal Performance, 2015; President, National Federation of the
Blind Performing Arts Division; First Vice President, National
Federation of the Blind of Missouri

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