Movie Extra Tips for Men – Clothing Advice

I remember working alongside my fellow production assistants in a local television production. As I was going about my business, photocopying and organizing the call sheets for the following day, I overheard one of the production assistants who oversees the extras complaining – with vivid, colorful language. The primary complaint: one of the male extras did not bring suitable clothing to the set. I know what you might be thinking, don’t film productions provide wardrobe? Well, yes, but not for every extra. If you have a featured extra scene, like I had in the Demi Moore film “The Joneses” where I was a bartender in the house scene, the wardrobe department did provide me with my outfit; however, 90 percent of extra jobs require you to bring your own clothing.

Below are several tips gathered from my professional experience as an extra and a film set crew member:

Shirts, Sweaters, Jackets:

Upon booking a gig, the casting director will typically provide a basic outline of what you should bring. However, it is also important to ask him if you should bring seasonal items, like sweaters or jackets. If yes, make sure these items do not feature vivid patterns like stripes or flannel. Solid color or quite patterns are best when it comes to wardrobe choices.

You will always be required to bring your own shirts. Typically, a casting director will instruct you to bring a variety of shirts, which range from button-downs to graphic T’s to solid color T-shirts. When selecting these items, do not choose ones that are busy (as in vivid strips or other patterns) and DO NOT bring items with company logos. You can get into serious trouble if you wear an item with a giant company logo or slogan.

I always suggest to new extras to bring at least five to 10 different shirts ranging from ultra-casual to dressy.


When selecting your pants, bring an array of options with you on set. I suggest bringing at least two different styles of jeans (for example: light colored and dark colored) as well as at least one style of dress pants. You may be told to only bring casual pants, thus you will not need to supply dress pants. If in doubt, bring extra clothing. You would rather have a plethora of clothes than a few incorrect choices.


The type of shoes you bring will depend on the type of scene you’re involved in. Tennis shoes or other comfortable footwear will be ideal for casual scenes, while dress shoes will be ideal for the not-so-casual scenes. Of course, the casting director will instruct you what the scene will consist of so you can make an educated decision. Never bring open toed shoes, unless the casting director specifically instructs you to. This is a safety hazard on set, and if you take a close look in movies you’ll rarely see anyone wearing open toed sandals or other types of this footwear. Again, as a rule of thumb, when in doubt bring one of every type of shoe with you to the set.


Men are not typically instructed to wear accessories while on set; however, there really isn’t a rule against doing so. If you have a favorite watch, necklace or earrings, you can bring it, but make sure it is appropriate for the type of scene you’re shooting. If you’re involved in a charity ball scene where extras are dressed in suits, a large chain-necklace wouldn’t be appropriate. However, in casual scenes you can wear certain accessories as long as they do not showcase a company logo or slogan, are not extremely busy (i.e., Flavor Flav status) and go well with your outfit. When it comes to accessories, the smaller the better.

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