Fashion and the (Production) Girl: Part One
But on to the real thing in my head:
I love clothing and fashion. It’s arguably a large portion of why I often love 2nding. I sew and shopping to me feels like stretching out in the sun, carefully hunting a kill.
I am a Fashion Girl. I shop high, I shop low and I sure as hell never pay full price because that means I haven’t outwitted the trends.
So Griffin and I were talking about this and as filmmakers we are often visually indulgent people. I know for a fact I’m not the only production girl who groans inwardly at her tool belt because it means shirts of only a certain length. So I thought I’d write a few pieces on this. I’m going to start with fit and practicality and move through items because when your wardrobe is limited by functionality in the way it is on set, it all starts with fit.
Here are my basic rules (and you know I love bullet points and lists)
Fit, fit, fit. Look at actors on set. It’s so much about the fit. Keep in mind you are moving between all departments and you will need to talk to producers. The best way to project a professional, gathered, in control image (even on a budget) is to be certain your clothing fits you properly. We can all find our own fashion sense but where it often fails is a lack of an intentional, honest eye to how it fits. Myself included in this.
Fit is always the factor that the truly fashionable eye discerns.
- Jeans/Pants - Jeans for ladies must cover your rear when you squat. I know this means the jeans will sit at a higher waist at what is the current fashion but that is the the case and you simply must adjust the line of your shirt to cope with it. If you trust a long tank to stay tucked in, you may assume the risk. Cut of jean or pant is entirely up to you. I like to wear a lot of hip holsters so I can play with the cut of the pant and so I’m not reliant on pockets. Pockets rip out, tip out, and don’t transfer from pant to pant. My measurements are classic hourglass. For my figure I’ve had luck with the Jessica Simpson brand of jeans (yes, really), Levi for skinny jeans, and Eddie Bauer curvy fit. I love designer jeans but the denim is typically too soft to trust on set. You want a harder denim to make certain your legs are protected from C stands and the like. If you have a curvy figure, consider the line from the outer edge of the leg down.
A word on Carhartts. They offer wonderful leg protection. I really want to expand into them, I’d love to try these for example. Right now I have one of their older pairs that doesn’t fit to my curves as well, and while I like them the truth is that they make me feel bulky in the legs and when I layer underneath, I stay warm but I can’t move as well as I need to to jump off and on trucks. **That said** I do bruise easily and they give good leg protection so I’d be excited to try some of their other pants.
- Bras - you are looking at 18 hours in the same bra. I personally believe this is an investment item, not unlike your shoes. I wouldn’t go a sports bra route, I’d look more into the workhorse brands, like Maidenform. So much of this depends on your figure, but suffice to say, I think a fitting is of UTMOST importance. Bras must touch the breastbone in front and not ride up in back. They will stretch and quickly so you should not wear the same one two days in a row. Buy several in basic black, white, and nude. Also consider convertible straps. Air out your bras nightly on longer shoots.
- Underwear - I’m going to talk straight health here. Most women in production suffer from chronic infections of the bladder on set and reoccurring yeast infections are a huge problem. How do I know? Simple. My kit gets raided. We’re also more prone to stress on our female cycles when we work those long hours. If you are prone to infections, consider changing out at lunch. Fit for underpants means you don’t need to constantly readjust them.
Please listen to your mother regarding fabrics. Do some research. I love lacy things but to be honest, the best success I’ve had is with classic cotton in black- and regardless of fit or style, seamless. I tend to buy very good quality that fits and looks attractive (Hey, as tired as I am I need to feel attractive down to the underpinnings, but that’s just me). The main thing is to cycle this out. Buy new every season and the reason I say this is just that it saves from getting the stray pair with the elastic that cuts into your leg all day long.
Brands I’ve had success with: Calvin Kline, Hanes Her Way, Victoria’s Secret Classic Bikini.
-Socks - As Assistant Directors we are on our feet all day long. A very good option is some support socks, the kinds runners or nurses wear. They’re called compression socks and these are the ones I ordered recently to try. Good success but I am going to search out other brands. Let me say for the record: I’ve been a life long athlete, runner and I work with a trainer 2x a week in addition to working out. And ADing has put enough stress on my legs and feet to give me minor tendon issues in my left foot. So caring for your feet is like caring for your eyes. Critical.
So there’s my start. Coming up next: Belts, Fanny Packs, Hipholsters and Pockets: How to Hold It On Set.
-From the trenches,
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- righteouslies said: I totally agree! I’m so used to dressing like a boy on set (read: loose fitting tee shirt and berms) that I no longer have the interest in dressing like a real lady most of the time. Also totally agree on the bra and socks! :)
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