Whatever Shall I Wear?Complications Ensue
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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Q. I have a bit of a silly question for you. If I ended up working an entry level job in 'the industry' what dress code should I anticipate? Do I need business casual clothes and, if so, whether it's just for the odd event or a full wardrobe.

No shoes, no shirt, no service.


The first time I showed up for a p.a. job interview, I wore a suit. I did not get the job. I don't know what has become of that suit. I own several ties, because of bar mitzvahs, but I think the last time I wore a tie to a business occasion, it was a black bow tie, and I was nominated for a Jutra. 

My typical business meeting attire is: my "good" jeans, my "good" sneakers, and a Hawai'ian shirt (in summer) or a black pullover (winter). And sometimes an Australian hat. 

When it's cool enough, I sometimes throw on a brown cashmere blazer, and then an overcoat. But then it gets too cold for anything but a parka and I ditch the blazer.

A writer friend of mine tends to wear sexy dresses and cowboy hats, but that's part of her legend. Or her brand.

Of course, writers are expected to dress down. For a while there in LA, the "writer uniform" was: jeans, spectacularly white sneakers, white button shirt. And as Josh Friedman explained, the "A-list writer" uniform was : track suit, Rolex.

Still, most of the industry is a jeans business. Producers sometimes wear blazers, and some older producers wear ties. 

Successful agents in LA wear very nice suits. It's an agent thing. If you're working at an agency where people wear suits, dress accordingly. 

If you're coming in for an entry level job, you might want to dress up a bit from jeans, at least till you get the job. But my feeling is wear what you would wear to a cocktail party. Something that expresses your personality. (Or the personality of someone cooler than you.)

Readers in the biz: care to weigh in?



For Agencies, wear a tie.

For Production companies, most management companies, or really 95% of jobs in LA you wear jeans and a collared shirt. Wear some nice sneakers/casual shoes.

Writers can and do wear everything. Part of how Damon Lindelof got the LOST gig was that he wore a Boba Fett t-shirt to his first meeting with JJ Abrams

By Blogger he who rants, at 9:56 PM  

My two friends and I all interviewed for the same internship gig on a pilot. One of us (not me...) got it. Months later, her boss told us we all looked like we interviewing to be bank managers. I've since dressed down my interview attire. (Although, I can't bear to go all the way down to jeans...)

By Blogger ~ M, at 1:29 PM  

Yeah, I've always gone with the polo + khakis look for interviews. Worked well enough so far.

By Blogger Thomas, at 12:56 AM  

That's funny, man. First time I rolled in for an interview for a P.A. gig I was in a suit too.

I didn't have a chance before I shook hands with the peoples.

By Blogger blindmind, at 4:05 PM  

When I have interviews at Toronto production companies, I wear nice jeans and a golf or button down shirt, something with a collar. I could totally wear a t-shirt if I wanted but personally I think it's a little sloppy for an interview, so I don't. However, from my first day I'll wear whatever I want. In August I was working on a show that was shooting in a heat wave at a location with no A/C, so I wore shorts. Interestingly though, a woman was chastised by a producer for wearing flip flops in the same office. I don't know why that was the one piece of clothing that was inappropriate. Because they make a sound? Because toes are wormy? It's the kind of detail that may change from show to show.

By Blogger Trevor Finn, at 2:34 AM  

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