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Fashion

A Students’ Guide to Looking Amazing in the Spotlight

Whether you’re onstage, interviewing, or giving a presentation, look and feel your best with these tips

Jewel Toned Colors

When it comes to being in the spotlight, whether that is onstage or presenting in front of the lecture hall, simple, flattering colors look the best, help flatter any body type, and aren’t too distracting. I always recommend that the person in the spotlight wears a jewel toned color (think gemstones). Ruby, dark purple, wine red, navy, turquoise, emerald green, and royal blue, are all examples of excellent colors for being front and center. The deep and rich colors are bright enough to contrast with a stage-like environment without being too blindingly bright and distracting. Plus, there is a jewel-toned color to compliment any skin tone and complexion. These colors are also standard, so they are easier to find than some of the other colors.

Keeping colors in mind, I would avoid any extremely bright shades and nude colors. Super bright neon shades can be distracting under bright lights, and you want your audience to focus on you, not your clothes. Also, nude colors may not contrast enough from your environment to let you visually stand out.

Besides jewel toned colors, classic shades of black and grey always look amazing, and are just as flattering!

Choose a flattering cut

Formal and professional wear comes in all sorts of cuts and designs. Once you have an idea of what color looks good for you, choosing a cut can help you feel even more amazing. Popular clothing choices today involve jumpsuits, pantsuits, skirts, and dresses. Think about the season and where you are going to be. That can help determine sleeve length and pant length. I also like to think about the venue, for example, if I am giving a performance in the campus auditorium, I might feel more comfortable wearing something shorter, than for example, performing in a religious venue. In that same boat, think about how much you are going to be moving. Certain clothing lengths are definitely easier or harder to move in than others.

Besides length, especially when considering dresses, take a look at how the fabric lays. A-line, empire-waisted, pencil, drop-waist, mermaid, full, and sheath, are just a few examples of the several dress cuts that exist. And the nice thing is, with the large selection of dress cuts available, everyone can find a dress that flatters their body and height. Also, many online stores allow you to shop selection by color and dress cut. Personally, I like a nice A-line dress, perhaps with a ribbon or cinched waist, to compliment my curvy shape, and also give me the fuller appearing skirt that I love. It is a classy look that still gives me a bit of the princess-feel, and when I like what I’m wearing, I feel more confident.

Choose something on the neutral side

I get it, I absolutely love glitter and shiny, glammed out outfits. But, the truth is, they are a little bit impractical when it comes to flexibility of an outfit. I usually focus more on color and cut more than embellishments, because I can add my own! I would recommend starting that way, because that allows you to have a versatile outfit that you can dress up or dress down, depending on the event. So, I wouldn’t recommend choosing a dress that is completely covered in sequins and rhinestones, but I still think a little bit is amazing.

You can easily dress up a plain, nicely cut bit of attire by adding broaches, belts, pins, jewelry, and even adding a sparkly formal cardigan or suit jacket. You can make your final outfit as flashy or as neutral as you want it to be, which means you can wear it in several different ways. This makes the clothing more economical as well, because instead of having to buy new fancy clothing every single time you have a presentation or event (unless you want to), you can dress up or down a few clothing items in a variety of combinations.

Now you have some ideas of great things to wear, and how to spice things up or tone things down for any event, from presenting, interviewing, performing, or just being in a more formal social environment. Now go forth and be the amazing person you are!

Emily Scharf

DePauw '24

Emily is a vocal performance major at DePauw University! She loves all things creative, fun, and musical.
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