Model Advice: What to Wear to Casting Calls and Go-Sees

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I recently went to a casting call and I had to come home and write this post, because the girls there were doing too much in terms of their outfits. Large gaudy earrings, too much makeup, hair looking like they were about to do an ad for skittles, and every other major NO was in appearance at this casting call.

Just to clarify the difference between a casting call and a go-see

Casting Call: In the performing arts, casting (or casting call) is a vital pre-production process for selecting the right talent for the project or show.

Go-see: When a client has a specific look that they are going for and you have been selected to be viewed in order to make a final decision on which model to use for the project. Expect that there will be models there who have a similar look to yours.

Rule of thumb when going to casting calls, keep it to the MINIMUM! Your beauty and talent should be the thing they remember the most, not something totally outrageous that you are wearing to stand out.

This means:

  • VERY light makeup – no pinks, purples, or greens etc on the eyes and no red or hot pink lipstick. Keep your makeup natural, this means a basic face: concealer, foundation (if you need more coverage than concealer), mascara, and a skin tone lipstick or gloss.
  • Hair should be pulled back and out of the face. Go for a simple ponytail or a bun. If your hair is short, style it in a cute style but make sure you don’t have any bangs covering your face.
  • Nails – Neutral nails PLEASE! A picture of spongebob should not be all on your nails along with glitter rhinestones, and your social security number, and they should not be extremely long either. This includes the toes. Go for a french manicure, or american manicure or any light pinks or browns. Think flesh tones.
  • Your clothing should be form fitting, not extremely tight! and should be neutral as well. No need to over accessorize, the casting directors, designers, Make-up artists need to see you as you are. You need to be seen as a blank slate so that can envision what they are able to do with your look.
  • Shoes – NEVER  show up with flats or sneakers on! Its OK to wear them around town on your way to the casting or go-see but once you get to the building where it is being held, you need to change into your heels before you walk in. Often times once you get to the location where they are holding the casting its right there as you enter or step off the elevator, no time to make a second first impression, you are judges as unprofessional if you walk in there without heels on. Consider High heels as a part of your work uniform as a model. When you are in model model mode, you cannot be seen without them, PERIOD

Here are a few visual examples of what I am talking about:


Being that it is summer, this is along the lines of what I wear to a casting call. Its cool, simple and shows off the form. When I am running around and I don’t feel like being in my heels a cute pair of flats or flat sandals will work perfectly with this. For a casting call in colder months, I recommend swapping the shorts for a pair of leggings or skinny jeans and the open toe heels for a simple pump or cute high heeled bootie.



CastingCall1 by CompleteBeauty featuring short shorts


Makeup and Nails

These are a few of my faves. I personally don’t wear all of this at one time, but most of the time on a casting call or go-see I’ll have on the concealer, mascara, and lip-gloss. For my nails they are usually done with an american manicure, but in the the event they aren’t I just have them with clear polish.




MAC Select SPF 15 Foundation, $27
MAC ‘Pro Longwear’ Concealer, $17
Dior ‘Diorshow – Black Out’ Mascara, $25
NARS NARS Lipgloss, $24
Essie Nail Polish, $8
MAC Nail Lacquer, $14



Have Natural hair like me?

You are in luck, there are different styles that are acceptable for go-sees and castings. These are a few styles that I wear



A simple bun

A simple pony











Again, when in doubt, go with the minimum but keep it sleek and neat. If you have any questions that you want me to address in the next post, comment this post so I can address it.


Thanks! :D

Definition of a business model. #iModel, #iBlog, #iPour, and I make it look good! :-)

  • Janie

    Thank you so much for posting this, I have seen SO many other girls at casting calls dressed like they’re headed for a club, dripping in makeup, mini-skirts, and cheap jewelry. Also, thank you for defining casting call and go-sees. I’ve heard all too many girls use the terms incorrectly, such as; “I’m going to New York for go-sees” which meant “I’m going to New York to knock on the doors of big agencies and hope I get in even though I don’t live in-state” or “I have a casting call for an agency to see if they want to sign me” when they meant “I’m going to XYZ agency’s open call”…it makes the girls sound much more experienced when they can articulate what exactly it is that they’re doing

    • http://www.AleanElston.com Alean Elston

      Thanks Jamie,

      That’s exactly why I wrote it, so people will understand and know! I think a lot of aspiring models say stuff like that not because they don’t know what they are talking about but because they want to seem like they are doing something major… #kanyeshrug

      I’m glad you enjoyed my post, there are definitely more like this to come!

  • Mila

    This is great!! Thanks for the advice! One question though–does all of this also apply for a promotional modelling casting call? I was thinking of skinny jeans with a white tank (tight so it shows off my cleavage) and a pair of heals..? Also, should I eliminate all jewelry?

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Hi Mila,

      For promotional Modeling I’d advise to go with exactly what you mentioned or skinny jeans and a cute top that you might wear to a upscale lounge and wear your hair down. Generally promo modeling casting calls are looking for girls and guys who can look effortlessly sexy and can speak well to represent their brand. Also, be careful about how sexy you attend the casting, there is a line between sexy and slutty, do your best not to cross that line! lol Some companies will specify what they want you to wear to their casting, if they don’t, go with fresh faced natural looking makeup and form fitting clothing, a little bit of cleave never hurt anyone either! ;-) Good Luck!

  • Janee

    Hi, I’m actually going to an open casting call in my city on Sunday and right now I have a straight across, or “Chinese bang” style bang cut in my hair right now. I usually wear my hair pulled into a ponytail or a bun, with my bangs falling into my face, they stop a little above my eyes. Do you suggest I pin my bang back or do think wearing my bangs down will be fine? Also, should I wear false lashes? Please help! Lol I’m a newbie.

    • Alean Elston

      Hi Janee,

      Thanks for commenting. I highly advise against wearing bangs because they cover your face. Your face is your moneymaker and if it can’t be seen you’ll make no money! If you can wear a side part with your hair down (and still out of your face) that is an acceptable look also.

      Also, don’t wear the false lashes. Go with the absolute minimum in terms of makeup like I discussed in my post. An extra dose of mascara is just enough for your lashes.

      Hope this helps!

      Good luck on your casting! :-)

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Hi Janee,

      Thanks for commenting. I highly advise against wearing bangs because they cover your face. Your face is your moneymaker and if it can’t be seen you’ll make no money! If you can wear a side or center part with your hair down (and still out of your face) that is an acceptable look also. If not, go with the bangs pinned/gelled back very neatly.

      Also, don’t wear the false lashes. Go with the absolute minimum in terms of makeup like I discussed in my post. An extra dose of mascara is just enough for your lashes.

      Hope this helps!

      Good luck on your casting! :-)

  • Aicha Tytgat

    Hye , first

    you’re a really beautifull girl!

    I have a casting this saturday and i don’t know what to wear or how to do my hair. It’s really cold where I live so shorts arent’s really an option. My hair is really curly so i’m n ot sure if i should let it loose or should i tie it up ? i added two pictures from me with hair up and hair losse thank u !

    Love Aicha Tytgat

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Thanks Aicha, :-)

      The key thing about hair for casting calls is to keep it out of your face. Your face needs to be seen. It’s one of the main things you well be evaluated on for the booking. If you pull the curly hair into a pony tail or pinned up in a cute style or in a bun, it’s fine. If you wear it all out with defined curls it’s fine, just as long as it’s not in your face.

      Hope this helps.

      Good luck at your casting! :-)

  • D.Louise

    Great post helped alot just 2 more question’s i have a casting call wednesday and i have really long blonde hair would a pin back leaving my hair down be good? also im 5ft7” and im thinking of going to my casting call in black shorts and white vest top with heels, im really nervous and wondered if that would be acceptable? Thanks xxxxx

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Thanks D. Louise!

      That would be a fine hairstyle, just remember to keep the hair our of your face.

      As for the shorts, I would advise against it for your height. ONLY because shorts can make you appear shorter, depending on the length of the shorts and the shoes that you pair them with and if you don’t already have long legs. If you were 5’9+, I’d do the shorts, but I don’t know what you look like or your body type so I would suggest wearing Skinny Jeans, Leggings, or a form fitting, short tube dress, (solid color, no designs/patterns) if you want to show your legs, as a safe bet. As for the shirt with the pants/shorts, that should be form fitting as well. I’d stray from the vest top, you want to keep it simple, a fitted tank or tee would be best.

      Good luck on your casting!!! :-)

      • D.louise

        Thank you so much ur support and expertise gave me confidence :D xx

        • Alean Elston

          Glad I could help! :-)

    • D.louise

      Never mind i went in shorts and vest top look natural thanks to your information and i was successful on the casting thankssss xx

  • Poonie

    Awesome post!!!!! I thank you sooooo much. Exactly what I needed to know.

  • Chanel

    Hi i am going to a casting call Saturday and they want us to wear an plain well fitted outfit. I plan on wearing a black pencial skirt. What color/typeb of shirt should i wear and shoes. Btw I am 14

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Hi Chanel,

      A any solid color, form fitting top. A cami, tank body suit, or fitted short sleeve shirt should be fine. And wear black or nude color pumps/heels 3-4 inches or higher. No wedges.

      Good luck at your casting! :-)

  • Caroline

    Hi! I’ll be going to a casting call in a week or so, and I was wondering, would it be okay if I wore my hair down but curled the ends? Or would it be better if I just left my hair straight as it is now? Oh, and I’ve been wanting to dye my [brown] hair into one of those ‘honey-dipped’ hairstyles with the ends blond-ish, or should i just keep my hair natural? Thank you very much for posting this! And sorry for so many questions ^^;

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Hi Caroline,

      I apologize for not getting back with you sooner. Things have been ultra busy with me lately… But in regards to your question…

      Its okay to wear the ends curled. If it looks pretty on you and you feel confident in that look by all means you should wear it! As far as the dying your hair, personally, I would wait until after your casting to do any drastic changes to your look. The reason being is that most of the time as a model you are to look naturally pretty and let the client make you up as they see fit. They need to see you as a natural blank slate and if you are already customized it can either hinder or help your chances of being selected. If you are going to color your hair, opt for a solid (natural) color change and/or maybe a few highlights to enhance your skin tone, etc.

      Hope that helps :-)

  • Ms De’Jong Monique Model Actor

    In your professional opinion, what is the optimal way to wear African American Hair to a HAIR MODEL casting?
    Being that I have natural hair, that can either be straightened or styled curly, I would like to know the best way to wear it to a casting specifically for professionals that care about my Hair as much as my look ?
    I have been searching all over the internet trying to find out the best answer and maybe you can help me and many other women.
    Thank you!!

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Hi De’Jong,

      Thanks for your question.

      For a Hair Model Casting you should wear your hair clean and styled simple and easy. If your hair is big enough to wear out in a curly bouncy ‘fro, then wear it out and show your hair off! Most, if not all, hair shows need to see how your hair is so they know how to deal with it and style it for their show or shoot. Having too much product in it or too much manipulation is not ideal as it can mask what the state of your hair/scalp really is.

      Personally when I have a casting for a hair show, I wear my hair washed and blow dried straight (no flat iron) then put it up in a loose bun, so that when they need to examine my hair I can take it out and put it back quickly. Or, I wear it washed set it it loose twists and wear a fresh twist out. It all depends on the show.

      I hope this helps!

      Good luck on your casting! :-)

  • ana

    hi i have a casting call Saturday and it’s my first. I usually have clip in extension in my hair but they look really natural people always ink it’s my hair. Can i wear my extensions to the casting or will i have to go with my natural hair?

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Hi Ana,

      I can’t be too specific with my response because I don’t know what the casting is for. Some castings you should go without them and some you should look as naturally pretty as possible, even if you wear a few clip-ins. In general, wear your hair how you feel most confident and make sure it doesn’t block your face.

      Good Luck! I hope this helps :-)

  • Brooke Martin

    Hello Alean! Thank you for this information!! I have a question about going to an open casting call for a talent and modeling agency in Pittsburgh and I guess modeling question, in general. I am 25 years old and 5’1″. I am interested in modeling and know that usually models are much taller than me (5’7″ or taller right?). I wondered if it would still be worth a shot for me to go in for modeling open calls etc. in the event they could still use me (if they liked me!)! Of course, I am emotionally excited and invested when I go for open calls, etc. and hate to put myself through unnecessary heartache as well and waste mine and the agencies’ time, so wanted to know what you thought about this. Thank you!! -Brooke

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Hi Brooke,

      Thanks for the comment, sorry I havent responded sooner.

      In regards to yur age, modeling isn’t about the age of the model, more so the perception of the age of the model. I wouldn’t let being 25 slow me down from pursuing an agency if that is your goal, but you are 5’1″, that is something that is definitely not the typical model height but that shouldn’t discourage yu as well. Most models that don’t fit the norm for models have to work harder than those that do to prove themselves. Chances are you won’t be on any runways because of your height but that wont stop you from booking other types of work like print, and promotions. I would advise that if you aren’t already working even a little bit as a model you should start by getting som professional pictures done or work promotional events in your area to buildup your modeling resume, also look into video model work and acting. those are places where you are sure to find a lot of success.

      Overall, I am not advising that you don’t go to the agency casting call. I think you should go, you never know what division you can fit in and start or further your career. Plus at least you’ll have the experience of going to an open call. If you don’t get offered a contract or an interview, don’t take it personal, this is the time frame of year where they are generally looking to book models for fashion shows, but, find out more about the agency and see what types of feedback you can get from them if they are willing to offer any, so you know what to look forward to having in place in the future with this particular agency or any other agency you may be considering working with.

      Good luck, keep me posted!

  • Ashleigh

    Im going to a model search soon and they say we can wear anything where comfortable in including converse, because they are not only looking and my talent and looks but also my personality, should I veer away from the standard out fit or should I wear something that shows my personality?

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Hi Ashleigh,

      I have never heard of a model casting where they say it is okay to wear sneakers, unless its something for children under 12. I don’t know how old you are or the full details as to what the casting is for so It would be my personal advice is that when you are going anywhere that you are going to be judged as a model, you should look like one, that means wearing heels and form fitting clothing that shows off your figure.

      You can certainly still show your personality in a modelesque outfit and be comfortable, but when it comes to modeling its your face and your figure that are major factors in you booking a job, unless you are doing some video modeling that requires you to speak or other interaction to a certain degree, your personality is not really a major factor. If you hide your face and figure, you dramatically lessen your chances of being chosen.

      If you want to give more details about the casting so I can really give the proper advice just reply back to this message, if not I hope this helps.

      Good luck and keep me posted,


  • Guest

    Yeesh, Jennifer Lopez in the picture?

  • Mei Yue

    im going for a casting tmr and is wearing a loose white collared shirt and maroon skinny pants okay? and what if i have a bandaged foot, is it okay to wear flipflops? bc it’s for a hair photoshoot, and is it okay to wear circle lenses because they are the only kind i can afford that has a degree. and i dont hve double eyelids is it okay to use double eyelid tape? im sorry i have a lot of questions but pls help ;_; thank you for this post!!

  • Mary

    So Barbizon called me and gave me an interview for their agency and the lady told me to show my personality and that I could wear whatever I want except blue jeans. Everywhere that I have read online says to stay simple and appear as a “canvas”. So I’m confused and don’t know if it is a trick question or if they really want me to dress with personality. I’m really nervous and need help!

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Apologies that I didn’t respond to this sooner, unfortunately for some reason I didn’t get the notification that this comment was posted.

      But if it helps, You can still be a canvas and dress with personality. Dress in what makes you confident but make sure its solid colors, no logos, form fitting clothing and add a fashionable shoe, scarf, or sweater (limit to one). Keep makeup and nails light and natural, and wear your hair the best way for your face as long as its out of your face and let your personality shine through!

  • dee

    I am going to take my promotional head shots to submit to agencies soon. I see all promo girls usually have long hair and my hair is short (Rihanna short hair cut). Should I take my head shots with short, natural hair or should I take my promotional head shots pictures with my extensions and go to the interview (If I get one) with my short hair and let them know I can work with my natural length or extensions. Or should I go with extensions in.
    Your blog is so inspiring. I definite go to for me.

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      Hi Dee,

      Most promo girls have long hair but not all. Depending on the industry and the brand they are representing they usually require them to wear their hair down. It doesn’t mean that their hair has to be long, just be worn down. If you are interested in becoming a Promo Model, you should have a photo that shows of your best smile. Companies want promo models who have a great look, are friendly in appearance, and are approachable. As long as you have a picture or two that reflects that you should be fine.

      If you are going to an agency that is reviewing you for fashion commercial and promotional opportunities, then show off pictures that show your versatility, show the pictures of you with various hair lengths.

      Hope this helps! Good Luck

  • Grace

    Hi! I’m going for my first modelling casting in a few hours but an stuck between two outfits! Please help me decide! I am stuck between a dark green playsuit with black tights or black high waisted jeans with a black top! Thanks’

  • Raven

    I have a question, do you think I could wear my Bantu knot outs?

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      You could wear them but I wouldn’t wear them still in the knots, if thats what you’re asking.

  • Lindsay Gleys

    Lot to learn from it, and also more tips
    of What to Expect
    During a Modeling Audition

  • Lily

    Hi there!
    I’m an aspiring model and have naturally curly hair. For photos to bring, should I have photos of me with curly and straight hair? Also, it is better for me to wear my hair curly, straight, or in a pony tail to open calls? What do agencies like better? I haven’t seen any blonde curly haired models so maybe they don’t prefer it?

    • http://www.AleanElston.com/ Alean Elston

      You should bring photos with you that reflect your ability to emote (smile, fierce, etc.), pictures that show the shape of your body, and that clearly display your face. However your hair is in those pictures, doesn’t matter as long as those things are the main focus and its out of your face.

      Agencies like to see you as you are, If your hair is curly, and that’s how you normally wear it, then wear it that way. Just make sure that your hair is out of your face. Don’t come overly made up its a turn off for agents. Hair texture isn’t a concern for agents, it can always be straightened. Just focus on what you wear and be you. :-)