Follow College Fashion on Twitter!

Models 101: Fashion & Beauty Lessons from a Casting Call


Models in a casting call line
Photo Credit

In order to get jobs, models must regularly go to casting calls, where designers, editors, or agents pick and choose which girls they want to hire. At these castings, the models are expected to look their best but also to appear somewhat like blank canvases, making it easier for those responsible for casting to imagine the girls in a variety of looks.

While most of us college girls won’t be attending model castings, we can find fashion and beauty inspiration in the minimalist looks our favorite models rock for these events. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the fashion and beauty rules for casting calls that college girls can try themselves.

1. Simple Dressing

simple dressing 1
Photo Credits: COACD | Product Info: Pants – Miss Selfridge, Heels – Opening Ceremony, White Tank – H&M, Grey Tank – T by Alexander Wang, Black Bra – Topshop, Silver Necklace – Helen Ficalora

At castings, models are asked to dress as simply as possible, since the people responsible for casting need to see what each model really looks like, without being distracted by loud or trendy clothes. A basic model outfit usually means black or blue skinny jeans, a neutral tank or t-shirt, and a good pair of heels.

So take a lesson from this: Sometimes the simplest outfits are the best, especially when you want your natural beauty to really shine. For instance, when meeting someone for the first time, a basic outfit can be the best choice because it allows your face and what you’re saying to be the focus – in other words, your personality will not be competing for attention with loud prints or overwhelming colors.

2. Bare Makeup

bare makeup
Product Info (left to right): Cover FX Cream Foundation, Revlon Fabulash Mascara, Sephora Collection Bronzer Powder

Just as designers prefer models to come to castings in the most basic clothes, they also often want to see a bare face or very simple makeup on a girl. Basic makeup allows those in charge of casting to really see a model’s features, whereas bold or elaborate makeup can be distracting.

Similarly, in your own day-to-day life, although there are definitely times that call for a bright red lip or a dramatic smoky eye, a simple, clean face can be refreshing. Additionally, with the warmer months coming up, a natural makeup look is low-maintenance, meaning it will leave you worry-free, even when sweating under the sun or playing around at the beach.

A bare makeup look generally includes some lightweight foundation where needed or even a tinted moisturizer if you need less coverage, concealer, bronzer, and a few strokes of mascara.

3. It’s All in the Details

Photo Credits 1, 2, 3

It’s no secret that models are heavily scrutinized; their every inch is constantly being viewed under the most unforgiving microscope. As a result, part of their job includes paying attention to even the smallest details of their physical appearance.

Us non-models can be thankful that we don’t have to live with such intense pressure, but there is a lesson to be learned here as well – sometimes it’s the smallest details that make the biggest difference in our overall appearance.

For instance, a model must always get a flawless manicure before a shoot, show or casting. This gives off a put-together vibe and a sense that the girl respects her appearance. So take a cue from this, and even if today is a strictly-yoga-clothes day (we all have them), rocking a fresh manicure, or perfectly groomed eyebrows for example, will elevate how well others perceive your overall look.

4. Heels, Heels, Heels

Product Info: Canvas Heels – Sam Edelman, Canvas Wedge Boots – ASOS, Orange Espadrilles – Jessica Simpson, Black Wedges – Zara

We all know that height is crucial for models, so when attending a casting, models typically follow one rule: The bigger the heels, the better. Aside from adding inches of height, heels also typically make the wearer’s body appear much more elongated – it’s not surprising models are always wearing them.

The lesson here? Even when worn with the most casual outfit, a good pair of heels can make your body look longer and leaner, and also pull your outfit together.

So using models as inspiration, think about investing in some casual heels and sporting them a little more often. (But use your own judgment and factor in practicality – obviously, we’re not recommending wearing 6-inch platforms to class if they’re uncomfortable for you.) In particular, check out wedges and espadrilles, as they can make you appear long, lean, and modelesque, without making you sacrifice comfort.


Are there any other tips from models that you apply to your everyday routine? Do you follow any of these casting call rules? What do you think about the minimal makeup look? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Posted on on March 25, 2011 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

15 Responses to “Models 101: Fashion & Beauty Lessons from a Casting Call”

  1. 1
    March 25th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Nice article. As an architecture student, I’m a big fan of minimalistic looks both for aesthetic simplicity and comfort!

  2. 2
    March 25th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Minimal makeup to no makeup is great because it gives any creative director or future manager a chance to see your face as a blank canvas. Also, know what lighting is best, what your best assets are and at the same time always arrive with confidence and have a positive manner. Plus note, keep your back straight! Do not slouch! When you slouch people will think that:
    a) You are uninterested.
    b) You don’t want to be there.
    Don’t forget your port!

  3. 3
    March 26th, 2011 at 12:46 am

    The other tip I would add is to wear nude underwear/bra.
    Not so much for casting calls, but for go-sees. You want to be sure your undergarments don’t show through if you are to try on something white/sheer/so on.

    Great article, keep it up!

  4. 4
    March 26th, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Great tips! I think simple dressing, heels, and minimal makeup really let a girls natural beauty and personality shine through! These tips would also be good for an interview with a more professional but still simple and flattering outfit choice!

  5. 5
    March 26th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I love heels ! Also d minimal makeup s good for class and daily routine. I am not a fan of neutral clothing but the perspective that it makes the other person concentrate on you makes me rethink.

  6. 6
    March 27th, 2011 at 3:57 am

    Though this is a great article, I really wish you would have included clothing more suitable for a college budget. Buying a $96 tank top is just not going to happen.

  7. 7
    March 27th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Coming from a model with plenty of casting experiences…..I would not suggest espadrilles or any type of wedges or slingbacks. Pumps of some funky platform sandal would be a million times better. Wedges are seen as a “cop-out” in the industry…everyone can walk in them. Pumps are best!

  8. 8
    March 27th, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    I’m a model myself and these rules are some of the first things they tell us! The only thing I would add to this is when doing your make up (this goes along with the natural look) just use enough make up to enhance your features. It saves time and your skin!

  9. 9
    April 16th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I really liked the article, however, do I still have to wear heels if Im 5 ‘ 1?

  10. 10
    July 12th, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I just was wondering if I wore really dramatically giant heels could I be a runway or VS model when I’m “of age”? [I’m only 5’4 i’m 16 and My doctor says I’m not gonna grow anymore…I’m already taller than my Mom & dad lol :) ]

  11. 11
    April 23rd, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Hi this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use
    WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually
    code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  12. 12
    August 10th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Help me yar how i can start the modeling

  13. 13
    March 3rd, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    The article is really good and I agree with all of it especially bout the basic clothes and not much makeup. Here is one thing thought that has been making me a bit frustrated lately. Do not try and get into modeling if you’re my tall. Of course there is a chance you could do some print work but models NEED to be tall height is huge. Usually casting agents only pick models that are at the very least 5’7″ if you are 5’3-6″ its going to be very very hard and even being 5’7″ as a model it’s hard for me to get jobs because of my height. I don’t mean to crush any girls dreams I just would rather girls accept that know instead of having it told to them over and over again much much harshly from people that actually matter in the business.

Links to This Article

Leave a Reply


* Comment Rules: CF is a positive place and our comments section is no different. Constructive criticism is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your comment. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. For more info, see our Comment Policy. Have fun & thanks for adding to the conversation!


* Want a custom avatar to show up next to your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar.