Annie Lam

Model Essentials

Annie Lam

Working as a fashion stylist, my job is to dress models for editorials, commercials, ads and such. I would bring a large selection of clothing to fit the models, but every model should know they are expected to bring certain key items to the job that stylists normally won't provide. Especially if it's a job where no stylists are on set! Each model should have a standard fashion kit they bring on set with them to every job. The kit should contain a few staple items such as shoes and undergarments. And don't forget to make sure all items are clean and in new conditions. You don't want to ruin the effect of an expensive and glamorous outfit with a pair of ratty looking shoes! Best if the items in your kit are reserved only for your jobs.

The following are a few key items to have with you in your kit. You are not expected to have every single item, but the more you have, the more professional it looks. It reflects on how proficient you are and how keen you are to work on the job.


Female models should bring at least one pair of shoes on set. The best choice is a pair of black strappy open toed heels for the Spring/Summer season and a pair of pointed closed toe for the colder weather. Select a style that is classic and not too trendy looking so it can go with any outfit you might have to wear. Not every job will provide shoes, so it is a safe bet to bring your own, especially if you are not a standard size. It's even better if you bring a selection of shoes for the client to choose from. The basic shoe colours to have in your collection that can go with almost every palette are black, gold, medium to dark tan, silver and white. Also make sure shoes are comfortable and broken in, you don't want to realize that they give you blisters when you are walking down the runway!

Men should have a pair of classic and stylish pair of black dress shoes. It's also good to have an additional brown pair and a nice new pair of white runners.


It's very important to bring proper undergarments, it can make a big difference in the way clothes fit and hang on your body. Girls should have a seam free strapless bra with removable straps in black and nude, and also a pair of g-strings in each colour. Wear the black undergarments with all dark clothing, and the nude for every other colour. Never wear patterned undergarments as they might show through when you are under bright lights. The best material to buy is micro fiber. It is a stretchy and silky fabric with lycra in it, so it doesn't cling to clothing and fits against the body beautifully.

Guys should bring neutral coloured boxer briefs like black, grey or white. Not the most popular item in a guy's closet, but a thong is a really good item to have when you are modelling underwear or swimsuits. Wear it under such tight articles for a better fit and hygiene.


A headscarf is a large scarf you place on top of your head when you put on or take off clothing. This avoids messing up your hair and to prevent makeup from getting on the clothes. Best material for a headscarf is silk or satin like fabrics. It gives a better slip against tight collars or textured clothing.

Socks and Hosiery

Girls should bring a pair of nude stocking that matches your skin tone. Skin tones are hard to match, so it's best to bring your own. It's also great for girls who have really blotchy skin in the winter to even out the colour when modelling skimpy outfits for photos.

Guys should have dress socks in black, grey and tan without any patterns.

Change room Etiquette

  • Never smoke, eat or drink in clothing that does not belong to you.

  • Always hand your clothing to the stylist or designer when you change out of it. It is rude to leave clothing on the floor. It also prevents items from getting lost.

  • If clothing does not fit, don't force it. Let the stylist know so they can choose a more appropriate item to avoid damage.

  • Do not try to do up closures when there is a stylist or designer to help you. Certain closures and fabrics can be tricky and can be easily damaged.

  • Do not wear perfume when wearing borrowed clothing.

  • Always wear clear deodorant.

  • Don't be shy when changing in front of stylists, we are there to help you into the garment to avoid damages.

  • When on editorial shoots, shoes are usually a sample size 9. If you're a larger size, you might have to squeeze into the smaller size for the shoot. Don't complain; just take it off between shots to rest your feet.

  • Don't whine about the clothing even if you don't like it. You are there to do a job and to model the clothes, not to pick out your own wardrobe.

  • Have a good attitude! Nobody wants to work with somebody who is negative. Models often get hired back based on their attitude, personality and how well they get along with the crew.

  • Interact

    Blogs We Follow

    Cailin Hill (The Model Burnbook)

    Natalia Zurowski & Jasmine Chorley Foster (The Business Model)

    Madison Schill & Addison Gill's (Mind Over Model)

    Ania Boniecka (A n i a . B)