Image conscious styling for the auditioning and performing singer.

Your voice is ready for the stage.  Now dress like it!   

Types of Auditions

Whether a musical theatre audition or a classical opportunity, dress like you mean it.  You sing beautifully and with conviction, but allow your look to match your intensity and establish a mood.  Everything matters:  Hair, jewelry, makeup, nails, legs, shoes, and the outfit itself.  

Questions to ask

  1. What type of audition is it? Is it a cattle call, a 90 second Theatre Conference, a light opera audition, a young artist audition?

  2. What musical selections will you be performing? Are they short, long, upbeat, dramatic, comedic?

  3. What is your budget? Do you want to use clothes you already own? Would you like to spend money? How much ($100, $300, $500, more than $1000).


Light Opera: This audition requires a great voice and a great actor, as you will be singing as well as performing a monologue, maybe even dancing.  Most light opera companies will hear your entire aria and/or song selection.  This will be a comedic audition.  You will want to dress comfortably so you can be humorous as well as move.  

Young Artist: This is the 5 aria marathon.  You will want to be comfortable but formal, accessible but dramatic. 

Show/Opera: This audition depends entirely on the show.  Is it a comedy or a drama?  Is there a dance audition?  If it is an opera, how dramatic or comedic do you need to be?  Mezzo-sopranos can consider wearing pants if they are auditioning for a pants role.

Crossover/Concert: Concert work very much involves crossover singing, as your contract will often have a little bit of everything in it from classical to musical theatre to jazz.  Consider how you would like to be viewed:  a musical theatre singer with a bankable legit sound or a classical singer with a appealing musical theatre style.  You can dress to your comfort level on this one.

Professional Chorus: This audition feels very much like an opera or show audition because you will be singing a solo as part of your sight reading and range checks.  Dress to impress.  If it is a show,  check with the theater as to whether there will be a dance audition - many choruses dance in the show world.


Cattle Call: All those people and nowhere to warm up or focus.  We all know this audition can be challenging to pull off.  You need to be comfortable but avoid looking like everyone else.  Something unique and original will help set you apart.

Theatre Conference: Young, aspiring singers often do the theatre conference audition.  It is short and sweet, so make a statement.  One that is positive and tasteful, of course!

Show: As in the classical audition, this outfit can be somewhat influenced by the style of the show.  This audition depends entirely on the show.  Is it a comedy or a drama?  Is there a dance audition? 

Crossover/Concert: Concert work very much involves crossover singing, as your contract will often have a little bit of everything in it from classical to musical theatre to jazz.  Consider how you would like to be viewed:  a musical theatre singer with a bankable legit sound or a classical singer with a appealing musical theatre style.  You can dress to your comfort level on this one.

Singing in Style: Basic Rules and Guidelines

Hair: Always wear your hair out of your face.  Down hairdos are fine as long as they don't every get into your eyes.  Keep hair ornaments to a minimum.   If you have bangs, pin them back or wear a headband as they cast terrible shadows on your face no matter how good the lighting.

Jewelry: Keep accessories tasteful, but this is also a place where a well-thought bangle, necklace, or pair of earrings can brighten up a conservative outfit or complement a bolder choice.  Avoid anything that makes noise - dangling earrings or bracelets that rattle.

Makeup: Understand your space and your performance.  For auditions, don't overdo makeup yet - save that for the stage.  Either wear a dark eye a pale lipstick, or wear a bold lipstick and keep the eyes simple - never both.  Eyes can tend to get lost, especially if the room you are singing in has horrible overhead fluorescent lighting - I would tend towards bigger eyes over bold lips.  For performance, think big eyes and bold lips.  Lights are bright and wash everything out.  False eyelashes do wonders!

Nails: Nails should not be overly decorated.  Even avoid red.  And your toes shouldn't matter because you should never sing in open-toed shoes! 

Legs: Knees are ugly.  Always cover your knees. 

Shoes: No platforms.  No open-toed styles.  Nothing too high.  No slingbacks. You need to be able to feel the floor when you sing.  

Dresses: No strapless.  Nothing above the knee. No satin.  Singing in Style can help you with styles appropriate to body type.

3 items of color:  shoes one color, outfit one color, and a metallic or coordinating color for your accessories (hair clips, belts, scarves, bracelets, earrings, etc.)  More than 3 can look cluttered and distract your audience.

2 contrasting styles:  the look of something modern with something traditional or classical can be very appealing.  If you have a modern hairdo, try wearing something flowy and flowery.  If you have a long, hot-rolled hairdo, try wearing something angular and modern. The contrast of styles will provide visual interest as long as you follow the other rules above.

Outfit: Overall, you need to feel confident and empowered.  No matter what you choose, if you do not feel confident it is not a good choice.  Rules vary and change all the time.  Be original and authentic while remaining aware that no one listening to and watching you wants to be distracted by short skirts, cleavage, messy, wrinkled, or gaudy clothing.  And let Singing in Style help you out!  Everyone needs another opinion and another pair of eyes once in awhile!

Performance Aesthetics

Concert or recital?:  What we choose to wear often depends on the space in which we are singing.  Is there a big stained glass window behind you or wood paneling?  Is it an intimate 150 seat space or a sprawling 1000 seat concert hall - or larger?  No matter the size of the space, is it modern or more classical/traditional in architecture?  All of these factors play a part in the color and style of gown to choose.  

Audience: We want to make our audiences feel comfortable when we are on the stage.  We don't want them worried about a strap falling down or self-conscious because a skirt is too short.  Consider the type of audience you will have.  Are they conservative or more progressive?  Will it be a large or small audience?  Will they be more on the mature side or younger?

Music: Of course, the type of music you are performing should be reflected in your gown.  We are setting a mood when we perform and the style and color of the gown is very important alongside what is coming out of our mouths.  Who is the composer?  Are there several?  Should you consider more than one costume change?  What is the genre?  Is it modern repertoire, traditional, or a mixture of styles?  Is the music dramatic or comedic, formal or casual?  

Colors and contrast:  As you consider your space, the audience, and the music, let the overall aesthetic of how you look on the stage influence your decisions.  If it is a recital with nothing but you and a piano and wood paneling, is black the best choice?  Does the stained glass window behind you have a color that you can pull into your dress?  Is the stage large to accommodate a ball gown?  Is there 2 feet or 7 feet between you and the conductor?  Should you consider a sheath rather than a full skirt?



This is a basic online consultation and collage.  After basic research based upon the answers to specific questions you answer in the form, you will receive an email reply with a collage attached. 


This is an online only consultation and portfolio.  This consultation consists of online communication gathering pictures and other materials about you and your singing.  After researching dresses, shoes, jewelry, and makeup that speak to your specific audition or performance needs, the final portfolio will be delivered online and will consist of 3 collages to inspire you.  

THE DIVA: $300

The initial in-person consultation will gather information and other materials about you and your singing.  Research results in a final portfolio which is a consultation that presents you with 3 audition collages and 3 performance collages.  

The Basic Diva includes research, one personal consultation, and final portfolio presentation.  Additional improvised services are available and could include closet assessment, shopping, hair, makeup, or nails - all of which are available and could be added to the basic fee.  


Let Singing in Style come to you for group presentations, school workshops, conferences, or competitions.  

Kimberly will also meet with a client individually on location.  

The Day Rate includes all travel and design expenses.  

Improvised services requiring an extra fee and dependent on location are hair, nails, and makeup.

Other Improvised Services and Fees

In addition to complete style portfolios, the following services can be purchased separately or combined. 

Costume design for opera or music theatre: price upon request

Research: $75 per hour

Consultations: $75 per hour

Personal Closet Assessment: $150

Shopping: $75 per hour

Hair, nails, and makeup: dependent on location

Feel Your Best

DAILY STYLE MAINTENANCE: food and exercise

Apples and lemons are your friend.  The digestive response is to thin the mucous.  

Avoid orange juice and tomato sauce.  The digestive response is thick mucous.

Dairy is fine as long is it is non-fat.  It is the fat in dairy that makes mucous thick.

Water and electrolytes.  Those stage lights can be hot!  Drink electrolyte infused water or balance plain water with an electrolyte drink.

Exercise is crucial, but it needs to be the right kind.  In general, avoid workouts that target your core muscles.  These muscles can get over-worked to the point of rigidity - not good for singing!  Cardio is best.  And weights work as long as they aren't strenuous - again you can get your core muscles over-worked lifting weights.  That being said, we all want our arms to look good in our fancy gowns.


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