I am doing a project using a similar setup to the "I am Second" lighting. Basically a black background and the subject light from overhead/ front. I'm not keen on my subject wearing black (also I don't want to copy this style directly). With a dark interview setup, could my subject wear white? I know white can be tricky and reflect more light. What solid color would you recommend?

I plan to shoot CU to MCU, so the chair or stool the subject will sit on won't be seen.

lighting example

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Here is a great tutorial about lighting ratios: http://wanderingdp.com/cinematography/cinematography-school-lighting-ratios-101/

Tl;DR? Whatever skin tone your subject has, and whatever tattoos you might want to highlight, you need to know the key value and dynamic range of your subject, independent of the shirt. Once you have established those, you can decide where in the range you want to place the shirt, and whether you want to add color (and all that color may symbolize) into the mix.

A white shirt might be so bright that when you adequately light your subject, the white shirt uses up too much of your available dynamic range. Also the extreme contrast between the white shirt and the black background may compete against your subject for attention (since the vision system is always looking for contrast). The reference shot you provide is a great example of a splash of white that balances with the white highlights of the forehead without trumping it. A CU that just barely includes a white collar may do the same thing, but an MCU might show too much white.

But do look at the lighting tutorial to see how one properly gets the right key value and dynamic range for the face, and then you'll see how to fit the shirt into that range.

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