October 23, 2012 | Posted in:Social TV
One of the most popular questions I am asked regularly is, “What should I wear on television?” In an earlier guest post, we touched on on-air grooming tips courtesy of media coach Lora Wiley-Lennartz. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times featured a piece on the fashion style of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who discussed what she likes to wear on-air. As we change seasons, it is the perfect time for me to answer the above question again.
When appearing on television, always remember the anchor or talent will be well groomed. They have stylists and hair and makeup people who make sure they look picture perfect for the camera. Megyn Kelly, who is blond with blue eyes, says she prefers to wear black, white, or navy colors and stays away from hot pink or bright reds. Kelly does not like to wear too many accessories–like the trendy statement necklace–on-air since it can be distracting.
In the Los Angeles Times article, Gwen Marder, Kelly’s stylist of 12 years, says she prefers pops of bright and solid colors on talent. She says, and I agree, that “People react in such a visceral way to color. It’s stimulating and pretty to look at on television.” I always tell guests to wear bright colors but DO NOT wear stripes, loud prints, or polka dots on camera. The patterns may scramble and appear too busy to a viewer’s eyes.
A talent should never be distracting; all eyes and ears should be on the story. As a television guest, the dress code rules are slightly different. I always tell my guests to dress up and think about the fact that millions of people will see them for the first time in the minutes they are on camera. They should ask themselves what impression they want to make for viewers. Unless you have incredibly toned arms, do not go sleeveless. The camera adds extra pounds, and your arms and everything else will look a little heavier. If you need to hit the gym to prepare for the interview, it is okay. The studio is usually cold to accommodate the equipment, so have a jacket or sweater on hand. Add a belt–it is also a good way to look slimmer and trimmer if you cannot get to the gym.
As for accessories, a guest can keep them simple or wear a tasteful statement necklace. Don’t wear an armful of bracelets, rings, or dangling earrings. In this case, less is more and you reduce the chance of your accessories interfering with the microphone and audio. The camera sees everything. Ladies, wear makeup that complements your complexion. Makeup artist Travis Culberson’s tips for on-air beauty include applying an even foundation, using lots of mascara, and if you can, adding lashes, along with a lip color that pops.
Men have it a lot easier. When it comes to hair and makeup, they only require a little powder and minimal hair styling (unless it is a makeover show). I advise guys to wear a clean, pressed shirt with a jacket and slacks. And, finally, ladies and gentlemen DO NOT wear blue jeans, sneakers, flip flops, or shorts to an interview unless it is specific to the segment. To be on the safe side, always ask the producer before you arrive to the studio what the most suitable attire is.
Now that you are dressed to impress, have a good show!
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