The Television Interview: What To Wear

The Television Interview: What To Wear

James Woewoda is the president of Woewoda Communications

Last week's article was titled Mastering The Media Interview

This weeks article is titled The Television Interview: What To Wear


Studies have found that what a person looks like whole delivering a menage must be consistent with the message being delivered or it will have a significant impact on how that message is perceived.

If a person projects an image of informality in a very formal setting, it will undermine the important message being communicated.

Typically,  the event will dictate the attire. For instance, if you want to look like your working hard, lose the tie and role up your sleeves. If you are outside an informal event, a Polo Shirt featuring your company's logo might be perfect.

The Television Interview: What To Wear

However, when it comes to the media, especially a television interview, what are the rules? What is the dress code?

Most people should dress as they would for an important client meeting while still following the basic rules. Dress in a way that makes you feel confident. Good fit is essential for you to look your best and feel your best.

It is hard to go wrong with a classic suit or variation on that. Socks should be long enough to show no leg when seated and while you may go without a jacket, men must never wear a tie with a short sleeved shirt. If you know you know you will be seated and seen below the waist, sit in front of the mirror and check your outfit.

Colors. Go for primary tones, for men, a dark suit and blue shirt is best. For women, avoid solid black or patterns. The more pure and saturated a color, the more the camera will make the clothing "glow". White is o.k. for a shirt under a jacket, otherwise, off white is a better choice.

Patterns. No highly contrasting colors. A bold pattern can distract from your message Fabrics  Avoid anything shiny, including ties. They can end up looking like plastic or mirrors.

Logos. Many companies have shirts with logos. My advice, avoid having logos on any television interview as this is an interview and not a commercial.

Jewelry. Do not wear any jewelry that could move or make a noise or touch the microphone. Also, if your jewelry projects an image that is inconsistent with your message then you run the risk of your message not being heard the way it was intended.

Makeup. Be sure to de-shine. Women may add a little extra color, but be careful not to over do it. Men should de-shine as well.

HairLooked groomed. Get your hair under control. Avoid hair products that add shine.

Self Assessment. People are surprised on how they look on television. They crinkle up their eyebrows, and scratch their nose without ever thinking about it. Their eyes wander all over the place and they frown while listening to questions.

One of the best things you can do to get ready for an interview is to get a video made of yourself and then watch it with the sound off. 

Summary/Additional tips

The safest color on television is blue
Pastel colors work well on television
Be wrinkle free
Do not wear stripes or checks
Avoid light color pants or dresses
Women should not wear short skirts
Dress in a simple, boring manner
Do not wear vests.

Next weeks article "PR And The Brand Connection?"


Fundamental of Media Interviews Skills, What to Wear, Daniel Keeney
Tips on What to Wear for A T.V. Interview, Scott Lorenze


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