You want them to remember your message, not how you looked. This is true for women and men, as we discussed in our last blog post.
But it’s a fact of life that women are judged more critically on their appearance (think of the obsession with Michelle Obama’s hair and fashion sense). And the particulars of female dress are more complex than those of men. The two together make dressing for TV even trickier if you’re female. So to ace that on-air appearance, here are some additional dos and don’ts.
First the don’ts:
– In keeping with Coco Chanel’s take-off-one-piece-of-jewelry-before-you-leave-the-house philosophy, don’t overdo the accessories. Jangly bracelets, a ring on every finger, and chandelier earrings (or anything that swings from your ears) are distracting. Keep it to a single bracelet, one ring per hand, and post or drop earrings.
– Plunging necklines and short skirts are no-nos for the same reason. Ditto for anything too tight or too big.
– And ditch the wetlook lip gloss, especially eye-catching since viewers often focus on your face. Overt sex appeal overwhelms the message.
At the same time, you don’t want to look unpolished. And we’re not just talking about fingernails, which, by the way, should be shortish, filed, and a neutral color — save the Vamp for the weekend. A certain sense of style is expected these days. So by all means dress well and with at least a nod toward the fashion of the moment.
– Muted sets, which predominate, give you much more leeway colorwise beyond the no black, red, or white rule.
– Brightly colored sets mean you have to go bright so you don’t disappear — blue, purple, or green read best on TV.
– Counter the TV-makes-you-gain 10 pounds rule with a defined waist. If you’re wearing a suit, a jacket that nips in a bit will give you a slimmer, more defined silhouette. So does a sheath with a belt.
It’ll help to remember that since TV is a visual medium, you want to convey everything about what you are in the way you dress. Give your planned outfit a dry run. Sit, cross your legs, and have a friend get it all on video. Most people have a “good” side, so do a little advance research about the set. Wave your hands, practice your smile, laugh. And then take a good long look at the results to make sure that all is as it should be. Are you listening to that person on screen or are you looking at her leopard print pumps?