Last week one of my consultants in Iceland emailed asking for advice regarding what to wear on TV, as she was working with a group of local politicians who needed to look their best when being interviewed on TV.
From my personal experience of appearing on a variety of programmes and in consultation with my friend who is an Executive Producer for the BBC, here are my top tips if you, or one of your clients ever appears on TV.
What to Wear on TV
- Avoid bright red – Burgundy, plum and rust are okay
- Don’t wear white. It won’t look white as the camera will struggle to balance the contrast to achieve details on the face
- Avoid stripes &/or big patterns – even an unobtrusive stripe can strobe on camera
- Avoid big necklaces as they can sound very noisy next to a microphone
- Avoid any obviously branded items (especially if appearing on the BBC)
- Avoid anything too fussy around the head & shoulders as this can cause problems if they are being super-imposed on a background
- If they are being filmed against green or blue screen (so that the background is added via technology) then it’s best to avoid wearing clothes which feature these bright colours – generally darker jackets/tops will be okay
- Think about glasses. Are they anti glare/reflective for the lights. Avoid light sensitive lenses as interviewees can suddenly be wearing sunglasses, when the full studio lights are switched on!
- Don’t wear anything (especially accessories) which will distract the viewers attention from what they are saying
- Check where they are going to be interviewed – standing up or sitting down? Because something that looks great when upright can look very crumpled, tight, short or just badly fitting when you sit down.
- Men should know if they look better with their suit jacket buttoned or unbuttoned and to be aware that the shoulders often rise, when they sit down – so always readjust when seated. (I saw an MP being interviewed on TV this morning who was sitting down – consequently his jacket was all messed up so he looked much bigger than he actually was + he had a pen in the top pocket of his jacket which was where my eyes kept looking!)
- Check grooming – nails and hair plus they should wear make-up – including the men.
- Dresses tend to work well on women and smart shirts perhaps with well fitted jackets for the guys – having a 2nd tie choice, just in case, is often a good idea.
- Ultimately, their garment choice will depend on how they want to be portrayed
When they have all this sorted then they only need to worry about what to say!! Take a deep breath, then speak slowly and clearly looking at the interviewer and not the camera!
What to Wear on TV