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What to Wear for a TV Interview

Learn what to wear for a TV interview from media coach TJ Walker in this Howcast public speaking video.


How should you dress if you're going on television?

For starters, you need to dress in a way that won't mince your message. You don't want to confuse people. If you are a banker you don't want to dress like a sculptor or an artist. If you're an artist you don't want to have a boring banker's suit on. There needs to be a connection between your message, what you're talking about, and what you're wearing. So, if you're a dairy farmer don't have a pinstripe suit on. If you're a banker don't have jeans and a Polo shirt on. It will confuse people.

Other tips specific to TV. You're better off wearing solids and avoiding complicated patterns, stripes that can jump around. This is a fairly subtle stripe and it tends not to jump around. Because a lot of my clients are people in the financial industry and CEO's, I have a business suit on. Doesn't mean that you should be wearing a business suit. Stripes can jump around. Broad patterns can jump around.

Certain colors can be bad for TV. If you're wearing a bright red it can bleed, it's moving. If you're wearing white that can be too bright, and it can become the dominant thing on the screen. Now, it doesn't mean it's always awful. There are certain news anchors, even our President wears a white shirt. Doesn't mean it's going to destroy your whole image on TV. But, in general, white is too bright and it dominates the picture.

Black is another problem color. Black can have a slimming effect in real life if you're speaking or in front of people, but on TV your arms can bleed together with your torso. And if you're sitting on a black chair it can all bleed together. Black can actually make you look heavier on TV than you are in real life.

So, I would avoid black. I would avoid red. I would avoid white. The simpler the better. The fewer patterns the better. Do that and you will be dressed well for TV.

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