Dressing for TV and Video Success

What is the best way to dress if you are going to be on television or on video? Whether you are a guest on someone’s news program or your own video.  There is no one best way. There are some guidelines I want to give you. The number one guideline is, are you wearing something that does not confuse people and helps them figure out who you are what you are about. Is it consistent with your message and what you are about? So if you are a dairy farmer wearing a business suit may look a little odd. Even though you may be a business person running a 10,000-person farm. It still is confusing to people. If you are a value traditional, value investor, mutual fund manager and you are wearing flip-flops and a tie-dye shirt. That can be confusing to people.  But if you are a musician flip-flops and a tie-dye shirt, maybe a hundred percent with what you are about.

So you need to ask yourself who are you? What do you want people to think of when they see you?  They should not be confused. I sometimes work with bankers and they will wear a traditional conservative suit but I also work with fashion designers, they do not want a boring suit. They need something that demonstrates their color creativity and their latest fashions. Artists do not want to look bland and boring.

You have to figure out what works for you. Now if you are in a lot of organization, a government agency something that is not particularly in the arts, chances are you do not want people focused on what you are wearing. You want something that is somewhat traditional for business in your area. It may be a suit and tie or a woman’s business suit.  It might be a business casual look but it is not calling a lot of attention to it.

So there are some things I would avoid if you are going to be on video. Stripes can jump around and dance around.  Remember you have to think about how does this look not just on a big high-definition TV screen but a computer monitor. Also how is it going to look on some one’s cell phone when they are watching.  Certain bangs can look great on a high-definition television but on a cell phone if they are watching it on YouTube can just get blurry. So that is the problem with stripes unless they are particularly bold. Other things that cause problems patterns, small patterns, paisley herringbone, they just jump around they get blurry. It gets fuzzy I would avoid small complex patterns.  Certain colors are a problem bright red can do we call bleeding. You are moving and it is still sort of over here pixelating. Pure white can be a problem unless it is your own production like mine. I want a clean simple look that if you are wearing clothing with white, a white shirt can make it harder to properly light your face because the camera will think the white is light and it will dark other things. So in general I would avoid wearing white clothing all. Black can be a problem. Now you may be looking at me saying well that is all black. This has black in it but it has a lot of white in it too. So there is still contrast you can kind of see where my arm starts my body stops. If you are wearing a pure black outfit unlike in real life or black can have a slimming effect black can make you look heavier on video because it all blurs together. It is harder to light and you can look like just sort of a blob from the neck down. Plus, it is more likely that you blend into the chair. Because so many chairs are black.  So in general I would avoid black on TV.

Keep in mind, these are general rules of thumb. It is not the end of the world if you are out somewhere and someone wants to do an interview with you and you are wearing black, it is not the end of the world. If you are wearing a white shirt former presidents Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan to us presidents typically always wore white shirts when they are in the oval office did not seem to hurt their careers. So keep in mind these are general guidelines that will give you a little extra edge but they are not ironclad rules.

Become a media pro in 20 minutes

Free download for a limited time only [value of


Download E-Book

Get a Free personalized quote now