Thursday, January 20, 2005

Dress For Success

This is the begining of an article posted on the Illinois News Broadcasters Association website.


By Laura Trendle-Polus, Illinois State University

You’ve probably seen them in a newsroom or a classroom, at a job interview or a convention - young attractive women dressed in tight shirts and short skirts, or wearing hip-hugging pants that expose backs, stomachs, and often tattoos. They look ready for a nightclub, not a news story.

I asked a number of television newswomen for their take on this topic. They offer a range of experience, from a 25-year veteran to a brand-new graduate working in her first job, and all agreed that newsroom attire is worth weighing in on.

Styles change, and while I like to keep up with fashion, there are some risks I
know I cannot take as a young professional. I have seen students, right out of
school, come into this office with the shortest skirts - I’ve had to ask them to
change. I have also seen reporters who bare their belly - which is an absolute
no-no. I think you can "jazz up" a nice conservative suit with a blouse or
camisole underneath. I watch the women on "The Apprentice" (my favorite show!)
and wonder how on earth they think they are going to be taken seriously with
skirts cut half up their thighs and blouses that basically bare all. It is
amazing to me - we as women have made incredible advances in our careers,
because of our minds - not our clothing (at least not me!). Amanda Wozniak, News
Director, WHOI-TV, Peoria

When I was a manager at WISN-TV, I would send interns home if they came to
work dressed inappropriately.... especially in the summer months. I told them
this was not "beach blanket bingo" and please go home and put on something more
appropriate. I even told a reporter who was wearing a jogging suit to go home
and change, since she wasn’t doing a story on exercise that day. She couldn’t
believe what I had asked her to do, but she did it. Maryann Lazarski, Faculty,
UW-Milwaukee and former Assistant News Director, WISN-TV, Milwaukee

Just a few of thoughts: 1) ladies... heed this advice. 2) I am proud to say that when I was an intern/worked for Maryann, she never had to send me home for showing my belly or wearing sweats. 3) I think Amanda would do well on "The Apprentice." 4) As much as I steer clear of reality shows, "The Apprentice" and "Survivor" are my guilty pleasures... but I blame Shannon for this entirely. ;)


Anonymous said...

I agree with this article. I can't believe young women come to a station (as an intern) with bellies showing... pierced navels showing... and high, high heels. If they ever get stuck out at a fire or chemical spill in the winter, they are going to DIE! When I was an intern in a top 15 market, I dressed like the reporters dressed. I wore blazers with pants or business style skirts. I'm sure I gained more respect from the reporters than dressing like I'm going to Sully's.

Edgar said...

There is a time and a place for every style. Glad you recognize the difference between Sully's and a newsroom!

Anonymous said...

Dressing is something that everyone in this market could sure use some lessons on..>EVERYONE including photographers, producers, and anyone else in the newsroom. I'm appalled every day when I go to work and see people in sweatpants, slippers, t-shirts with necks hanging down.

I understand you need to dress for what your going to do...photographers should not be in a suit and tie, but a nice pair of jeans and a collered shirt sure would be nice.