What Not to Wear to a Media Interview

You just got off the phone and confirmed an interview with a local media outlet. The only catch is the reporter has a tight deadline and you have less than ten minutes to put together an outfit.

I always say have an outfit ready to go in your car, or in your office as described in my previous blog post, 7 ways to stay calm during a TV interview.

Maybe you haven't read the post yet, or planning ahead is not your strong suit.

So what do you throw on? More importantly, what do you need to avoid so you don't end up looking like a hot mess?

I always follow 3 simple rules:

1. Avoid stripes, polka-dots and zigzags.

These patterns do not work well on-camera and the smaller the pattern, the worse it looks. Thin stripes, small dots and zigzags are distracting to viewers.

Solid colours always work best, with the exception of black and white. White ends up looking too bright and black ends up looking too dark if not lit properly. This can be especially
problematic if you have dark hair.

My go-to colour is royal blue. It is bold enough to make a statement, but it is not over-powering. Blue also works well no matter your skin tone. Purples, reds and oranges also look great on-camera. If you are doing an in-studio interview, ask your contact person if you will be sitting in front of a green-screen. If that's the case, your outfit will literally disappear!


2. Leave the chunky jewellery and dangling earrings for a Friday night.

While a funky necklace can make or break an outfit, less is more when it comes to wearing jewellery on television. Big pieces can be distracting and could interfere with your audio if the jewellery grazes your microphone during your interview.

Pieces that reflect light will also shoot a beam straight into the camera. Remember, you are doing an interview with the media, not auditioning for Star Wars.

Choose one small statement piece, small hoops or a colourful cuff.

Cuff by Stella & Dot

Cuff by Stella & Dot

3. Choose simple make-up to avoid high shine. 

If your interview is in-studio you will likely get the chance to sit in a make-up chair and get a quick touch-up by a professional artist. However, that is not always the case and you will have to get your make-up kit out and create the magic yourself.

Avoid super shiny lip-gloss and eye shadow. Both reflect light and end up looking extra shiny on-camera.

Instead, choose a matte lipstick and you can add a hint of gloss on top. 

Grenada Tinted Lipbalm by Vasanti Cosmetics

Grenada Tinted Lipbalm by Vasanti Cosmetics

So the next time you get called for a media interview, stick to these three rules for looking your best: wear solid colours, simple jewellery and low-shine make-up.

If you found these tips helpful and want customized coaching for your next media interview, check out my Media Coaching packages.