Blog Post

Dressing for the camera

A month officially into lockdown and Skype and Facetime interviews have become the norm on our television screens. Broadcasters no longer invite guests into their studios, on the contrary many journalists including presenters are going on-air via the internet too. Intriguingly we get a glimpse of their homes in the background and who doesn’t crane their necks to see whether the image they present on screen tallies up with the ones we see on screen.

I don’t know about you, but my wardrobe is loosely divided into 3 categories: going to work (often followed by an evening out), weekend going out (more casual but I will make an effort) and slobbing around at home/being a domestic goddess. Now, however, in my fifth week of working from home, I am in danger of these categories merging. Does it matter?  Well, despite writing this in a jumper-over-pyjamas-look, I think it probably does. You can only get away with PJ’s if you are Martin Clunes on Breakfast TV – the consensus is – he pulled it off.

The same rules on presentation that we teach in television media training apply for Skype:

  • Avoid busy patterns, that can distract and even strobe on camera
  • Jewellery – keep it simple. Earrings or necklace, no more.
  • Make-up – if you don’t normally wear any at least use some powder so your face doesn’t shine. If you don use it, add a little extra. Men, that applies for you too.
  • Avoid all black – it makes you look a bit 2-dimesional, a head on top of a black wall.
  • Pastel shirts/tops are nearly always flattering on screen


There are some extra ones too:

  • Think about your background. It needs to be more than a white wall, but still in keeping with a corporate image.
  • Make sure anything behind you is non-controversial
  • If you can, shut the door to keep kids, pets and anyone else out! An interview won’t last longer than 10 mins, less if it’s live.

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