Men vs Women: What to Wear for Press Interviews

Tricia Levasseur
7 min readNov 15, 2017

Warning — men and woman are not equal:

Men typically have sock problems while women suffer from short skirts. During my years as a journalist I witnessed many unfortunate wardrobe malfunctions getting caught on camera. Besides causing embarrassment, they grab focus away from the quality of the information being shared. At Bloomberg News in London we’d actually brief scheduled interviewees on ‘dos and don’ts’ in advance to help them avoid common mistakes. You can also avoid these mishaps and not lose your audience with some pre-interview preparation.

Context is everything when it comes to clothing:

There are two main variables here:
1. Your employer
2. The news outlet

How formal you dress will depend on who you work for and what the organization does as well as the outlet asking you for the interview. If you work for a large corporation that provides a professional service and have just been asked by business press for a live interview, you’ll dress more formally. If you work for a non-profit that focuses on environmental issues and your local news wants to speak to you, wearing more casual clothes might be appropriate. If you’re a startup founder being interviewed by industry press, business casual is probably your look. When in doubt, always ask your communications team and/or the interviewer what they think is appropriate so you won’t feel silly during the interview.

Its called a lapel mic for a reason:

Many interviews will require you to wear a microphone attached to your shirt. It’s called a lapel or collar mic because it should attach to your shirt collar. It can also clip to ties, buttons or folds but be careful you don’t want to risk having your mic fall off during the interview. For recorded or live television interviews you will have to use one so be prepared and wear a top that has a spot where you can safely attach the mic without having it scratch the shirt.

For other forms of interviews, ask when you’re booked if your interviewer will need to put a microphone on your shirt. For the ladies avoid shirts with lots of ruffles, frills or plunging…

Tricia Levasseur

Marketing Executive combining Storytelling & Digitial Technology. Techstars Mentor. Former Bloomberg Journalist. Cambridge MBA.