Do female national newscasters dress themselves?

The only choice for men seems to be the color tie they wear with their suit.

Women, on the other hand, have a fairly wide variety of clothing options. Do they just get dressed at home and show up for work in whatever they choose. Obviously they know what the dress code is, but they still could show up in something that the producer might not like.

Rachel Maddow says she is dressed by the network. But she also admits to neither fashion nor colour sense, so HMMV.

She was dressed by the network when she started and they had a line budget for such things. They no longer have one.

Now like pretty much all news anchors her clothing is part of her personal wardrobe. In Rachel’s case she sends out her staff out to buy cloths and keeps them at the studio, otherwise she’d end up on air with the baggy sweat shirts you see her wearing when she’s reporting outside the studio.

I think pretty much any newscaster has a spare set of clothing at the studio so they have something to wear when disaster strikes, like getting hit with a cup of coffee. So if a producer took issue with what someone was wearing they’d have another option they could get into quickly.

Also most studios aren’t out in the country somewhere. Many are in the middle of Manhattan. If some one needs to be on air, they can simply buy something on short order.

When she appears on other TV programs as a guest, like Leno, she prefers Western shirts.

I’m not disagreeing, I just wonder where you get your information. I have no idea whether their suits are picked by themselves or by the producers. What makes you think they pick their own suits?

Here in Oz we have one national broadcaster that seems to specialise in making sure they have particularly attractive women presenters. In the credits at least one of these presenters listed a fashion house that supplied her clothes. I don’t think she ever wore the same clothes twice.

I haven’t bothered with TV news in years, so I have little idea if the situation is similar now. I found it slightly amusing back then.

Besides whatever dress code they have, the network will also want to make sure that the colors and patterns are compatible with television.

I suppose with HDTV this is a problem from a bygone era, but it was always interesting to see some TV anchor with a funky patterned tie that would have weird strobing color effects caused by the moiré patterns resulting from the pattern interacting with the scan lines of the TV screen.

From this funny clip (despite some creepy comments from the male co-host) it seems like they make their own choice but they’re on set well in advance of their time slot if anyone has a problem with it.

I’m just saying their choice seems to be between a dark suit and a darker suit. You don’t see many stripes on TV newsmen. Maybe they pick the suits out themselves or maybe they don’t, but a suit is basically a suit. On TV the only thing that stands out on a suit is the color of the tie. And a tie is very small in relation to the size of the image we see. A female newscaster can wear a dress that can be almost any color in the rainbow and this color covers much of what we see of her. Also dresses come in many forms, sleeveless, long sleeve, low neck, high neck, etc.

Incidentally I keep seeing Rachel Maddow in online adverts for MSNBC wearing what I assume is her own choice of clothes, and she looks genuinely awful in them. She’s wearing a brown hoody about three sizes too big for her, which is zipped up halfway so it’s extra baggy around the stomach. Coupled with a grey t-shirt underneath and the thick black-rimmed glasses. She looked like a 13-year-old boy going skateboarding. She generally dresses nicely on her show though.

Linda Ellerbee spent some time in her book And So It Goes explaining the wardrobe situation when she was with NBC News. The network bought the clothes for both her and her male co-anchor (IIRC, Lloyd Dobyns) and kept them at the studio so there would be no problems with bad attempts at mix-and-match.

A lot of TV people I know tend to dress way way way down when they’re not working, for a couple of reasons. (Granted, the ones I know are local, but I’d imagine network folks are the same.) First, having to dress up every day is a pain. Second, they don’t want to be recognized in public because they want their privacy. I ran into a local anchor at a restaurant a while back and only recognized him when we were introduced by a mutual friend. He was dressed in a T-shirt from some event and a pair of jeans. Some time before that, I ran into a former TV anchor I know at the supermarket. She was similarly dressed, and had no makeup on. If she hadn’t said hi to me, I wouldn’t have recognized her, either.

In setups like these who actually owns the clothes; the anchor or the network? If the anchor retires/quits/get’s fired/laid off/etc can they take the clothes with them?

The network owns them, and they can be recycled on other network shows, donated to charity, sold, or discarded. There may be arrangements where the anchor can take the clothes with them, however. So I guess the answer is, “it depends.”

For “older” newscasters, “[del]it[/del] depends” could be mandatory, sitting there under those hot lights without enough time during the commercial breaks …


I’m guessing most of them dress themselves, regardless of who chooses the clothes :wink: