Question: What should I wear if I’m making a TV appearance or shooting a video? What colors should I wear? Should I avoid stripes and patterns?

Mitch: This worry plagues my broadcasting clients and touches the lives of my clients that end up on television for political reasons, sports highlights, and the like.

First of all, let’s address what we should wear. In my business I never know who I might be in front of at any given moment, or who might be watching. Television, broadcasting, and video tapes are subject to the same scrutiny. Nobody wants to get caught looking like a schmuck on the evening news.

Keep it professional. Best case, wear a suit or a blazer or sport coat with dress shirt, tie and nice dress slacks — something that fits and wears well. If you don’t own a well-tailored suit or sport coat, a sport shirt (top button unbuttoned) with dress slacks, minus the tie, will suffice. Make sure that you feel confident in what you are wearing. Absolutely no tattered Dockers, polos or t-shirts, and especially no jeans!

As far as color is concerned, I advise wearing darker colors and medium tones as opposed to lighter ones — mostly because 98 percent of us Wisconsinites don’t keep a tan 365 days a year. Washed-out stands for washed up in my book. If you happen to have a lifetime membership at the local tanning salon, or God forbid you own your own tanning bed, then feel free to dress like Don Johnson at your own risk.

In reference to the stripes and patterns, keep it simple. Weird stripes and psychedelic windowpane-checked patterns tend to play with the camera and distract from you and your overall message. Keeping your stripes simple and a bit wider will help to keep things copacetic. Highly reflective threads, such as polyester and silk, tend to cause strobing. High-quality clothing will have a sheen or luster when new; that’s a sign of quality. Shine occurs after the clothing has been worn for years on end. So, be sure to select the newest garments in the wardrobe when scheduled for your next on-air time slot instead of reaching for your 10-year-old throwback blazer.

P.S. As an addendum to this column, I wanted to touch on the women’s perspective in accordance with dressing properly for a TV appearance or video recording.

I don’t personally work with many female clients, so I looked to my business partner, Michelle Dhein, for her insights.

According to Michelle, dark solid and textured fabrics are the best. Stay within the medium to darker tones and shades, thus not washing yourself out while on camera. Make navy one of your first choices due to its uniqueness over the usual standard black. Knowing the right color to wear is only the beginning — fit, as always, is an extremely important factor.

Start with the jacket: Do the arms have a nice tapered look to them? Also take a look at the shoulders. Do you look anything like a linebacker for the Pack? As for the slacks or skirt, be sure that is fits nicely around your waist and looks flattering on you.

In regards to the top that you might wear: A blouse is probably the best option, and it can be worn with a sweater shell to create depth and give your outfit some character. Whether you choose to wear a shell or just the blouse, keep it simple and make sure that the color is not too bright.

In regards to the patterns or stripes: Should you choose to wear a suit, jacket, slacks, or skirt that has them, stay subtle. Subtle stripes will help to elongate your appearance and have a slimming effect. Stay away from exaggerated patterns or windowpanes as the may tend to make you look shorter, wider, and frumpy.

As for jewelry: Less is more. Go for that classy, understated look. The hoop earrings, big beads, and Swatch watches are best left in your ’80s past. Overall, select something that you know looks good on you.

If you have other questions, I recommend contacting Michelle Dhein at (414) 975-7813.

— Bram directs sartorial splendor by appointment at your home or office or at his Madison office. Call 608-712-6499 or visit or

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