Monday, July 23, 2018

TV talent fashion advice from the pros

No matter large or small market TV, here is some anchor-reporter fashion advice for everyone

When you think of TV news think of Mike McGuff!

OK, that is not true.

However, considering the amount of TV types who read my blog, I have always wanted to write about the subject.

So when TV image consultant Christi Schreiber, President and CEO of Colour Basis in Fort Worth, requested my connection on LinkedIn, I jumped on the opportunity to ask her some questions for you.

I think this is a very revealing interview concerning TV threads.

Mike McGuff: What can a company like yours do for television news talent?

Christi Schreiber: Colour Basis works with news talent across the country in all market sizes from LA to El Paso (and everything in between) perfecting their on-camera image for news. Our specialty is helping talent understand what delivers the best credible image with least amount of distraction from their appearance. Everything from hairstyle, hair colour, wardrobe, accessories, and makeup for men and women is considered when directing them about their image. We have relationships with research companies and keep up to date with focus group results and what the biggest barriers of entry are. We coach them on how send the most consistent, credible, visual message so their voice and story is heard.

MM: What is the best advice you have for large market TV talent?

CS: Buy quality garments, dress for the position you have achieved. You still have to work on fine tuning details and keep your image up to date, even and especially after, you have made it to a large market. When you are on camera every day, it can be easy to forget the intimacy of the viewer experience in their home. It’s In any market size, it should be about the story first and then being a guest in someone’s home on their TV every night.

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MM: What is the best advice you have for small market TV talent?

CS: Don’t use being in a small market as an excuse not the be their very best with the details of appearance. Dress for the market size they want to be in. Buy fewer, better quality outfits. It is an investment in your career. Take the time to apply your makeup (yes, men, you too) and style your hair. You should be continually upping your game and getting new pieces for your reel and you need to be polished in all your shows. We want all of our small market talent to look like they can be in any size market, being their very best.

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MM: Do you tend to dress talent based on the market?

CS: Very rarely. Our outlook is that we want everyone at the top of their game at all times and always credible. That does not change from market to market.

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MM: Talent now talk on social media about how they get good deals on clothes (like I never spend more than X amount on a dress). Will that ultimately hurt their perception with viewers?

CS: Everyone loves a great deal and to bargain shop. I personally don’t have conversations on how much I paid for something, that’s just me. I don’t know that it would necessarily hurt their perception with viewers although is that what they want to be known for, in their career, as the bargain shopper? Is that what they worked so hard for? I would question more as an employer who is paying their employee a handsome wage and knowing their wardrobe is a large part of their brand, I would not appreciate someone saying they only bargain shop or won’t pay more than X on their work wardrobe. It’s the person’s image and ultimately the station’s image. The station hopefully didn’t bargain shop on them.

MM: Female talent now use the rent-a-dress type of services. Is this a good idea to get more clothes without having to pay outright to own them?

CS: We work with a number folks who use this type of service. It’s not cheap, by any means. It can be a way to supplement your work wardrobe although the selection that fits the criteria is not enough (that we have seen) to only rely on it for an entire wardrobe. It’s a great solution for appearances and events and more limited for everyday selections. You should never use the show’s air time as a place to experiment with your wardrobe, which is what we most often see. We get countless emails from management about dresses and a large amount of them come from the rental services. People are paying for a service, want the most out of it and run out of options so they just order something “to try” knowing it does not look the part. They wear it, our company gets an email wondering about “that outfit” and we have the conversation again. It’s all about the person making good choices and not wearing it if they get it and it doesn’t fit or look like something that should be on the air, for news, not entertainment.

MM: Anything else you want to add?

CS: We absolutely love our job in helping others be their best and give honest, constructive feedback and direction and offer solutions to any area that needs attention. Our website ( offers the solutions we have and anyone can order from our site. We are the best kept secret arsenal in the news world.

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