Where News Reporters Get Their Clothes?

Where News Reporters Get Their Clothes?

What news reporters wear is an important part of their job. Their clothing helps establish credibility, conveys professionalism, and ensures they are dressed appropriately for different reporting assignments. With the rise of 24-hour cable news and online media, reporters are on camera more than ever before. Choosing the right outfit is key to making a good impression with viewers.

This article will provide helpful tips for news reporters on selecting attire for different situations. Proper attire can boost confidence, command respect, and allow reporters to focus more on their job rather than what they are wearing. Read on for easy-to-implement advice on building an on-air wardrobe.

Dress Codes and Guidelines

While news organizations do not usually have formal dress codes, reporters are still expected to dress professionally.

Television Broadcasters

On-air reporters and anchors typically wear business formal attire like suits, blazers, dresses, and dress shirts. Their outfits need to convey authority and credibility on camera. Bright colors work well and patterns should be minimal.

For field reporting, attire varies greatly depending on the assignment. Reporters may wear anything from business formal, to weather protective gear, to a local sports team jersey. Comfort and mobility takes priority here.

Print and Radio

Print and radio reporters have more flexibility since audiences cannot see them. They can opt for business casual in the office but should still dress professionally when meeting sources or conducting interviews.

General Tips

Some overarching dress code guidelines for reporters:

  • Business formal attire for government and judicial reporting
  • Avoid offensive, ripped, or overly casual clothing like t-shirts and flip flops
  • Dress for the occasion – formal for an interview, casual for a sports game

Building a Versatile Wardrobe

Since assignments can vary greatly, reporters need versatile wardrobes. Solid neutral colors provide a good base. Some key pieces to have on hand:

For Women

  • Sheath dresses
  • Blazers
  • Blouses
  • Slacks
  • Skirts
  • Flats/heels
  • Accessories like simple jewelry

For Men

  • Suits
  • Dress shirts
  • Ties
  • Khaki pants
  • Desert boots/loafers
  • Leather belt
  • Dark socks

Focus on mix-and-match staples in materials like wool, cotton, and silk. Avoid loud patterns and fabrics like suede or velvet that show wear easily.

Having 2-3 complete business formal outfits is essential. Fill out the rest of the wardrobe with versatile separates that can be dressed up or down.

Dressing for Television

Dressing for a television appearance has unique considerations:

Choose Flattering Colors

  • Solid cool tones in blues, grays, and pastels are most flattering. They enhance skin tone.
  • Avoid black and white – can look harsh. Go for navy or charcoal instead.
  • No bright reds, oranges or neons – skin may appear red or washed out. Soft rose pink is a good alternative.

Mind the Pattern

  • Solids and simple subtle patterns only. Small or narrow stripes and busy patterns blur on camera.
  • If in doubt, go solid. Easier for the camera to process.

Consider the Fabric

  • Natural fabrics like wool and cotton breathe better under hot studio lights
  • Avoid shiny or sheer fabrics that reflect light or show undergarments
  • Stick to matte and mid-weight fabrics. Linen wrinkles easily.

Fit and Comfort

  • Well-fitted clothing presents better on camera. Should lay smoothly without pulling or sagging.
  • Comfortable shoes like low heels allow reporters to stand for long periods

Accessories and Makeup

Accessories and makeup complete the television look:

Jewelry and Accessories

  • Minimal jewelry: simple stud earrings and necklace
  • Neutral hosiery: nude or black tights
  • Simple hairstyle: sleek ponytail or bun
  • Avoid anything noisy or distracting: bangles, big statement necklaces


  • Use matte makeup to avoid shine on camera
  • Conceal flaws like blemishes or dark circles
  • Define features with subtle eye makeup, blush and lip color

Dressing on a Budget

Building a professional wardrobe can get expensive. Here are tips for reporters on a budget:

Shop Smart

  • Consignment stores like Nordstrom Rack for quality discounted items
  • Outlet malls for major savings on last season’s styles
  • Second-hand stores in wealthy neighborhoods

Key Investments

Spend more on classic pieces you will wear often:

  • Versatile neutral suits in navy, gray, black
  • Leather belts and shoes
  • Well-fitting dress shirts and blouses

DIY and Rent

  • Rent formalwear for special occasions
  • DIY customizations like hemming pants or skirts

Buy Multipurpose Pieces

Choose clothing like blazers, sheath dresses and cardigans that transition from day to night or between seasons.

Dressing for Different Assignments

Outside of the studio, assignment locations should dictate reporter wardrobe choices.

Business and Politics

Covering business or political news calls for professional attire:

  • Women: Formal suit, sheath dress with blazer, pencil skirt with blouse
  • Men: Matching suit, dress shirt, and tie

This conveys authority and gets reporters access to formal events.

Sports and Outdoors

At sports events or outdoor assignments, dress for mobility:

  • Women: Slacks or skirt with flats, running shoes
  • Men: Khakis with polo or button-down

Stay warm and dry with layers like sweaters and rain jackets as needed.

Breaking News

For breaking news like storms, fires, or protests, safety takes precedence:

  • Heavy jackets, rubber boots, helmets
  • Visible “PRESS” identification vest

Pack emergency gear in the trunk for rapid deployment to developing stories.


When conducting interviews, match the attire of the subject:

  • More formal for CEOs, politicians
  • Casual for artists, academics

This helps subjects feel comfortable and take reporters seriously.

Common Wardrobe Malfunctions & Solutions

Despite the best laid plans, wardrobe malfunctions sometimes occur:

Issue: Perspiration stains

Solution: Bring extra shirts/blouses and dress shields

Issue: Wrinkled clothing

Solution: Bring a travel steamer; hang item in bathroom while showering

Issue: Scuffed shoes

Solution: Keep shoe polish/wipes on hand for touch-ups

Issue: Makeup smudges

Solution: Carry oil blotting sheets and lipstickPlan ahead to quickly fix issues on the go. Being camera-ready boosts poise.

Conclusion – Dress for Respect

A reporter’s attire conveys professionalism and competence to sources, guests and viewers. While no formal dress code exists, smart wardrobe choices demonstrate respect for the job.

With the wide variety of assignments, having a versatile wardrobe is key. Focus on well-fitting staples in neutral solids, supplemented with statement accessories and makeup. Pay attention to fabric and colors that perform best on camera.

There are also ways to build a work-appropriate wardrobe even on a tight budget. The goal is not to be flashy but to feel confident you are dressed appropriately for whatever situation arises. So while reporters get their clothes from many sources, professionalism should be top of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are good stores to buy reporter clothes on a budget?

Good affordable stores include H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, and Gap. Also check second-hand and consignment stores in wealthy areas for quality items at reduced prices.

Should reporters wear makeup on television?

Yes, subtle makeup helps define facial features washed out by bright studio lighting. Use matte bronzer, blush, neutral eyeshadow, black mascara, and pink lipstick. Avoid shimmer.

What should male reporters wear on camera?

Solid suits in navy, gray or black paired with a white or light blue dress shirt and a subtle patterned tie. Wear dark socks and leather dress shoes. Stick to a simple watch and avoid loud jewelry like bracelets.

What if clothing gets damaged while reporting?

Pack emergency items like stain remover wipes, wrinkle releaser spray, foldable ballet flats, and needle & thread. For significant damage, keep back-up clothing in your news vehicle.

Should reporters wear press identification vests?

Yes, in conflict zones reporters should wear bulletproof blue vests clearly marked “PRESS” for safety and to identify themselves as non-combatants. Vests help avoid dangerous misunderstandings.

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