US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District

Media Training Home

Who Needs Media Training

The Training

  • Working with the Media
  • 6 Media Principles
  • 10 Tips to Remember
  • Correcting Errors
  • Media Query Policy
  • Handling a Call
  • Questions You Ask
  • Interview Ground Rules
  • Using Quotes and Bites
  • Avoiding a Disaster
  • Handling Tough Questions
  • Verbal Communication
  • It's Your Attitude
  • Body Language
  • Dress and Appearance
  • Media Opportunities
  • Put the Castle Forward
  • Parting Tips


You Look Mahvelous Dahling!

In a television interview, the audience’s first impression will be about how you look, not what you say. For that reason, it is important that your clothing and appearance not detract from, but rather subtly reinforce your message.
Don’t let your clothes detract from your message. What you wear should support or underscore your message. Select your clothing to reflect the impression you want to leave with the viewer. Take time to straighten your hair, shirt, dress, skirt or jacket. If you're wearing a uniform hat or a hard hat, straighten it.
If you must wear glasses, avoid the half-frame style, or ones that block the view of the eyes. Also, make sure that your glasses don’t slip down your nose. If you wear photo-gray glasses, take them off. NEVER wear sunglasses. You want viewers to see your eyes. This makes you seem like a more credible person.
Don't chew gum and remove your security badge before the interview.
Clothing and glasses can reinforce your message and tone and project self-confidence or, conversely, can cancel out your message and undermine your credibility.


  • A general rule is not to wear black suits; they project a lack of trust. However, if that is the only color suit you have and it is appropriate to wear a suit for the interview, wear it. But, add some color with your tie.
  • Avoid extremes of color, pattern or style. Conservative styles in the median range of colors – grays and blues in particular – enhance your image. Navy blue is the most flattering color for almost everyone except men who are very fair or light-skinned (in which case, try charcoal gray or medium blue).
  • Avoid busy patterns in clothing and closely-striped shirts or ties as they can create a “moiré” effect on TV in which all the patterns run together.
  • Wear a tie that has a strong color or one with widely-spaced stripes. Wear a tie that has a strong color, such as burgundy, to reflect color into your face.  Make sure the tie is long enough and falls straight down.
  • A mustache or beard lowers the trust level and can communicate a stern image. If you don’t want to give up your beard or mustache, make sure it is well-groomed and doesn’t cover your upper lip. Facial hair restricts the range of facial expression, so compensate with even more facial animation.
  • If you are balding, use facial powder to avoid glare.


  • A business suit or a well-tailored dress is most flattering.
  • Avoid extremely short skirts.
  • Wear bright colors on top while wearing a darker color on bottom. For example, a red jacket with a black or navy skirt.
  • Keep jewelry to a minimum. No big earrings.
  • Avoid pure white blouses (unless worn with a jacket). Avoid closely-patterned stripes and prints that can create havoc with the camera lens.
  • Keep hair off your face.