One Halloween, I dressed as Marie Antoinette. I looked hideous. The longer the evening went, the worse my French got. It was a linguistic disaster. But mostly, it was a fashion disaster. My garment was ill-fitting, unnatural and had no pockets. It was an abject first-hand lesson in the perils of women’s attire.
I know that women have made substantial progress in the business of local TV news, an industry once run by men. A woman runs our newsroom. Most of our producers are women. Our highest-profile news anchor is a woman.
Despite this ascension, women still apparently feel compelled to dress — like women. Which means they wear garments that are less practical and less substantial than men’s clothing.
Here’s Julie Wolfe, a WXIA reporter. There’s little doubt that she has the most outstanding haircut in Atlanta TV news. In this instance, she also shows a certain amount of fashion fearlessness.
Wolfe is doing a live shot about a guy holding himself hostage up the street, a police standoff that eventually involved a SWAT team and tear gas and whatnot. The story was forgettable.
The eye-opener was Wolfe’s creative use of her coiture to accommodate the demands of TV.
She made an adult decision to wear a garment with a limited amount of square footage. More importantly, it also lacks a belt and pockets. Almost every item of clothing I own has pockets.
I find belts and pockets to be essential. In our industry, they host things like microphones and IFB / earpiece boxes.
Wolfe has none of that. But she does have boots. And she has an earpiece wire that just happens to stretch from her collar to her right ankle, which is where the IFB box is clipped. The IFB box is then attached, by audio cable, to a cell phone in a live truck. Over that phone line, Wolfe hears program audio for WXIA’s noon news and occasional cues from a producer in the control room.
As a man with a closet full of clothing with pockets and belt loops, I never, ever have considered clipping an IFB box to my footwear. I’ve never had to because I don’t wear women’s clothing.
Except for that one time. You had to be there. No, wait. You didn’t miss anything.
Julie Wolfe writes a blog about her life as a reporter and borderline obsessive marathon / ironwoman-type runner. Read it here!