Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wardrobe malfunctions: Why every reporter needs a rolling closet

It never fails. You wear your best outfit or most expensive suit and you're assigned to do a story at a pig farm. Or a flooded area. Or a landfill.

And if you don't have a rolling closet, chances are you'll look as overdressed as Lindsay Lohan going to prison.

Back in the day, most of us had other sets of clothes in the trunks of our cars. If you had to cover a story at the beach, you could pull out some shorts and a linen shirt. Plane crash in the woods? You had old jeans and shoes you wouldn't mind throwing away. Oil refinery? Some shirts and slacks that might have been destined for the charity pile.

On the other side of the coin, you may have shown up knowing you needed to dress casually for a story and something major breaks out at the courthouse. And there you are in a polo shirt and shorts doing a lead story that demanded professional attire.

Yep, we had dress clothes in the trunk as well.

Point is, you have to be prepared because your assignment can change at a moment's notice. You don't want to interview a US Senator wearing beach clothes, and you'll look silly in spike heels walking through a muddy field to a plane crash. That's why you need a few wardrobe changes you can get to quickly.

Those clothes and old sneakers may sit in your trunk for a long time, but when you need them you'll be glad they're there.

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