Recap: AAJA-Shanghai Tang ‘Dress for Visual Impact’ Workshop

Most people pay attention to their fashion choices, but they may not be mindful of the best outfit to present in front of cameras, whether for television or video conferencing. AAJA-Asia chapter co-president and Bloomberg anchor Angie Lau shared tips to dress for best visual impact at a workshop co-organized with Shanghai Tang.


Lau said we have to be aware of television is two-dimensional. Looking at the same object in  real life — a 3-D world — may not project the same vision on screen, in 2-D.

  • Ruffles and bows are interesting in real life but look distracting on camera.
  • Straight lines look the best.
  • Full tousled hair and voluminous sleeves will look messy on camera.
  • Look for simple details will be best.

For men: don’t button up your suit jackets because it puckers.


Lau said everyone has a different color palette that works for them. It’s important to realize what color pops and what color that washes the person out. One needs to look objectively at the colors when one chooses.

  • The color that makes one looks sick, pale and boring, don’t buy it.
  • The trick is take a photo of the two colors and compare it on screen to see which one pops.
  • Also be mindful about your background, don’t wear a color that will blend in your background.


Solids VS patterns:

  • Lau recommends default to solids. Because it accents to what the viewers see best — the presenter’s face — instead of distracted by the patterns on one’s shirt or blouse.
  • Small patterns are awful for the eye so if one wears pattern, make it big and bold.


Accessories VS jewelries: 
Sometimes a plain outfit can be accentuated by jewelleries. Here is an example. But Lau said it depends on one’s taste.


She quoted the words from Coco Chanel, “Dress Shabbily and They Remember the Dress; Dress Impeccably and They Remember the Woman.”


  • If your background is lighter than you, you will come out in the dark (back lit).
  • Always look for the light and position yourself so the light or natural light is lighting your face.

What to expect for TV: 

  • You arrive and you’ll be ushered into makeup.  Men, yes you’ll have to wear powder.
  • Floor crew will help mic you up.  Be mindful of any wires that stick out.  Tuck it in.
  • Men, be mindful of your suit.  Women, be mindful of your necklines, any puckering, and pull to smooth out any creases.
  • Be natural and ignore the camera. Talk to your interviewee like a friend or colleague.
  • The most important rule is to have fun!

Hope you’ve learned some useful tips in preparation for your next presentation!