Thursday, October 8, 2009

Don't Let the Clothes Do the Talking

Oh the amazing Lisa the center...wearing the pink jacket....multi-colored pants...That is if you didn't recognize the 6 foot 5 retired center for the Los Angles Sparks. My child hood hero in the flesh!

Thanks to my internship at Good Morning America I was lucky enough to participate in the shoot with Lisa Leslie and Marysol Castro; Weekend GMA's 5 foot 2 correspondent. One of the best shoots I can say I have gone on since the start of my internship.

That being said, you can see that I am the shrimp standing next to her in the bright orange sweater trench coat. This unmistakable jacket has become a trademark for me. One Wednesday in a bit of freezing rain during this summer's randomly cold June I walked out of the apartment in shorts. Incredibly cold and shivering uncontrolably I thought I would run over to the college book store and grab a fun Boston University sweatshirt. But as soon as the price was revealed my pocketbook screamed sending me on my way. The shivering subway ride to my summer internship at PowderHouse Productions was going to have to do.

After 20 minutes on the train and still shaking like a stage phobe on opening night I ran into a fun vintage store in Davis Square, Poor Little Rich Girl. Right there on the rack was the coolest jacket in the entire world. A trench coat, but not a trench coat. It was warm, it was cute, it was unique, and it was definitely cheap. Off to the internship.

Now PowderHouse Productions fits its hip location of Davis Square. For those out there who know the hippie area of Cambridge/Somerville will understand that a post production company filled with 20something editors and production junkies fits in just right. And so did my awesome vintage apparel I recently purchased in haste. Compliments for my jacket poured in. The steal of a deal. The intricate hand sewn look. The offbeat color choice. And of course the sweater jacket material. All of a sudden I fit in with the emo/hipster/hippie atmosphere of this up and coming post production house.

Fast forward to the Lisa Leslie shoot. Fall has hit NY. It's late September and it's chilly. What a perfect time to pull out the awesome orange trench! Wait...I am no longer in Boston characterized more for it's brown granola feel and hippie/hipsters who frequent coffee shops. Nope, I am in NY, Manhattan to be exact, where high fashion finds it's home every season in Bryant Park. Where people prefer black in every area; black pants, black boots, the black of night, the black of the club, the black of the bar, and the black trench coat. My coat...not black.

But that's ok, I'm just an intern. I have time. I'm not an anchor or correspondent. I am safe to wear slightly fashionless attire, right? Well I felt ok until the cameraman came up to me and asked "Are you part of GMA?" Which I answered of course. And he responded..."Well, you don't look like you are part of the industry. You don't see coats like yours in the broadcast world."

What?! Really, my jacket was that bad? I don't look like I just crawled out of bed. I have make-up on. I am wearing nice pants, a nice shirt, nice shoes, but my jacket is different. Not the normal fashionable cut Banana Republic or J. Crew. The nice thing he said, "But it is a really neat jacket. Makes you unique. And it is still really nice even if it is different."

I think I will stick with the compliment and go from there. But I will have to say to much sadness, I took the comment personally and hit up the mall last Tuesday night looking for professional "in-style" work wear. Over $140 dollars to be exact. Should I have to do that? Spend money? Yes my jacket may not be your typical reporter news wear, but does that change my credibility? Does that mean I need to spend money during a down economy?

I've decided it doesn't, but I have become more aware of the importance of clothes whether I like it or not. When I first started temping at a construction job in Boston one of the executive assistants always came in wearing a suit. Many people don't wear full on suits anymore. Well I asked her why. She said that her boss, the Executive, was mistaken for a secretary one day while out getting coffee and decided to wear suits from then on out so that people would for sure know who she was.

But again why can't someone simply correct another person? Can't a person simply say "No I am an executive." Or "No I work for Good Morning America." Do my clothes really need to do the talking for me or can I simply exert the energy myself and tell them?

I've decided I won't dress horribly and I won't spend tons of money down at Macy's, but I will open my mouth a little more if needed.

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