Service of Fashion in August 2017

August 28th, 2017

Categories: Dress Code for Women Broadcasters, Fashion


A friend wrote: “You have to address the issue of the way we are dressing!!!!! I don’t know where to start!!! Women are the worst offenders I’m afraid.”

She follows fashion and always looks just-so.

 “Coincidentally,” she, continued, “Boston is addressing the way female broadcasters are forced to dress.” She mentioned Heather Unruh, a longtime lead newscaster on WCVB-TV who resigned last fall. Unruh talked to The Boston Globe’s Beth Teitell about “the pressures women feel about how they dress on TV.”

Heather Unruh Photo

Teitell asked: “Should a TV anchorwoman be required to dress for work in a cocktail dress? Or Stilettos? What about body-hugging tops?” In “For at least a decade, women broadcasters have been pushed to look sexier on-air,” Teitell quoted another newscaster who said “management at her station has told women to wear ‘tighter, smaller, shorter, more revealing clothes.’”

Teitell continued, “What you don’t see is that many times women have clothespins in the back to make [their clothes] tighter.” She wrote about broadcasters who didn’t want to put on what consultants selected; who cried about how they were pressured to dress; who were told to copy the sexier look of another anchor who “wore her skirts short and her tops unbuttoned” and one who was reprimanded for wearing blazers that were “too boxy.”


My friend went on: “Too much information prevails for everyone, but I want to see no more:

  • exposed behinds
  • gigantic ripples of jelly fat especially near views of underpants
  • décolletage causing women to spill out from center and SIDES of cutout or strapless concoctions
  • garments that threaten to fall off
  • leggings in outrageous patterns and colors that make even toothpick size legs seem gigantic
  • dizzying, horror prints
  • excess of assorted animal patterns together
  • infantile embroidery over patterns–(including Gucci)
  • overweight women tottering on super spikes that generally impede balance and are often inappropriate for the chosen moment. A ridiculous off-shoot of super spikes are grasswalkers–transparent platforms that protect spikes when the wearer walks on grass.” [Note: I think the grasswalker concept is ingenious!]


“And it’s not just women’s fashion,” she wrote:

  • men’s bare legs are everywhere
  • the sockless high water line of men’s ankles stare at us out of tie shoes
  • the sickening view of men’s undies or behinds peeking out of pants that are about to fall down
  • relatively sheer exercise shorts that are generally not attractive outside of the gym no matter what designers tout

This is all without touching on age appropriate fashion for either sex or work versus leisure. We have become both boring and repulsive in our tastelessness. I don’t mean that I think I am a paragon of style and taste, but I try to err on the side of discretion.

Even though traditional TV viewership is down in the first quarter—11.2% by millennials 25-34 and almost 5 percent by Gen Xers 35-49 according to–do you still think some women take their fashion cues from broadcasters squeezed into their attire or is the desperate attempt to drum up male viewership unrelated to style?

Is fashion out of kilter or is it that some men and women have lost their compass for what looks good on them?

What or who is influencing some to dress in such a sloppy way?

Kim Kardashian Photo:

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12 Responses to “Service of Fashion in August 2017”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    Criticizing people for the way they dress is akin to sticking ones nose where it doesn’t belong. With so much happening on outside of so narrow a topic, should one waste concern over ill and/or scantily dressed fashionistas?

    Why quarrel with anyone bent on following La Kardashian & Cie.? They might do well to consult a mirror, and find themselves looking even better then their idols. Should they fall short of the desired image, they might take a second look. As in Snow White, the glass never lies!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I think we all can use a respite from the increasing troubles here and abroad–some natural and others manmade–hence a break from serious topics. I wondered if the interest in the eclipse didn’t serve the same purpose: a welcome break and topic we can address without ripping one another to shreds.

    When looking for photos to illustrate this post I found many of attractive men and women wearing what irritated my friend. These models could wear a sheet and look magnificent and sure ’nuff, they looked dandy in some of the styles she considered unfortunate.

    I chose the Kardashian image–my friend didn’t. Kardashian can carry off clothes that are too tight; most of us look pretty awful in the same. So, like you, I think folks will never go wrong if they look in the mirror before handing their cash or credit card to the cashier!

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Edward wrote on Facebook: Many think tight looks sexy; tight doesn’t even look good on the skinny.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    And nobody says anything about how uncomfortable too-tight clothes feel!

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Hank Goldman wrote on Facebook: Yuck. I refer to that photo [the young woman at the top] ]! I’ve seen too much of that also!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Debbie Kunen wrote on Facebook: The problem is NO ONE is calling out these folks who A) don’t look in a full length mirror B) do and think it’s okay or C) don’t care and are clueless

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Men as well as women. We were speaking with a 70-something year old man on the train the other day. He was very nice but shockingly dressed. When he got up to leave, the hind view was similar to many we’ve seen on teens–as my friend wrote in the post, “too much infomation.” I wasn’t fast enough to snap a photo for my post.

  8. Paula Said:

    Oh my goodness, we could have a chat about this! OK, where do I start? First of all, “inappropriate” is the first thing that comes to mind in a lot of these cases. When I was younger and wore skirts to school, my Mom would harass me to wear slips underneath. Fast forward to now (yes, older and maybe a tad wiser) and I’m amazed at the lack of undergarments worn under women’s dresses and skirts when needed. Do they not realize they will actually look a whole lot better if they made sure everything was sort of “zipped” up? I think many people aren’t even aware of an entire department in the store, or think it’s too old-fashioned (it’s not!).

    Secondly, I think that a little vanity is not a bad thing, or maybe I’m just self-conscious. I appreciate all types of taste in fashion, but no matter which way you lean, I think a twirl in front of a full length mirror is quite helpful. Is this too tight, too short, too revealing, too wrinkled, etc.?

    Lastly, and I realize I am verging on being a prude, but what’s with the lack of clothing? As a regular exerciser, I understand people commuting in their active wear, but some take it a little too far. Just the other day, I saw a gentleman on the subway in the itty bitty running shorts and a tank top (OK, shall we even talk about bare skin on the subway seat? Eeeww) and later that day, a woman wearing leggings and JUST a sports bra. In the subway station!

    OK, that’s my two cents. Thanks for a fun topic. Can we talk about “airport fashion” next? 😉

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Your comments made me smile. As for the underwear department in stores, women are well aware of them and many wear these items alone–with no shirts or blouses on top. I marvel at their nerve and lack of modesty.

    And skin on subway or other public transportation is a huge yuck and eeeewww for the shorts or bra wearers as well as, in some cases, not easy on the eyes of other passengers.

    Travel attire has been a head scratcher to me for eons from both a practical as well as visual perspective. I covered the topic in April “Service of Dress Codes,”
    when a United Airlines gate agent refused entry to two teens she deemed were improperly dressed. It was a follow up to “Service of Time and Place: Is Something Still Funny with Kids in the Picture?”, [Sept. 2016] where a NYC radio talk show host “deplored the slogan on a tee shirt that a young woman wore on the plane he, his wife and two kids were boarding recently. It promoted the F-word within a snarky comment. He was irritated that his kids had to see it. He’d wished the crew had asked the woman to either wear her shirt inside out or buy another one at an airport shop as he’d read that other flight attendants had done the same. He also mentioned women boarding commercial flights in ridiculous décolleté who have been told either to cover up or leave.”

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I haven’t made a study of it but imagine that the young woman’s friends dress as she does. I know when I have a bad look day–I usually meet someone when I do.

  11. Martha Takayama Said:

    I don’t particularly agree with Lucrezia that choices of clothing is only superficial. What about all the protests about fair working conditions and wages for wpmen. Being pressured or obliged to dress in a provocative, overtly sexy way is not something that is applied to women! It is very superficial to dismiss all that kind of bad and perhaps illegal judgment as insignificant. Besides too much information that would be better reserved for other places or moments there is something not particularly sanitary or health (solar rays)about over exposed bodies on trains, buses, airplanes etc.

    I alwys use a hand cleaner after I come out of the subway. In any case we can always look to our government for direction if not for relevance and leadership. There was the Ms. Melania Trump in the pouring rain embarking or disembarking from her official mission as a non-verbal object accompanying the President to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey even if from a safe distance. She stood holding an umbrella in her approximately 5″ pointed toe stilettos with her slender leggings that stopped well short of her ankles, apparently perfectly ready to slush through the disaster area. No fishermen thigh high boots or LLBean duck boots for her. She later wore a baseball cap while sitting at the conference table (having changed to sneakers) silently and blankly appropriating her husband’s baseball cap style. There certainly was no need to shield her hair from the rain! Somehow I felt it less than a profound offereing of empathy and support to the victims of this natural disaster.

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:


    My bet is that Melania Trump is over her head in so many ways and her husband is no help. She fears if she doesn’t look like a model 24/7 and in every photo, he’ll turn on her as he has on so many others. Frankly, neither should have been near Texas right now…all hands should be on deck to help the victims of this disaster. I heard that her hubby claimed that he’d seen the devastation first hand which he actually didn’t. To give him credit, he didn’t force himself on the worst of it, adding to the first responders’ stress. Nevertheless even in this small detail he can’t recall the truth. Oh my.

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