I started out on television when I was just a kid, shooting commercials and TV shows. Years later, I entered the world of TV hosting and reporting which I discovered called for clothes with crisp looks and clean lines. There was no budget for a stylist and I was never offered a wardrobe allowance, so I had to be creative and thrifty. 

Now, nearly 15 years after my first TV news job, I’ve learned a thing or two about what styles flatter on the screen and how to make every piece count! Here are 5 items you should consider adding to your closet if you’ll regularly be on-camera.

1. Black Dress Pants
Invest in a flattering high-quality pair of black pants. It doesn’t have to cost you much. My go-to pants weren’t that expensive and they fit me like a glove. My pants were from New York and Company and I paired them with a variety of bold tops and jackets. When anchoring, I really focused on my upper half more as I would be sitting at the desk most of the time.

My favorites are red, blue and purple!
My favorites are red, blue and purple!

2. Bold Color Dresses
When you’re shooting in a studio beware of the green or blue screen. Make sure you don’t wear a green or blue colored outfit. If you do, you might just look like a floating head. If you’re at the anchor desk or in the field, go nuts with color! Just stay away from patterns and distracting jewelry. If you’d like to show off your arms, sleeveless is acceptable. If you’re not, then stick with a three-quarter length sleeve. If you happen to like showing off your legs a bit more than dress length, a few inches above the knee is classy but still sexy. If you’re pear-shaped like me, an A-line dress always flatters. Keep collar lines simple.

3. Color Block Dresses
These styles look great on almost every woman! I own a few and my favorites are by Calvin Klein. These create the illusion of a slimmer shape and appear to trim your waist and hips. 

4. Crisp Suit
You don’t see many women wearing crisp suits on TV anymore, but there’s something powerful about a woman in a suit. Pant and skirt suits look incredible with a pair of fabulous heels and a statement blouse underneath. I used to wear suits to fit the theme of where I was shooting content. If it was a more professional event I’d come ready with a power suit. Suit colors vary but I always stuck with a neutral or basic black and dressed it up with an accent top or heels with a pop of color.

5. Jewel Tone Tops
This is a staple for anyone who works on-camera. These pieces really pop and keep the attention on your face. If your body type calls for a fitted top than go for a sleeveless blouse or slim longer sleeve. If you care to cover your arms, a long sleeve or three-quarter length is always a safe and classic bet. 

Also, don’t forget this TV tip: Try and stay away from patterns, overly textured styles, and baggy fits. Always choose figure-flattering tops and dresses.

Following these simple suggestions will keep the focus on you and not your clothing!