November 24, 2009

Clothing distractions and malfunctions

Download audio here.

Watching Wanda Sykes the other night on her TV show, I noticed her doing something I've done many times when sitting in front of an audience: Trying to cover the tummy bulge.

She sits down to talk to Keith and first tries to cover up by pulling her jacket over her abdomen. Then, she appears to straighten her posture and suck it in. Last, she folds her arms over her stomach, and moves on with the scene. Watch the clip below.

(FYI: the clip stops when it's supposed to, but the sound continues after a few seconds. To stop it, click back to the video and click the pause button.)

Here's a tip: If you're not comfortable in what you're wearing, it shows.

When you're planning what to wear for a speaking engagement, think about what you'll be doing. Will you be standing, sitting, jumping, running, bending? Will your shoes hurt your feet, will your shirt ride up, will your bra straps droop, will your clingy shirt reveal your tummy bulge when you sit down? And will you be distracted by this?

I have some outfits that look great on me when I'm standing, but not so great when I'm sitting. I know that now and take it into account when I'm preparing myself for a gig. Also, it's a good idea to have a couple of safety pins in your "kit" for emergencies. You never know when you'll pop a button or a hem will fall.

Don't overlook these seemingly minor details; you may find yourself spending a very uncomfortable hour in front of your audience, unable to concentrate on your presentation because your underwear is giving you a wedgie. Nobody wants that.

What clothing malfunctions have you experienced?

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