Dear Flack: The Little Flack Dress

Bookmark and Share

Dear Flack,

Why do publicists always wear black clothing?

Sincerely,

PR Fashion Police

Dear PR Fashion Police,

A couple of years ago at a popular late night talk show, I was sitting in a green room waiting for a client. A member from production walked in and asked me who I was. I stated that I was a publicist and here with my client. The man stared at me, and then exclaimed “But you aren’t wearing black, you can’t be a publicist!”

I looked down at my purple, summery dress (it was 90 degrees that day) and said “I’m not wearing black but I’m definitely in PR.” He gave me another once over and replied “I like that you are wearing something different. Publicists need to wear less black clothing,” and went off on his merry way.

In answer to your question Fashion Police, I’m going to take a wild guess you are referring predominately to the dressing habits of female publicists, so I will try and stick with women’s attire. However, by no means am I giving any free passes to the guys out there.

I completely understand where your question stems from; it’s a common stereotype amongst the PR world. At any trade show, work event, conference, etc. it’s pretty easy to pick out the publicists out of a crowd. Whether they are sporting black suits, black skirts, black blouses – overwhelmingly publicists opt for black as the popular color choice for business clothing.

I will just say that I’m not really a fashion expert, but what it all boils down to is this: everyone looks great in black! It’s one of the most universally flattering colors.

In addition to making you look awesome, some employees are required to abide by their company’s dress policies. So that means in some cases, we don’t got no choice!

I will say that I am biased because more than 90% of my wardrobe is black, but every now and again you will see me put on that purple, summery dress, and evade the “flacks wear black” stereotype.

Readers, what’s your take? Any fashion tips for those of us out there? Or, do you also suffer from the “flacks wear black” syndrome?

Share on Tumblr

Bookmark and Share
  • heatherdueitt

    I love this Marie. Another reason I tend to wear black is to stay away from making a fashion statement or drawing more attention to myself while at an event. Majority of my wardrobe consists of bright colored dresses but I do have my go-to LBD for work events. My reco, if you are going to stray from black, keep the dress/ outfit somewhat conservative.

  • http://twitter.com/CTMichaels CTMichaels

    I wear all black once a week – – Wednesday – – I hate Wednesday. I understand some people choose to wear black because it keeps them out of the spot light….However, me, I wear an array of clothing because I secretly hope that someone will spot me on the street and be like “You look good, I need a short model for the day…”

  • http://twitter.com/tjdietderich TJ Dietderich

    As I look down at my black dress and think about the new black dress that I'm saving in my closet, along with the 4 black skirts, 5 black blouses, and 2 black slacks (not to mention the 3 pairs of black leggings and stockings), I can only say: How dare you stereotype me!

    So, I guess most flacks are just grown up goths? Yes/no?

  • laurenfernandez

    Like theatre tech people, PR pros wear black to blend in. We are meant to be in the background. :-)

  • laneyc

    I like when I get the chance to branch beyond my black suit. I throw a bright color underneath the jacket and so forth. You wont ever see me in all black though. I just don't feel as creative then. And @CTMichaels, being a short model is a dream for me too!

  • http://twitter.com/missmotorcade sherri haymond

    I agree that it helps you blend in (when necessary), but also, it's super versatile and can be dressed up or down in a split second.

    Once October-ish rolls around, I wear black pretty much every day. And if it's not black, it's grey, navy or ivory or a combo or the four (my core neutrals). Works perfectly for a weekday wardrobe b/c if pieced together correctly, it makes getting dressed super easy and you'll always look cute. Just add a pair of patent leather peep-toe pumps, and you're all set.

  • http://www.sheemasiddiqi.com Sheema Siddiqi

    It doesn't help that I am wearing black as I write this, but I think that “professional” clothing has changed in the last few years. Navy and gray are now acceptable as well, as you can use brighter colors like red and yellow to balance out the drabness. If you MUST wear black, wear some bright accessories!

  • http://www.sheemasiddiqi.com Sheema Siddiqi

    It doesn't help that I am wearing black as I write this, but I think that “professional” clothing has changed in the last few years. Navy and gray are now acceptable as well, as you can use brighter colors like red and yellow to balance out the drabness. If you MUST wear black, wear some bright accessories!