Dressing for the occasion

It seems like a simple rule to follow as a reporter. Dress like the people you’re covering.

You can blend in better and fit in with your sources and earn their trust if you dress at least kinda-sorta like them.

That means suits for the State House, jeans for the farm. That’s why I keep all kinds of clothes in my car.

I had to laugh, though, when I found myself in the bathroom at work, changing from one world of sources to another world on Monday afternoon.

I had started my day at a press conference with the governor and other bigwigs announcing an affordable housing program.

It was outside in a residential neighborhood (and not far from the ‘hood), so I figured I didn’t have to go the whole suit route. I wore a dress skirt, knit top, little cardigan and dress shoes with a little wedge.

I didn’t look out of place, people took me seriously. It worked.

Several hours later, I ended my day at a meeting on proposed fishing, crabbing and oystering regulations. A skirt ensemble would most certainly not work there. I’d stick out like a sore thumb and the watermen and fishermen probably would look at me with suspicion.

So there I was, changing into grayish-khaki casual pants, Skechers sneakers, a polo shirt with my newspaper’s name on it and a fleece jacket.

I laughed at myself because I often say that from one day to the next, I can go from the State House to a crabbing boat — and that’s not one iota of an exaggeration. But it’s rare that I have such different assignments all in one day. It’s all part of the fun of being a reporter.

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