Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wardrobe lessons from a woman who only packed underwear for TED

Here's a TED talk that puts wardrobe front and center: Jessi Arrington talks about wearing nothing new. She showed up at the conference with underwear for the week and a suitcase, and proceeded to buy outfits at secondhand stores to illustrate the points she wanted to make. They all had to fit her, and cost less than $20.


This talk is really about living a life with less impact on the environment and about giving back--which she does twice, since she donates the clothes back at the end of the conference. But it's also a great lesson in using wardrobe as something more than what you're wearing when you speak. In this talk, her wardrobe demonstrates her point, provides the visuals for her slides, and prompts the narration (not unlike a fashion show commentary, as she walks you through the week's outfits). It's a prop, but one that moves with her. And yes, she's wearing one of the $20 outfits here. 


By making her wardrobe do double duty, Arrington underscores her points in a highly memorable way. You might do the same with a surprising wardrobe accessory, a special uniform or piece of task-oriented clothing, or literally something up your sleeve. Watch this engaging TED talk and let us know if it inspires new ideas about your speaking wardrobe.



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