There are many reasons why a lot of service industry jobs require a uniform: It makes you focus on the company, not the individual serving you. This person behind the counter is identical to that person behind the counter. What's important is the product or service you receive.

There used to be a business uniform--suits. Broadcast journalists wore suits. Both male and female (but especially male) on air personalities wore suits and while some individuals were more popular than others, we liked to think it was because they were better journalists than the other people. Nobody fussed about Barbara Walter's outfits.

Now? Poor Megyn Kelly can't even dress properly without people freaking out about her clothes. This, incidentally, is what she wore to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin.

While it's not a suit, it's appropriate.

But the internet freaked out anyway. Why? Because they thought she was going to wear an off the shoulder velvet dress that she wore to a reception where she met Mr. Putin. Behold, Twitter:

This would have been an inappropriate dress for an interview, but it's an appropriate dress for an evening reception. Yes, men wear the same clothes to an interview that they wear to a reception. Call it sexism or call it tradition but it's either way, it's the current culture.

But, Kelly doesn't get a pass. Why? Because she had surprisingly bad judgment about clothing in the past. Remember this?

It about broke the internet. It's also pretty clear that Kelly knows how to dress appropriately and she knows how to not dress appropriately. The problem is, once you step outside the broadcaster "uniform" you can expect a higher level of scrutiny. She wants to call attention to herself because that seems to be the key to success in today's media. It's about personal branding rather than reporting.

This is why I think we should stop paying attention to what she wears. It distracts from the actual work she does. Let that stand it's own, regardless of whether shoulders are showing or not. But, she'd be taken more seriously if she consistently dressed appropriately on air.

Published on: Jun 7, 2017