The New York Times today has an article about how TED presenters decided on what they would wear. Apparently, TED has guidelines for dress (although they’re mostly ignored). An excerpt:
“Do not wear stripes, complicated patterns, bright colors that could disrupt lights or dangling jewelry,” the guidelines suggest. “Try to wear a color that contrasts with gray so that you do not blend into the background when being filmed. At the same time do not wear anything too bright.”
Sometimes the geographic location of these talks, for TED spinoffs like TEDx, can dictate what may be worn.
For a dual TEDMed conference held in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, “casual dress is always encouraged.” In Manhattan, “dress code is comfortable – jeans, sweaters, informal is fine.” In Monterey, Calif., “dress code, as ever, is casual.”
The organizers of TEDx Macatawa, which was held in Holland, Mich., were (wisely) aware that casual ease might be taken too far: “We are interested in having you be as comfortable as possible. However, you must wear clothes.”