Forget stripes and florals - TV presenters will need to pull out linen and cotton in vivid colours if they want to get our attention this year.

One of New Zealand's leading stylists and Viva fashion and creative director, Dan Ahwa, says lightweight fabric is on-trend for the start of 2020 paired with cool sandals for men and women.

Relaxed short or skirt suits were also a way to look smart and keep cool.

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But some of our most popular TV presenters are still rocking the same clothing items from last year as the state broadcaster tries to keep costs down.


TVNZ spent $168,940 on its wardrobe this year, slightly up on the $167,658 spent in 2018, according to figures provided under the Official Information Act.

Add to this $48,170 on hair and makeup and the cost of making reporters, guests and presenters - including Hilary Barry, Jeremy Wells, John Campbell and Hayley Holt - looking dapper adds up.

TVNZ head of corporate affairs Brent McAnulty said an in-house stylist and wardrobe manager was tasked with making sure its presenters looked professional and contemporary.

John Campbell and Hayley Holt host TVNZ's Breakfast. Photo / Norrie Montgomery. NZH 24Nov19 -
John Campbell and Hayley Holt host TVNZ's Breakfast. Photo / Norrie Montgomery. NZH 24Nov19 -

But because the studio environment didn't change as the seasons did, the same clothing items could be worn throughout the year.

Some presenters who wore the same size shared clothes and men and women presenters wore the same items multiple times. To keep costs down, TVNZ also used samples when it could.

Clothing no longer needed was sold to TVNZ staff and the profits were spent on updating the wardrobes.

A format change for shows such as Seven Sharp where the hosts stepped out from behind the desks and onto couches increased the wardrobe spend by $40,000 between 2017 and 2018.

"Presenters are now shown more in full shots, requiring more expenditure on shows and trousers/skirts, which were not required before," McAnulty said.


The slight rise in costs between 2018 and 2019 is because of changes in clothing prices, programmes and people.

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The wardrobe spend covers all presenters and relievers at TVNZ. Reporters get an allowance to buy their own clothing because they have to dress in a certain way and were open to public scrutiny.

Not all viewers agree with the clothing choices and last year a Seven Sharp viewer called Barbara took issue with a v-neck top Barry was wearing that showed her cleavage.

Barry, who hosts the 7pm show with Wells, responded to her on air, apologising if she found her boobs offensive. "They're just boobs and half the population have them. Barbara has them."

But fashion expert Ahwa thought most presenters dressed well.

"They definitely feel a lot more individual and freer than, say, American presenters who seem to all look the same. It's important for our presenters to look professional and approachable and not like cookie-cutter talking-heads."

Although people didn't necessarily look at presenters for fashion inspiration, he said the presenters did a good job of supporting New Zealand designers by wearing recognisable, bespoke prints.