Why All These Meteorologists Are Wearing The Same $23 Dress

Photo: Via Imgur.
You probably haven’t given much thought to what your local weatherwoman is donning as she enlightens you as to whether an umbrella is indeed necessary today, and when that cold front will be pushing strong, gusty winds in your direction. But there’s a lengthy laundry list of on-air dressing rules for female meteorologists, and a popular Reddit thread over the weekend brings light to the official and unofficial dress codes women face in this particular field.

Using the power of social media, a group of female meteorologists came up with a solution to the problem. They all bought the same $23 dress on Amazon, after seeing it in a Facebook group used by women in the profession. A member of the group decided to create a collage of everyone's photos in the sheath, which Jennifer Myers, a meteorologist for Dallas’ FOX 4, posted to Reddit on Saturday, and it's been gaining popularity ever since.

“Some of us have very strict dress codes...so it's pretty hard to have a closet stocked with solid colors and jewel tones that are affordable and flattering,” Myers wrote on Reddit. She outlined the sartorial specifics for this particular gig, which rules out “distracting prints,” the color green, lace, short hemlines, and cleavage (the latter “angers viewers over 40 something fierce,” Myers writes). We’ve reached out to Myers for further details and will update when we hear back.

“Someone stumbled onto 'the dress' and a few of us ordered it and shared pics of it on air in our group," Shelby Hays, a meteorologist for Oklahoma City's KOCO told Tech Insider. "Everyone saw how great it looked. At $23 we could buy a handful of these dresses for what we normally pay for just one." The dress itself has become a little too popular — it’s apparently sold out in most colors and sizes until after Christmas, Hays told the publication.

It’s usually assumed that TV personalities have an endless arsenal of stylists and free wardrobes, but that’s definitely not the case for your local weatherwoman, Myers explained in response to a Reddit poster’s assumption that meteorologists were attired by their TV stations. “Ha ha ha ha... no. We also do our own makeup (generally) and do our own hair,” Myers writes. “I have enough dresses to go five weeks without repeating...but the first two years of my job (another station) I only had a week and a half's worth because I could barely afford to eat, let alone buy more clothes.” Despite the general aura of glamour that an on-air TV gig connotes, the pay isn’t necessarily all that much: “Most on-air meteorologists get paid less than school teachers... so yeah. We try to save money just like everyone else,” Myers writes.

One Reddit user even suggested that this is a very niche population the fashion industry should address, based on the popularity of a humble $23 frock from Amazon: "I feel like whoever designed that dress just found a completely untapped market and is going to be huge with female weather people. Pump out about 20 designs real quick, then say two a month per year, you'd have a rather large business going in no time."

The coast-to-coast popularity of a single, cheap, no-name dress offers a fascinating peek into how these women work — and use their broader community to make things easier for themselves. Granted, being a meteorologist is a very specific job, but it underscores the gendered style expectations women (still) face in the workforce today.
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