Would anyone notice if you wore the same thing to work for a week? A month? How about an entire year?
Take that question a step further. Would anyone notice it if your job was appearing on television every day? That’s exactly what Central Oregon Daily’s Chief Meteorologist Dorrell Wenninger set to find out.
“For the last year, I have engaged in a social experiment in where I wore this same exact suit every day on air, just to see if anybody’s going to notice,” Dorrell said. ” I was prompted by one of our colleagues, actually, Emily Kirk, when she was on the evening sitting at the desk and doing the news with me. She challened me to do this.”
“I’m sure I was sitting here at the desk and it was probably during commercial break, and I said something along the lines of, ‘Yeah, you know, we’ll see if I get any comments about this,'” Emily said. “But, you know, Dorrell you could wear that navy blue jacket for the next year and I bet you will receive zero comments about it.”
A yearlong experiment was off and running. Dorrell wore the exact same suit and a white shirt every day for a year. The only changes were his tie and pocket square.
“It was just a conversation, right? I didn’t really think he was going to do it,” Emily said.
The inspiration came from an Australian newscaster that did the same thing in 2014.
As the days, weeks and months ticked by, the emails, comments and calls about Dorell’s fashion statement never came.
“I kept thinking to myself, ‘Someone’s going to notice.’ But I went all the way through 11 months without nobody noticing,” Dorrell said.
Would the same have been true if it was Emily? Food for thought.
“I think that what would happen if I were to wear this same dress day after day — I think what would happen is on day one, right, just a regular new dress,” Emily said. “Day two, people will go, ‘Is my TV messed up? Am I watching the same newscast as yesterday?’ And by day three, it would be, ‘You’ve worn that dress three days in a row.'”
For 10 months Dorrell didn’t hear a thing, but in month 11 someone finally stepped forward. And it was proof that Dorrell was keeping this a secret from everyone — even his own colleagues.
The person who realized what was happening was Central Oregon Daily News studio floor director Eddie Deboy.
“I finally asked him, ‘Hey, what’s up with your guys’ suits? Do you wear the same one, or do you have multiple of the same one to make it look like it’s the same one?'” said Eddie.
He said he noticed it months before, but kept quiet.
“I didn’t say anything and I didn’t want to say anything because I thought it would’ve been very impolite saying, ‘Hey, why are you wearing the same thing?’ or, ‘Hey, why don’t you have more suits?’ All of it just was very negative,” said Eddie. “‘Does he have body odor he needs to care of? Is it not getting washed? Is he OK?'”
“And that was it. 11 months after I started this social experiment. One person questioned me on why I was wearing the same suit every day,” Dorrell said.
So, here’s the question again. Would anyone notice if you wore the same thing to work every day for an entire year? Your answer just might tell us more about our society and double standards than we think.
“I think that this kind of serves as a good point to where there’s a lot more behind the appearance when it comes to TV news,” said Emily. “It really is the story. It really is the weather forecast that you’re giving more so than what your appearance is. So, that makes me think that viewers are really tuning in to what he’s saying and not as much looking at what he’s wearing and I hope the same happens here at the desk.”