Mailbag Monday: Should I Change My Shirt?“Dear Naomi,

As an older and autistic individual who is new to TikTok, I am unsure about certain expectations for content creators on the platform. I have been experimenting with creating videos, and they are starting to gain traction. However, I am concerned about the idea that presenters should always change their outfits and accessories between videos.

I prefer to record in batches and feel that the task switching of changing my outfit would negatively impact my productivity. My question is, do I have to change my shirt and other aspects of my appearance, such as accessories, hair, or makeup, between videos to be successful on TikTok? Is it merely a custom, or is it more of a social requirement?

Thank you for your help, and please accept my apologies for not including a humorous signoff.”

First off, congratulations on your burgeoning success on TikTok. And thank you for asking a great question. This comes up more than you’d think.

Back in the day, when content creation was largely an individual pursuit, creators went to great lengths to keep up certain appearances. One of them was the pretence of, “Oh, gee! I just happened to turn the video recorder on this morning after my five-mile run and kale smoothie! LOOK HOW CHUMMY AND SPONTANEOUS I AM!”

Those days are still alive and well for certain creators, but those creators tend to skew very young. Creation, in certain circles, is still very much about popularity, personal branding, and coolness.

In other circles, though, all pretence of spontaneity has been abandoned. Production values are up across the board, and audience members know that content marketing is part of a business strategy, not hip exhibitionism.

So to answer your question directly, no, you don’t have to change your outfit. You go ahead and wear what you damn well please.

If I may offer an additional suggestion, however, I would advise you consider giving yourself a TikTok uniform.

Some outfits work better or worse with your lighting, and also with your body and your face. Some outfits are distracting, and even loud – as in, you can hear them. Deciding what to wear, and if it works on you, and if the print is disorienting on camera, and the multitude of other trivial decisions is exhausting, and that time could be much better spent creating great content for your growing audience. Secondarily, if you look nearly identical in every video, you will be VERY recognisable, which is a valuable asset in the attention economy.

If I were you, I would pick something simple and wear it in every video, ideally a solid colour that works with your skin tone. (Hang it in your office if you want to keep it immediately to hand.) Then you never have to think about this again, and you can put your mind to far more important things.

Thanks for writing in, and again – well done. Many people reading this see you as unbelievably brave, and every time you put out a video, you tell others they can do the same. You may not know it, but you are a role model, and the world needs more people like you.

Read more Mailbag Mondays here!

Unlock the IttyBiz Freebie Vault – 15 premium resources you can use to instantly get your ittybiz growing!

Unlock the IttyBiz Freebie Vault!