October 26, 2018 • #GirlBoss
Real Women, Real Clothes: Dallas NBC News Anchor Meredith Land
The “Real Women, Real Clothes” series is bringing you to the Lone Star State—specifically, Dallas.
Meredith Land’s Twitter bio reads, “Mom by day. TV anchor by night,” and she describes herself as someone who was “born shy,” but “now a career talker.”
So it goes without saying the Clemson University graduate works hard and isn’t afraid to push herself way past her comfort zone. Those traits led her west to Texas, where she’s currently the 5, 6, and 10 pm anchor on KXAS/NBC5.
Hear more from Meredith below, and shop both of her Draper James dresses here.
Tell us about yourself and your career.
I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, the middle child of three girls. My oldest sister did all of the talking for us. My family thinks it’s ironic that today I talk for a living; I guess I’m making up for lost time.
My first big assignment was covering a Category 4 hurricane in coastal South Carolina. Everyone was evacuating, and a small crew of us stayed behind to cover it all. I was a terrified 22 year old in rain gear with no experience, doing traffic evacuation live shots in wall-to-wall coverage.
The hurricane missed Charleston, but it launched my career. The NBC station offered me the morning show not long after that, and I’ve been in TV news ever since.
What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
My first TV market was also my hometown. I wanted to move to a big city and pursue my dream so badly (because, you know, “the grass is always greener”). I would stay late and craft résumé tapes to send to my mentor, who was an anchor in San Francisco at the time.
I distinctly remember him saying one day on the phone, “Enjoy the journey, Meredith. You’ll get to where you’re going eventually. You want to look back and have good memories along the way.” I’ve applied that not only to my career, but to motherhood. Enjoy the journey.
What’s the favorite part of your work day?
My favorite part of the job is listening. I get to meet extraordinary people every day—people who have experienced immense tragedy or triumph, some are famous athletes or politicians. I get to tell their stories.
I’ve love preparing on the frontend of an interview, but in the moment, I love to just listen. It’s a front row seat into some pretty phenomenal lives.
What do you do to give back to your community?
I am very interested in women’s health issues, particularly gender specific research. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to medicine. As women, particularly Southern women, we are the backbones of our families, many of us with careers and demands in the home and we neglect our own health.
Steel Magnolias don’t have time, right? To that end, I am on the National Advisory Board for the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health. Our mission is not only research but spreading awareness. We have come a long way, but have so far to go in making sure women are represented in this sector.
How would you describe your everyday style?
I aim for simple and classic. I don’t attempt a trend if it isn’t for me. Because I am on air every day, I have a fairly full closet, but I prefer to find something I love that looks good and feels good, and then I wear the heck out of it.
My aunt always says, “And Lord knows, you wear a shoe.” Translation: I keep shoes for years.
What drew you to these particular Draper James pieces?
On weekdays, I start out in one outfit for lunch or running around with the children and then change into a camera-appropriate look for evening. When I can find an outfit that takes me through the whole day, I snag it. The Fleurette Sleeve Sweater Dress does just that. It carries me from salad to set.
The Honeycomb Floral Ponte Dress is really flattering on camera. Anything with some texture and a built-in band that gives me a waist is a keeper.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
A nap. I am on the late news each night and am up early with my children (9 and 5 years old). My mom says I burn the candle at both ends, and she is right. Because of that, I can sleep anywhere, anytime.
I would rather have a nap than lipstick.
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to dressing for your vocation?
Bright colors, solids, and clothes with minimal, “bells and whistles” look the best on TV. That can be pretty boring day to day. Lord knows I love a good bow on a blouse. I struggle to make each day look unique without a total fashion fail or an email from our wardrobe consultant.
So my motto is, “When in doubt, don’t.” Trust me, I hear about it from viewers when something looks horrendous!
What’s your favorite thing about living in the South?
Appreciation for manners. Traditions are generational and give Southerners stories and connection.
Do you have a favorite “Southernism”?
I grew up worshipping my grandmother, Adelaide (from Yemassee, South Carolina), who has a Southernism for just about everything! So, so many. “Lord willing, the creek don’t rise” and “Heavens to Betsy” are my favorites.
Of course, I usually work in, “slower than molasses” daily with my daughter!
Photos by Catherine Clay Photography