As the world slowly and cautiously reopens amidst the novel Coronavirus pandemic, many are still working from home, and some may work from home permanently. The new normal means countless digital Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime meetings in front of computer and phone screens with colleagues, clientele, students, services, and whoever else.
During these digital meetings, you’re visible from the waist up, which might mean taking extra care with dressing and grooming that part of your outfit. That’s the topic I’m throwing around today, and I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences too.
I’m seldom in Zoom meetings, but our forum members, my clients, friends, and hubs Greg are in digital meetings all day. I’ve picked up some of their tips along the way.
1. Tops and Dresses
Comfort is key so tops and dresses should not be too tight, constricting, or stiff. Casual knits work as well as dressier wovens as long as their appearance is fairly polished. Tops and dresses should look good worn on their own, because toppers like jackets are seldom worn for indoor digital meetings. Cardigans work well over sleeveless tops, but might get hot in Summer. Clients who are uncomfortable baring their arms have added more sleeved tops and dresses to their wardrobes.
Necklines that aren’t too deep or revealing work best, and look professional. Some add a camisole for polish and insulation. Some like to wear patterns and non-neutrals because they look more interesting on camera. Others stick to neutrals and solids because patterns are risky on camera. Some wear patterns and dark neutrals because they are forgiving of perspiration marks.
Hubs Greg sticks to wearing his happy black, blue and grey graphic tees, casual shirts, sweaters, and hoodies. He also wears company logo tees which keep things simple, festive, and uniform. He dresses things up with a nice button-down shirt when he’s in a client or board meeting.
Cardigans are a casual and comfortable option, and come in handy because you can peel them off as the temperature warms up. Some clients add blazers and jackets to more formal meetings, but that’s rare. Those doing very casual meetings wear hoodies, sweatshirts and athleisure toppers because they are comfortable and easy to launder.
Interestingly, some accessories are playing a bigger role in digital meetings than I would have I thought. Necklaces, specs, and earrings take centre stage because they add interest to the top part of the outfit. Some are wearing headscarves to tame out of control hair, and looking super cute! Others are wearing caps and beanies to hide bad hair days. Some are wearing fun scarves and shawls over basic tees for visual interest. And some are matching their fun shawls to patterned coffee mugs to make a creative statement.
4. Hair and Make-Up
With hair salons only recently re-opening, most people have simply been coping the best that they can with their hair. Tying it back to keep it out the way or neat has been popular for long hair. Adding barrettes or hairbands, throwing in a bit of wave with a curling iron, or straightening frizzy bits with a flat iron has worked well too. Make-up has been business as usual for some, and toned down for others.
Over to you. How have you adapted or changed the way you dress and groom for work-at-home Zoom meetings and gatherings?