The first half of this post was published a couple of years ago. Now that the majority of you are working from home (if you’re lucky enough to still be working) in the time of COVID-19 I thought I’d delete my old post and rewrite it to include what to wear when you’re on a video conferencing call. Because, at some point during self-isolation, you will need to conduct a meeting with your boss, coworkers, clients, etc. on camera, if you haven’t 20 times already! Read on to learn all of my tips!
Part 1: There are many benefits to working from home, some of them being a flexible schedule, not having to fight traffic during rush hour, and being able to wear whatever you want to wear. When you don’t have to go to an office every day, you can stay in your pajamas or put on some sweat pants and an old tee and work from your couch. You don’t even need to shower or do your hair or makeup. Heck you don’t even have to wear PANTS or a BRA if you don’t feel like it! But just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. A dress code might seem silly when you work from home but research shows that your appearance plays a huge role in your productivity. What you wear impacts your day and dressing professionally during office hours can help create a separation between your working hours and your personal life/activities. Getting dressed in the morning gets you in the work mindset and helps you get ready for your day, setting the stage for what’s to come in the next 8 or so hours. Now I’m not saying you should put on a shift dress and high heels Monday to Friday when your alarm clock goes off. No, I want you to be comfortable. But “comfortable” doesn’t have to mean lululemon sweatpants and a hoodie. I want you to put on an outfit in the morning that you’d be confident wearing while going to the grocery store (minus the face mask and gloves) knowing you will be running into your ex. Get my drift?? Below are my top 5 mix-and-match pieces that will make you feel put-together, confident, stylish and ready to work!
- A relaxed, black blazer. Easy to slip on for a video conference call, especially if you’re wearing jeans and a t-shirt. You will want to look polished up top. (More on that later!)
- A basic white tee, so classic and perfect for layering. A v-neck is most flattering.
- A dressy jogger pant that has a pull-on waist band with no fly, offering comfort.
- A basic blouse in a flattering color. This can be worn underneath a blazer or on its own.
- A nice pair of jeans. (Not your “weekend jeans.”)
With just these 5 pieces, you can create 8 outfit combinations!
photo via WeLiveSecurity
Part 2: Before I talk about what you should wear on a video conference call, let’s talk about what NOT to wear! Dots, busy patterns, plaids, checks, neon colors and stripes are all no-no’s. They will be too distracting to the camera. Stripes especially because they can create a weird optical effect that will look blurry and distorted. Dress how you would for an in-person meeting, and in flattering colors. Also, ask yourself, “What is the nature of the call?” Who are you talking to? Are you meeting with a client? If so, dress how they normally dress. If you’re meeting with your boss or your coworkers, adhere to your company’s dress code, but note your company’s dress code might be a bit more relaxed these days if you usually work in an office but are now working from home due to the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean anything goes. You want to look professional, not sloppy. Business Casual is a safe default dress code. And as for the question I get asked a LOT: “What if they only see me from the waist up? If I look polished up top, does this mean I can wear pajama pants on the bottom?” The answer is yes, BUT I guarantee you will feel better putting on some jeans, or dressier pants with a bit of stretch in them. Make an effort to look and feel your best on camera. This includes showering, brushing your hair (and teeth!) and putting on some light makeup. Set yourself up to stand out virtually, if there’s one thing we can control in this world of uncertainty it’s how we show up – literally and figuratively.