COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work, and of course, remote working has also affected fashion.
With Zoom meetings being the norm, it comes as little surprise that people dress from the waist up these days, practically living in their sweatpants and pajamas. But even though casual seems to be trending during this work-from-home period it is still important not to look sloppy in order to show that you still care. That said, what you wear also depends on your industry with lawyers and bankers still dressing in a more conservative fashion than other professions, even when remote working.
There are some rules, however, which we can all benefit from. Here are some fashion tips to help you look your best even when remote working.
The safe bet is to stick to a solid color palette and mix it up. In a survey on Zoom meetings by the Harvard Business Review, 56 per cent of respondents preferred neutral colors, stating that white, beige and gray made someone appear more "authentic", however 30 per cent preferred bright colors and 14 per cent opted for patterns.
Of course, the brightness of colors you choose also depends on your lighting. On television, bright colors and prints are dizzying, however if you're in a dimly lit home office, a bright color may brighten up your face, and this is particularly true when your zoom meetings are held in front of a white wall (in which case you should avoid wearing white).
Cameras may be sensitive to shiny, satiny fabrics, especially when you are sitting in a sunny well-lit room. Another thing to watch out for is the stretchy fabric with fitted tops possibly pulling or having buttons gape when you sit. A good idea is to opt for crepe or polyester which will look good on the camera but also be resistant to wrinkles.
Avoid turtleneck skivvies, buttoned-up collared shirts and anything that hides your neck and makes you look like a floating head on a screen. Also forego slipping and plunging necklines which showcase bra straps. A rule of thumb is to avoid having your cleavage drop to below the camera line.
Sleeves are a good idea as they reduce the focus on your body, bringing people's eyes to your face.
Blazers and traditional shirts may look like you are trying too hard in internal meetings. Polo shirts and cardigans are soft enough to reflect the new reality but are also collared and seem professional. Even t-shirts can work under cardigans as well as they aren't torn to shreds, carry prints of your favorite music band or are stained.
Nobody will see the lower part of your body but it is still important to wear real pants in case you accidentally get up. Wearing a real pair of pants will also give your confidence a boost, though they don't need to be fitted or too fancy.
Now is the time to wear those large hooped earrings, oversized gold and silver bobby pins or velvet scrunchies. Hats are also great to hide the just-woken-up bedroom hair.