Are you still working from home? With new hot spots of COVID-19 cropping up around the country, it seems as if the WFH culture is here to stay… at least for a while. And, if you are anything like me, that includes Zoom calls… lots of Zoom calls. In the early days of the pandemic, working in sweats was considered something of a badge of honor. But, as the situation drags on, I’ve noticed that my coworkers have stepped it up and are getting back to a much more professional look that reflects our “new normal.” Although suits have been banished to the back of the closet for the foreseeable future, there are some easy ways to ensure stylish and professional Zoom calls. I canvased some of the country’s top stylists for tips and advice and here is what they shared with me.
Think Comfy, not Sloppy for Zoom Calls
“You don’t have to wear a blazer to feel professional, but a fitted top or blouse made of stretch fabric can make all the difference,” says Tracy Gold, a personal stylist, QVC fashion presenter and YouTube influencer for women over 40. “V-neckline tops and sweaters are universally flattering and they don’t have to be so low that you flash cleavage. If you are a busty woman and your V-neckline shows more than you want to reveal, simply wear a cami underneath it. This will help to make your bust appear smaller and give you the coverage you need.”
Fashion designer Dagmar Spichale says, “the button down creates a flattering, elongated neckline that conveniently doubles to show off pretty jewelry!”
As fall approaches, don’t automatically reach for a sweatshirt. “The all-time classic for casual chic is a turtleneck sweater. For an added touch of fall, choose typical fall colors like mustard yellow, chocolate brown or olive,” suggests Nina Dias of Cutecapsule.com. “Another way to be comfortable when working from home, yet look polished, is a sweater blazer. Choose a lightweight knit in a camel color and you are good to go. You can layer it, for example, over a black satin camisole.”
Statement Accessories and Jewelry
“An interesting accessory can make you stand out in a crowded Zoom meeting. Accessories don’t just have to be jewelry, either,” explains Gold. “Try a statement pair of glasses, a fun hair accessory or a scarf in a complementary color.”
According to Isabelle Grace founder Claudia Montez, choose jewelry pieces “that aren’t overpowering or distracting given that generally you are being seen close up, but convey that you are put together and polished, whether at the regular office or at the home office. In the case of necklaces, shorter is better, as longer chains don’t show well on Zoom. Layering is a great way to maximize accessorizing. And, while bracelets and rings are always fun, your hands typically do not show on a Zoom call, so those are less important.”
One of our top picks for standout jewelry is the pearl necklace pictured from Isabelle Grace. (Retail just $56) This company has a large celebrity following, yet their beautiful, distinctive pieces are incredibly affordable. All designs are individually and sustainably crafted by artisans who love making that special piece for that special someone.
Hair for the Small Screen
Hair for Zoom calls can be tricky. In general, simple, classic styles work best. And, even if you generally pull your hair back in a ponytail or bun, a looser style in more approachable on screen.
Of course, keeping hair gorgeous while at home can be challenging. But, even if you haven’t had a haircut since March, using the proper products will help immensely. For example, MASAMI is clean, premium hair care with unique Japanese ocean botanicals for massive hydration without harmful sulfates, parabens or phthalates. Your hair will look like you just came from the salon.
Other Tips for Stylish Zoom Meetings
Solid colors or muted patterns that contrast with your background make you stand out.
Skip the virtual Zoom backgrounds. Although they may hide a messy house, the “disappearing hair and/or body parts” and constant motion can be distracting.
Don’t forget to style your background, too. Simple backgrounds work well, but avoid a stark, bare wall, if possible. If you are using bookcases, make sure they are simple, clean and attractive, without anything to distract from your message.
Video quality can be dramatically improved with proper lighting. An inexpensive ring light will brighten your face and improve the quality of your image.
Backlighting, however, can wash you out. So, position an extra lamp, lighting, or natural lighting in front of you.
Pay attention to any sounds that could be distracting. You may need to turn off a fan or close a window to keep your environment quiet.
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PHOTOS: Stylish and Professional Zoom Calls images used with permission by Isabelle Grace and Unsplash.
Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com and is your guide to a life filled with style. Inside, you’ll find everything from must-have fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest products for parties, weddings, and events of all kinds. In addition to editing Susan Said… WHAT?!, Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait!