Casual vs. Professional (yes, even in Zoom calls)

Yes, we are still in a pandemic, at least for now. For many of us, this means that we will continue to work remotely to keep ourselves and each other safe. This also means that we will also continue to stay connected with each other through Zoom. In many ways working from home has been liberating fashion-wise. Pre-COVID, getting ready for work at an office could mean spending hours the night before picking out just the right outfit, only to wake up the next day hating the way it feels on you. It is nice to wake up and start your workday without the expectation of wearing a stuffy, uncomfortable suit. I enjoy being comfortable when I work, as do most of us. But just because we don’t have to go to the office doesn’t mean we should wear sweatpants and an old tee-shirt all the time. Feeling comfy and looking put together don’t have to be dissimilar. A nice outfit can make one feel confident about themselves. And we can still dress and feel nice even if we only see each other through Zoom.

Casual Looks for Your Zoom Call

If you are lucky enough to work for a company with laidback work attire, you already know how good it feels to be more creative with your wardrobe. You can show up at the office without a suit and not have your ability to be professional coming into question. But like many of us, you have probably put in a little less effort into your wardrobe than usual pre-pandemic. So for your next Zoom meeting, try this: Put on a lovely cardigan over a clean plain shirt or a soft cotton wrap dress. Or, if you want to spice it up, you can wear a colorful blazer jacket over a T-shirt or a button-down long-sleeved shirt; for bottoms, put on a pair of comfy slacks. You can even find ones made with materials that have some give and feel like you are wearing yoga pants. Now is also the perfect time to experiment with your fashion, as being out of the office relieves us of the pressure of being in a new style of clothing that we are not yet comfortable with all day in an office.  If you have always wanted to wear brighter colors, start with a brighter-colored sweater or cardigan over a neutral top. If you wanted to try patter mixing, do it! Just make sure that the colors and patterns you use complement each other. If you are unsure of what that means, it is pretty simple, try wearing opposites. The modern color theory states that colors on opposite sides of the color wheel can create harmony.

Professional Looks for Your Next Interview

Many people are also looking for new jobs or are changing careers through the pandemic. And even though we will most likely continue to connect with new employers and companies through Zoom, we must be wearing the appropriate attire to get interviewed for the jobs we want. Adhering to the dress code expectation of the role that you are being interviewed for is a crucial step to take to show them that you are a serious candidate. Many executive and client-facing positions require a much more professional and uniform look, depending on the company. To create a more professional look, stick with neutrals, greys, and darker colors. You may also want to invest in a business suit and tie. Blouses and button-ups over suit pants and/or skirts can help keep the look modest and clan. And dress shoes and heels are essential too. Now that we are connecting over Zoom, you can have a little leeway with your professional look. You can just dawn the suit jacket and blouse over a pair of sweats. You do not have to wear a full suit and tie. Just make sure you don’t get caught with your pants off!

Maria is a writer at Enki Tech, a Downtown Santa Monica technology company that specializes in the development of high-quality, user friendly software, web platforms and mobile apps.