Zoom meeting

How to Dress When Working Online

Many of us are now working from home due to COVID-19 and participating in video conferences and webinars rather than in-person gatherings. We might easily be tempted to show up in pajamas.  Please don’t!

Let’s not forget that while working at home, we still need to show a certain level of professionalism and respect towards our co-workers and employers. It’s easy to spend the day in loungewear or workout clothes. Make an effort to put yourself together as if you are going to work  – shower and get dressed – like you normally would. It’s all about packaging. Think of yourself as news anchor or reporter!

Be especially conscious of these two things:  (1) what you wear from the waist up, and (2) personal grooming. Here are some tips, for men and women, that will help you project more authority, presence, credibility, knowledge and expertise.

Expert Tips for Looking Good on Camera

  • Wear a colour that is flattering on you to help you stand out, and make you feel good.
  • Wear a clean and pressed shirt with a collar. This will frame your face and bring the eyes up, therefore attracting more attention, giving you more authority.
  • Alternate your clothing choice daily to keep things interesting … wearing the same outfit or top every day might give the impression of laziness.
  • Avoid:
    • Tops or shirts with busy patterns or prints can be distracting and take away attention.
    • Wearing too much black … after all, you are not going to a funeral.
    • Women: if you decide to wear a top with no collar
    • Elevate your presence by adding accessories around your face, such as a scarf in your best colour, earrings or a beautiful necklace that makes a statement.
    • Don’t forget to keep the scale of your accessories in line with your bone structure and face.
  • Present yourself perfectly groomed by washing and styling your hair.
  • Men: if wearing a beard, keep it tidy. Cameras have a way of picking up things we don’t notice and later wish others hadn’t either.
  • Women: Putting on makeup will also help project a professional image, and gain credibility. When my daughters ask, “Mom, why do you bother wearing makeup?” I reply, “when I wear makeup, I feel put together, confident, polished and productive! It inspires the right mindset.”

Looking like you just rolled out of bed will not impress anyone, certainly not your boss. Putting your best self forward will project confidence, credibility, productivity, show more energy, interest and enthusiasm. Remember that how you project yourself in-person or online, impacts how others perceive you. Use this time as an opportunity to put your best self forward! 

If you would like more expert advice on the art of personal image and professional brand management, please get in touch!