We are all adjusting to the new normal, and whether quarantine is short-term or long, it appears that video conferencing and working from home will be a larger part of the new normal. While your morning routine is different than going into the office or traveling to meet clients, any client or co-worker interface requires a level of respect and decorum that many athletic-inspired ensembles simply do not exude. We have heard complaints from clients and friends alike that their co-workers are embarrassing their company on Zoom and GoToMeeting. At Mr. Sid, we are always a leader focused on trends and the needs of our clients.
The digital boardroom is no less a professional environment than the traditional boardroom and signing in is the new shaking hands. However, that doesn’t give the modern professional carte blanche to show up to work in a sweatshirt. Understandably, we are all signing off and going back to wrangling kids, cleaning the kitchen, or disinfecting our doorknobs. However, we will show you how you can look professional, respectful, and focused while working from home.
Most video conferences do show only the shoulders up, so let’s focus on the right shirt and top layer. There are few and rare occasions in the digital world that requires a suit and tie; most of the time you’ll want to wear a nice shirt and a finishing piece. A knit shirt, such as a button front jersey or dressy polo under a soft jacket is a perfect look! This shouldn’t be your golf polo, but something in a nice cotton with a cut and sewn collar (so it is constructed like a dress shirt). Of course, a classic cotton button-front shirt always looks professional and intentional. Also, as you’ll be shown on a small screen, avoid smaller patterns and go for either solid or a large simple windowpane.
When you add a layer, consider a nice sweater or a soft jacket. This will add a finished look and set the tone for a serious conversation. I love the idea again of a knit jacket or cardigan. They are ultra-comfortable, lightweight, soft-shouldered, but still look professional. Of course, this look isn’t for everyone, and if your shoulders need a little extra emphasis, opt for a classic sport coat. If you want to pass on the jacket, you can layer the look with a lightweight quarter zip and bolder checked bright color shirt so the collar will peak out and add some pop. Again, screens tend to jumble up small patterns, so larger patterns are your best bet. Finally, take a look behind you! Know that part of your image is what people will see right behind your head as well. Remove distractions, avoid any clashing or very strong colors.