Since the COVID-19 crisis, a large percentage of the working population has been working from home. According to Forbes, the trend of telecommuting is expected to last even after the pandemic is dealt with. Many companies are planning to keep at least 20% of their employees working remotely to cut back on overheads and other costs.
But just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you can lounge around in your PJ’s all day. There are teleconferences, video meetings, and online training sessions that still need to be attended and require you to dress sharply. And with HD video, there is no hiding those old and stained, comfy tees that most of us love wearing around the house.
Here are some tips from etiquette and fashion experts to help you look professional and trendy for your next video conference:
Light It Up
Even if you wear the trendiest dresses and have your best face on, bad lighting can ruin your entire look. The first thing you need to do when setting up for a video call is to make sure the light is perfect. You don’t want it to be too bright or too dull. Also, avoid fluorescent lighting and overhead lights as they cast unflattering shadows and increase the appearance of dark under eyes.
Go for A Neutral Background
Whether you have a home office or are simply working from your bedroom, make sure the background is uncluttered and looks professional. Generally, the less stuff you have behind you, the more professional you’ll look on camera. Make sure there are no family pictures or mementos hanging on the wall behind you as they can be distracting during the video meeting. Consider converting a wall into a professional backdrop by painting it a neutral color and adding some artsy touches.
Fix the Camera Angle
The camera angle needs to be perfect to make sure it highlights your most flattering features. It should be either at your eye level or just above it for the best look. Low camera angles can give you the appearance of having a double chin and can give the viewers a good look at any bats in the cave (nose boogies) that you overlooked!
Do A Basic Hygiene Check Before the Video Call
You might think that just because no one can smell you on a video call, it’s ok to skip the shower. That might be a mistake as it can give you an overall grubby appearance and make your hair appear oily and matted. Make sure your hair has been washed and dried recently, check your teeth for any food particles, brush them just to be sure, and touch up your makeup just before the video meeting. The high definition on most cameras these days can pick up everything from the leftover broccoli in your teeth to your smudgy mascara.
Follow Basic Outfit Rules for Video Meetings
There are certain specific outfit rules for video conferences to help you look your best. The first rule is to avoid small patterns, plaids, or stripes as they can have a rippling effect on the video and distort the image. You should also avoid wearing a completely white blouse as it can make your face looked washed out on camera. Choose solid and bold colored tops that will enhance your complexion.
Don’t wear any loud jewelry that can cause distraction during the video conference. Go for simple statement pieces such as drop earrings or necklaces that look interesting without being too distracting.
And finally, wear fitted pieces instead of oversized ones to appear smarter instead of giving a sloppy, slouchy look. If you think you’ll be expected to stand up during the meeting, ditch those sweats for some smart straight pants.
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