Online communication has never been more prominent for connection, not only socially but professionally as well. A part of that online culture is how meeting for school, work, social events or any large gatherings have changed with many utilizing Zoom, a video communication tool, to talk to people from all over. With this new way of communicating, the limited view a laptop camera can capture also limits the view of what you wear. Some choose to still dress professionally from head to toe while others settle for a nice shirt and sweatpants. With the online discussions of Zoom etiquette, navigating what to do can be difficult, even for deciding what to wear.
#1: The Full Glam
Finding something constant is key and rare in these unusual times, but you can start with what you wear. Before COVID-19, getting dressed in full head-to-toe professionalism was what was expected for a meeting, interview, work and so on. Wearing professional attire every now and then can add some wanted change to your day. With these new communication mediums, we can change up that routine. From suit and blazer to sweatpants and blazers, the business look is becoming more adaptable.
“For my business meeting the other day, I wore a black turtleneck, a black blazer, athletic shorts and fuzzy socks. We were supposed to wear business casual, so what they could see, I was,” Ashlyn Lambert, an Honors College sophomore studying urban planning, said.
#2: The Pajama Set
Pajamas, or lounge clothing, was a college staple when going to classes before the pandemic. Now with Zoom, college education in sweatpants or fuzzy pants can be done with understanding. Most students across campus have ditched the desk to stay in their bed for Zoom meetings and lectures, therefore having pajamas on. For an interview, however, that might not go over well. If you have a professional meeting, you can still wear your fuzzy socks and pajama shorts, but dress professionally at the top and sit at your desk. This shows professionalism, while not undermining comfort. This is one complaint the pajama-loving community won’t be having.
“I personally feel comfortable wearing everyday clothes while I Zoom into class. I dress as I would when I normally would go to class, sometimes even more casual. I haven’t had to Zoom for anything other than class yet, but for my business presentation coming up, I will most likely just dress business professionals from the waist up,” Nicole Baldwin, a UA sophomore studying actuarial science, said.
#3: The Blanket Burrito
Since controlling what the other person or people on a call are seeing is now accessible, still being in bed or wrapped up in a warm blanket is not so taboo. Hiding your comfort might not be on your top ten things to do on a Zoom, but achieving some classroom etiquette, with the help of the limited viewing screen, is achievable even with a blanket. Having some respect for your professors can mean having the camera on and engaging, even if you are in the bed. Just be sure you don’t drift off mid-lecture.
According to Teen Vogue, style blogger Jessica Torres dresses for comfort and sleepwear now that COVID-19 has affected her now virtual game nights. She believes “If I can fall asleep in it then it’s a winner.”
#4: The Manipulator
Most people agree that casual clothing for class is normal, but some can make or redesign clothing to make different outfits of their own creativity. With Zoom, showing off fun outfits can be difficult and will require more creativity, but not being able to show the art of fashion is frustrating. When using Zoom, pants don’t always have to match the super-cute top, yellow sweatpants and a blue/pink shirt can go together, for all the other people know you are dressed nicely. Making some fun design of clothes by decorating a shirt with blankets, towels, strings or household items can happen like you are attending the Zoom Met Gala. This new realm of runways is open-ended in style and comfort. Some, however, can choose to manipulate with the advantage of no one seeing below the belt.
“On average, most of my Zoom classes have the option to not turn on the camera, but when I do, I usually just wear pajamas or a t-shirt and no pants. Basically, just as comfy as possible,” Matthew Swigert, a UA student studying aerospace engineering, said.
Next time a professor starts a class call, a business professional wants an interview or any other instance that requires a Zoom call, get creative and feel free to get inspiration from the descriptions above. Don’t let Zoom fashion cause you stress or complications.