5 Things To Avoid Wearing During Virtual Meetings

5 Things To Avoid Wearing During Virtual Meetings

We all keep a close check on our appearance and attire especially when stepping out of our home

Anjali KochharUpdated: Saturday, November 25, 2023, 11:07 PM IST
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We all keep a close check on our appearance and attire especially when stepping out of our home. Be it an in-person meeting or a call for an interview, we double-check everything from head to toe to ensure we are looking the way we want to be. But now in the post-pandemic world, the trend of virtual meets and Zoom calls is continuing as they easily connect people across the globe; however, the pyjamas are somewhere overtaking the professional outfits. Raghunandan Saraf, founder and CEO, Saraf Furniture says, “After COVID-19, the trend for virtual meetings has increased. So, it is very important to remember that appearance still matters whether you are connecting from the comfort of your home place. How you carry yourself can speak a lot about your level of engagement and professionalism.” Though Zoom has effectively bridged the gap between an employer and an employee in a way that the feeling of being physically distant does not feel realistic,  clothing choices can either make or break your call.

So, if you are a full-time corporate employee or a candidate appearing for an interview, here are things that you should avoid wearing in Zoom meetings.   

Loud patterns

Connecting professionally from the comfort of the home often demands some discipline wherein, avoiding wearing loud patterns or offensive clothing with funky graphics, quotes, symbols, shapes and floral attire can be an edge to it. Shruti Swaroop, founder of Embrace Consultancy, says, “While the work module has become hybrid, it is still essential to understand the nuances of appropriate attire, especially for professional meetings. When selecting clothing for Zoom calls, I have observed that simplicity often works best. Loud patterns like stripes, florals, or intricate shapes can be distracting, potentially diverting attention from the message intended for the audience. Choosing solid colours and neutral tones allows the audience to focus on words rather than the wardrobe.”

Alongside the apparel, accessories also play an equivalent role in defining your confidence and personality. It would be preferred to avoid wearing jingly or distracting accessories. Shruti adds, “Accessories like hats can obscure your expressions and hinder effective communication. Certain shades may not be flattering a skin tone and can impact how well others see us. Consistently wearing the same attire in a professional setting can be noticed. So, rotate professional outfits during the workweek.”

Obstructive elements

Sometimes people wear formal shirts having a collar with boxers below. It seems a very unprofessional combination as it lowers the confidence without you knowing. “Collar usually takes different angles and is not very clean if the shirt is a little older. All garments are subject to wear for a long time. But the collar area of a women’s dress shirt seems especially susceptible to early coming out of threads at the end,” says Palak Gupta, PR professional.

Moreover, avoid wearing t-shirts having funky prints, caps, or hats because they obstruct your face. Another PR Professional, Ritik Jaiswal says, “Every event has a dress code. The Zoom call occurs in case of interviews, official meetings, etc. We should stick to formal or semi-formal. However, the above-mentioned things must not be worn in Zoom calls because these things represent you as not interested in such meetings.” The clothing coupled with obstructive elements is inappropriate for a work setting.

Hues contrast

It is advisable to stick to muted and neutral coloured clothing that complement your skin tone. Though neon clothing has its own charm, it’s not meant for the professional corporate world. In fact, females are suggested not to keep their hair loose as it covers the face. Hiral Mehta, director of SPARTAN Engineering Industries Pvt. Ltd, says, “The trend of video conferencing has gained momentum since COVID-19. However, we need to dress up according to the camera and light angle. If you want to make a statement, try wearing solid colours. Secondly, try to wear smart formals for a positive appearance. Most importantly, don’t keep sweatpants because you never know when you’ll need to get up. Putting a little effort into your representation shows that the meeting is important for you.”

Inappropriate outfits

Wearing low-cut or revealing outfits, tank tops & vests, transparent and sheer clothing indicate that you are least interested in a meeting. Try to wear skin-friendly and sweat-absorbing cotton clothes as they don’t leave patches that distract eyeballs. “Also, synthetic materials are uncomfortable and dark sweat patches on your shirt or blouse are not a good look during a meeting. So, best to stick to natural materials such as cotton. Dangly earrings, bracelets, big rings and extravagant necklaces may give the impression that you’re showing off and can detract from your presentation. Some jewellery is fine but stick to classic items that blend in with your outfit,” says social media creator Pallavi Chaudhary. 

Pallavi also suggests, “Don’t show up to a business meeting looking like an over-decorated Christmas tree. Wet hair gives the impression that you’re in a rush or have no interest in your appearance. Red lipstick is perfect for even work if worn correctly. But it’s my personal choice that red is a bit too bold for the office! Low-cut tops, or transperant tops are a no-no. I feel, the more skin you show, the less influence you have. Avoid sunglasses as they hide your eyes, which makes others wonder what are you hiding.”

Over casual outfits

Avoid wearing casual outfits such as shorts, cut sleeves tops or t-shirts. It is also suggested to avoid noisy jewellery and jingly accessories because this does not reflect professionalism. These things can be pitfalls for a Zoom call. PR executive Abhijeet Ghosh says, “Dressing appropriately for Zoom meetings is a reflection of your professionalism and can impact how others perceive you like a T-shirt and too many prints look very unprofessional. Too many accessories and jingling jewellery are out of line.”

These outfits or accessories could be a factor hampering your professional growth since they reflect unprofessionalism. Thus, we recommend dressing for success, wearing appropriate attires on Zoom calls even in your home office.

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