Let’s get one thing out of the way: working from home is a pretty great luxury for most people.
Who doesn’t want to roll out of bed at 8:55 for a virtual meeting at 9? That said, now that working from home has become much more of a day-to-day norm than an occasional treat, it’s probably worth putting in a little effort before turning your camera on.
While it’s definitely tempting to roll into your meetings with your workout gear or casual wear hidden under a blazer, there are a handful of garments and accessories that employees in formal-leaning offices might want to avoid if they want to look professional and be taken seriously by clients and colleagues alike—even if it is over Zoom.
You might think that your pixelated webcam won’t catch your casual at-home clothes but you’d be surprised by how easily the eyes can wander during a video call.
To ensure you remain professional and collected throughout every video meeting, we’ve pulled together a handful of too-casual items that you should probably avoid wearing when your camera is on.
Yoga pants, leggings, or bike shorts.
Unless you happen to be a yoga or pilates instructor, or you usually work in a very casual office, you’ll probably want to avoid wearing any athleisure on camera.
We totally get it: they’re comfortable, easy to transition from work to the gym but the casual yoga look doesn’t translate into boardroom appropriate—especially if you’re meeting with clients or VPs.
Although you could make the argument that nobody will see what you’re wearing on the bottom, you never know when you’ll have to jump up from your desk during a call.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the most generic or basic tee and slacks, trust us when we say that people will notice if you wear the same outfit on camera two days in a row—even if you think you’re in the clear. It’s totally fine to repeat your casual wear for a few days if you’re staying at home, but consider rotating a few more professional outfits throughout the week if you have back-to-back meetings.
Anything sheer or see-through.
You might think that sheer little top that you usually wear out with the girls will work just as well with a thin camisole or bandeau paired underneath but anything sheer or see-through should generally be avoided in the office and on Zoom calls, unless you’re planning on wearing something significantly more substantial underneath, like a full-coverage t-shirt or button-down top.
Sky high heels or platform shoes.
You might feel like throwing on a pair of heels will instantly make you feel like you’re heading into the office but if you’re working from home there’s absolutely no reason to wear while telecommuting to meetings and sitting at your desk all day.
If you do enjoy putting on a pair of heels at home, try to avoid anything over three inches—otherwise you’ll find yourself in an uncomfortable desk squat formation all day that will leave your lower back crying out for kitten heels.
You’d be surprised by how many pajama tops we’ve seen on Zoom calls over the past few months. In the beginning of quarantine, it might have been marginally acceptable—we were in the middle of a global pandemic, after all—but now that we’re getting more used to working from home on a day-to-day basis, you should never sign into a Zoom call with last night’s pajamas on.
Not even a cute button-down set you may think passes for a blouse (trust us, it doesn’t!).