More and more people are doing business online, and this includes occasional conference calls on Zoom or another software for video calls. Before letting your bosses, clients, and colleagues see you, you need to stick to the dress code for video conference calls. First things first, there’s a lot of talk about people not wearing pants during video calls, and no matter how funny this is, you should definitely avoid it. You could easily forget that you’re in your undies and get up from the chair during a conference call, which would lead to a very embarrassing moment. So, the dress code for video conference calls includes being entirely dressed, and now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at what exactly to wear:
1. Wear what you would normally wear in the office
Sweatpants can be very comfortable, and the people you will talk to are aware that you’ll be at home, so they don’t expect you to wear a suit and a tie. However, you should still try to look professional, and it will make you feel better and more confident. Don’t forget – to act the part you have to dress the part, so wear what you would normally wear in the office.
2. Don’t wear something that would be distracting
Video calls often include distractions, whether it’s partners, pets, or children, so a dress code for video conference calls shouldn’t include any more of them. This means that you shouldn’t wear anything distracting, whether it’s bright colors, prints, cleavage, or a lot of jewelry. The people you’ll be talking to should have no trouble focusing on you and the words you say, not on the clothes you wear.
3. Less is more
You would probably look more formal in person, but you’re at home, and your colleagues and clients are aware of that. So, you don’t have to put on a tie, but don’t get too comfortable either. Dress down, but maintain a professional look and keep in mind that less is more.
4. Wear a collared shirt if you’re a man
A collared shirt works well with the dress code for video conference calls, and you can add a cardigan or create layers by wearing a sweater. You shouldn’t wear a tank top or a t-shirt even if the company you’re working for is pretty casual. Lightweight jackets and cardigans are a much better choice, but there are also situations when you’ll need a suit and a tie. For instance, if you will be talking to investors, in board meetings, or on panels, you should look as professional as possible.
5. Wear a blouse if you’re a woman
Wear a blouse or a sweater, and you’ll maintain a professional look while still keeping things casual since you’re at home. If you usually wear a dress with heels in the office though, this should be your dress code for video conference calls as well. You can wear V-neck tops but make sure that you’re not showing any cleavage. Don’t overdo it with the hair and makeup because it should look simple and clean.
6. Choose neutral colors
Don’t wear black and white for video calls because they often don’t look good on camera. The same goes for very bright colors such as yellow, orange, pink, and red. Go for neutral colors instead and choose grey or blue. Navy, khaki, cream, and charcoal also look good on the camera, and so do green shades, burgundy, and deeper purple, which can make your outfit look less neutral.
7. Avoid wearing prints or patterns
Prints and patterns create an optical effect on the camera, especially stripes, so choose solids instead. Patterns and prints would look distracting anyway, and if you have to wear them, make sure to choose something very subtle that almost has no contrast.
8. Make sure that the lighting is right
The dress code for video conference calls is not of much use if you don’t get the lighting right. Sitting beneath the overhead light is a huge mistake because it makes you look tired and highlights imperfections. Don’t choose an overly backlit set-up either, and try to position your laptop close to a natural light source. Make sure that the light doesn’t shine into your eyes, and you’re all set for your video conference call!
9. Set the camera in line with the eyes
You need to wait a bit more because setting the camera before the conference call starts is important. Setting the camera in line with the eyes makes you look better, and you should look directly in the camera so that it mimics eye contact.
10. Don’t forget the background
The last thing you want is for your colleagues and clients to think that you’re a disorganized, messy person. So, make sure to notice what they will see behind you and around you during the conference calls. The dress code for video conference calls includes looking simple and tidy, and your surroundings should look the same way.