For more than a year now, many professionals have adopted an informal dress code specifically for their Zoom calls. So many of my Midwestern and Northeastern clients are professional women who wear “separates” for their Zoom calls. The tops are are typically tidy and often nondescript. A little jewelry. A touch of make-up. And maybe the Zoom filter adjusted slightly to the right to smooth out wrinkles or evidence of a late night. Their male counterparts might don a higher-end hoodie and clean t-shirt or a sweater. Yet my Southern clients (mostly male lawyers) prefer the polo or golf shirts while on Zoom. As to be expected, the fleece vest for men is still super popular out West. But until someone steps away from their desk while on Zoom, those leggings, pajama and workout pants, or cargo shorts remain hidden (thankfully!).

WFH or WTH?  I’m lucky. I have been working from home since 2010, long before Zoom. So when the senior partners are sitting at their firms’ conference rooms on speakerphone, they had little idea about what I was wearing while we spoke. Skype was often buggy and not worth the trouble, so most companies left Skype to the kids who just needed access to free WiFi while traveling overseas. GoToMeeting, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and ON24 are perfectly fine and available. Yet, like Kleenex and Band-Aid, everyone I know refers to collaborative technology that includes video as “Zoom.”

SO… WHO ARE YOU WEARING?  If you’re a fan of the silly Oscar pre-shows like I am, then you’re familiar with the fashionistas and stylists who interview the stars when they step onto the Red Carpet.  The interviewers point a mic in the stars’ faces and ask, “Who are you wearing?” I suppose that’s part of the routine, where the stars receive free gowns, jewels, or tuxedos, the actresses and actors must awkwardly comply.

BACK TO BLACK  My solution for Zoom calls has been fun animal prints (below), or a series of black sweaters with faux collars, as pictured above. Most lawyers I know always keep a “just in case” suit hanging on the hook on the back of their office door and a pair of good shoes in their desk drawer. For me, though, I’ll still be WFH, right here, likely wearing one of my Zoom sweaters. (Hey, it’s chilly in my home office with the A/C on!)

BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU?  How are you and your firm managing, as you go back to the office? Will you revert back to suits and classic separates and professional shoe wear? Inquiring minds want to know!

Written by : Nancy Slome

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