We’ve all been on enough Zoom meetings by now to know when someone looks like they got intentionally dressed for it and when someone wasn’t planning on turning their camera on 😐
So, how can you look a little more like those best-dressed Zoom attendees?
Here are the 3 ways to uplevel your Zoom appearance and look the part for whatever new opportunity you’re preparing for.
#1: Your hair matters
Not in some mystical sense like it has some sort of power, but in the sense that it is inconvenient to do your hair before a remote video call – which means you should do it.
Because it is inconvenient, less people will spend the energy to do it, which means you can position yourself as the professional by paying attention to these little details. And this is not just so other people can have something pretty to look at. This is a way that you can communicate preparedness, commitment, and professionalism. If any of those things matter in your line of work, I would recommend doing your hair before your call.
Of course, no one is going to say anything rude if you don’t (I sure hope not at least), but it is precisely in these situations where you can choose to make the effort when it is not necessarily required and use it to your advantage.
You don’t have to spend an hour trying a new elaborate hairstyle every morning. Spend a week experimenting with different simple styles that still look professional (Willow’s go-to is a blow out look achieved in 8 minutes with this styling tool), pick your go-to hairstyle that you can throw together in five minutes, and then put it on repeat.
#2: Try a statement pair of glasses
If you have to wear glasses, then you might as well use them as a tool to help your business prospects. The thing about Zoom meetings is that your little picture on the screen can get pretty cluttered if there is too much going on with your outfit or your background.
Clutter is the enemy of effective communication, so aim for simplicity in your appearance.
Glasses are a great way to add style, personality, and professionalism without adding clutter. For starters, try a solid blue or green frame to match your blue or green eyes or a brown and black tortoise shell frame to match your brown eyes. Since the rest of your appearance is going to be fairly simple, you can use your glasses as a statement piece. This can mean chunkier frames, larger lenses, or both. The only thing to keep in mind is to make sure that the size of the frames is proportional to the size of your face and the size of the lenses is proportional to the strength of your prescription since your eyes can get very magnified with large lenses and a strong prescription (Willow’s biggest pain point 😂)
Even if you don’t need glasses to see clearly, you might want to try adding some blue-light glasses to your Zoom style. You can give your appearance all of the benefits mentioned above, as well as giving your confidence a boost. That’s right – wearing glasses in elementary school wasn’t cool, but now that you’re a grown up, wearing glasses actually makes you feel more competent. And when you feel more competent, you actually act more competent as well. It’s a pretty great cycle and all you need to do to tap into it is throw on a pair of glasses – whether they help your vision or not.
#3: Find a go-to button down top
You might not always have a long lead time before you’re invited to a Zoom meeting, so it’s helpful to have one blouse in your closet that you can throw on and be ready in less than two minutes. We recommend a button down blouse because it provides enough interest stylistically to stand on its own without adding the bulk of a jacket and the buttons give you options with choosing the neckline you would like for your meeting.
A button down blouse is rarely not enough and rarely too much, so that makes it your perfect go-to top for video calls (this brand has some amazing ones!) We recommend choosing a solid top in white, french blue, or navy. Of course, many other colors might flatter you as well, but these are some generally “safe” colors regardless of who you are meeting with.
The most important thing is to stay away from small, busy patterns. Small patterns can become distorted on camera and even when they don’t, they can be very distracting. A solid top is going to help your client focus on you and what you are saying while still presenting a professional appearance.
Whether you are in a crowded meeting and your picture is the size of a postage stamp or you have a 1-on-1 with your ideal client, you can apply these principles and use your appearance to communicate preparedness, personality, and professionalism.