Now that we've leaped into the era of Zoom meetings and video hangouts, there's a whole new world of fashion and makeup conundrums to consider. Your style go-tos might look amazing in person, but distracting or lackluster on-screen.
To help demystify dressing for virtual meetings, we checked in with three fashion insiders: stylist Lisa Marie McComb, designer Lagi Nadeau, and fashion show producer Amy Olson.
Keep reading for their tips on how to look your best for your next digital work meeting or job interview.
Setting the scene
Showcasing your best self on Zoom starts with good lighting, so open up your shades and curtains and let the light pour in the room.
"The best lighting is facing the window, as the natural light illuminates your face in total," Olson says.
Before your video meeting, the producer recommends testing the lighting on camera to make sure the space appears bright and you start your meeting off on the right note. If you need more light to illuminate the space, she recommends placing a lamp behind your computer or phone. "You can even take a lampshade off to create more light," she says.
Olson also advises framing the shot beforehand by taking note of what's behind you in the camera's view and removing any clutter from the background.
Zoom meeting outfit ideas
Reach for bright jewel tones for video meetings, our experts say. Sapphire blue, emerald green, amethyst purple—the more vibrant, the better.
"I'm usually the one dressed in basics—navy, grey, black, camel, white," McComb says. "But in the land of 'waist-up' meetings, I've changed my tune. Wearing a magical color elevates your mood and translates on Zoom."
Bold patterns and prints also work well on camera, the stylist says, noting that bold stripes draw attention to the wearer in a good way.
For the most attractive clothing shape for video, choose form-fitting tops and sweaters, Olson says. And if your tops still appear loose on camera, you can pull a fashion-show production trick and tuck excess fabric behind your back and into your waistband.
"When styling for photo shoots, I think the public would be surprised at how many pins are used to create shape on the body," Olson says. "The same can happen for Zoom meetings. You can also use a clothespin to pull back extra fabric and to create a waistline."
Since the camera focuses on your face and neckline area, Nadeau recommends adding interesting clothing details such as a bow blouse, or a camisole teamed with a blazer with a scarf.
The designer also recommends doing a trial run on camera before your meeting. "Things will read differently when you're on video," she says.
Choose your meeting wardrobe as you would for an in-person work meeting or job interview and wear pants or a dress, with shoes, the insiders say. "It's important to dress head-to-toe even if the camera doesn't capture your bottom half," Olson says. "Wearing shoes also grounds you and can make you feel put together."
Chandelier earrings and stacked bracelets are stylish, but may create noise on the video microphone. To play it safe, stick to simple accessories, Olson says.
Mastering your makeup
The video camera can wash out your complexion, so you may need to apply a bit more makeup for Zoom.
Highlighters and bronzers applied on the cheeks can contour the face and create dimension for the camera, Olson says, while top eyeliner and mascara will open up the eyes.
To appear well-rested for your meeting, apply concealer under the eyes, on top of the eyelid, and just under the brow from the center to the edge as highlighter, McComb says.
"Choose one shade lighter than your skin tone and blend it in with your foundation," the stylist says. Then apply a light dusting of face powder on the T-zone to dim any shininess, as the camera tends to emphasize shine on the face.
Finish your makeup with a pop of lip color, like coral red lipstick. Or "use a tinted lip balm so your lips have a little natural color and don't look dry," McComb says.
Smooth any flyaway hairs into place before your meeting. "The light always seems to catch and emphasize them so I smooth them with hair cream," Nadeau says.
Finally, for virtual touchups, Olson suggests trying the face-correcting filters on Zoom, such as "Touch Up My Appearance," which can smooth out your skin tone and soften your look.