Virtual communications are becoming a bigger part of everyone’s lives. Whether you have a video meeting or job interview, or a virtual date lined up, first impressions are just as important as they are in an in-person meeting. Here are a few tips we’ve put together on how to dress for a video meeting to make sure you come across just as strongly on screen as you would in person.
Some of the most important (and regrettably overlooked) aspects of video communications are lighting and setting.
- Make sure your face is evenly lit. Don’t be a hidden silhouette but don’t look like you’re being grilled in an interrogation room.
- Make sure your background is well-suited to the purpose of the video meeting.
- Have your camera at the right level. Ideally, the face of the person on your screen should be at eye level. Most flat surfaces are a little lower, and that’s fine. But don’t go too much lower. Nobody wants to have a conversation with you like you’re Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs
Face and Hair
For the most part, you’ll only be visible from the chest up. Make sure you’re well-groomed and your hair is styled. If you can’t get a haircut beforehand, do your best. We’d only recommend giving yourself a cut if you normally wear a buzz cut or a close crop. Otherwise, clean up your sideburns and around your ears and keep the added length up top under control with your product of choice.
The Pants Conundrum
And now for the most important philosophical question: if your legs are off camera and nobody will see them, do you need to wear pants?
Should you treat it like a regular meeting, or is it OK to go Porky Pig mode below the camera line? There are competing schools of thought on this point; as with most aspects of personal style, the answer for how to dress for a video meeting below the waist depends on your own comfort level and confidence.
Many guys will choose to go Mullet Rules (business up top, party on the bottom) but just make sure you’re comfortable and presentable. As long as the part of you that shows up on the other side of the screen looks sharp, you’re golden.
However, a lot of guys live by the mantra “if you look good, you feel good” and will want to dress the part from head to toe. We think it helps to get you in the right mindset. For a dress trouser option that still provides a high level of comfort, check out the Franco Navy Pleated Pant made with cotton and a touch of elastane for comfort and stretch, along with a single pleat for a little extra room when sitting.
What to Wear Based on the Type of Video Meeting:
1. Video Job Interview
- Clean, plain white or pale blue shirt
- Avoid busy patterns
- Your jacket should be a plain color or low-contrast pattern
- Your tie can be plain or a large pattern that will come across on a small screen
- As a general rule, you’ll want to keep things relatively muted for a job interview. It’s more important that you look professional and serious than that you make a fashion statement and the same goes for a virtual interview.
- Avoid bright colors or flashy patterns. Plain ties with some texture like the Como Navy Grenadine Tie goes with almost everything and always delivers the goods.
- Keep it clean and crisp. Spend a little extra time on your tie knot. Make sure your shirt is well pressed or ironed and your collars are crisp.
2. Video Meeting
- If the video meeting is more formal and traditional in nature, follow the tips for job interview above.
- If it’s more casual, feel free to go tieless.
- Again, make sure that your shirt is well-pressed and your collar fits your face well.
- Avoid small shirt patterns like ginghams and plaids and opt for plain or simple vertical stripes
- Opt for colors that work with your hair color and complexion and don’t wash you out on the video meeting screen.
3. Virtual Date
- Color is king here, so make sure you go with the best look for your complexion. You know what looks good on you.
- The level of formality is up to you, but whether it’s a T-shirt or a dress shirt and blazer, make sure it’s crisp and well-fitted.
- A good intermediate option could work for any virtual date (or any date for that matter) , and you’ll never be over or under-dressed. Try a casual sweater or a buttondown shirt in a casual pattern or dark denim fabric.