Style + Career Style

Zoom Outfit Ideas That Rock

Zoom calls are a part of our lives for the forseeable future.  We’re having face-to-face time with our bosses via Zoom.  We’re chatting with friends via Zoom.  We’re going on dates via Zoom.  And while in person is now at least an option in some places, a lot of our lives are going to happen in a screen-sized box.  So making sure we look stylish from the elbows up has never been more important.

Here are there looks that only think about what will show up “in frame.”  So if you want to wear them with a pair of old pajama shorts on the bottom, who am I to stop you?

Hairstyle // An Easy Braided Updo // If you struggle with updos, give this one a try.  Even women with rudimentary braiding skills (Hi, it’s me!) can master this updo in three to four tries.  The secret to getting it looking great is to spritz your hair with hairspray before you start braiding to keep those little fly-aways in place.  And a little teasing at the crown never hurt anyone (here’s a teasing tutorial, and the brush you need).

Top // Madewell Tie Front Shirt // Collared shirts look best on Zoom.  So if you feel weird wearing a blazer while sitting at your desk, a collared shirt will give you the structure you need without the bulk.  I love this Madewell one because the front tie is a great detail.  It’s perfect for summer.  And it also comes in plus-sizes.

I also highly, highly recommend this Treasure & Bond Dobby shirt.  It feels relaxed and comfortable on, but looks professional on screen.  A good chambray shirt never hurt anyone (especially at Old Navy prices), and it also comes in plus-size.

Earrings // Talbot’s Clustered Pearl Hoop // Pretty and modern, pearl hoops are my earring choice of the moment.  I chose this clustered one because it has a little more heft, but if you’re looking for a sleeker earring, Talbot’s also has these perfectly dainty hoops.

Makeup // Glossier Boy Brow and Cloud Paint // The next time I write one of these, I’m going to have Kara from The Beauty Minimalist make the recommendations.  Her style is just what women need now.

But for my own take, I like Boy Brow with a bit of Cloud Paint to help the Zoom appearance filter out a bit.  Just a little color on the cheeks and a more defined eye area really does wonders.  If you need a tutorial on using the Cloud Paint, Kara has some thoughts in this post.

If, like me, you are not sleeping well, try their Stretch Concealer on your under eye.  It’s not high test, but it will minimize under eye darkness.  On really bad mornings, I pair it with Bobbi Brown’s Under Eye Corrector.

Hair Tie // J.Crew Factory Curved Metal Elastic // The simplest hair do in the world.  Of course, no one is going to see the back of your head, but it makes your overslept, dry shampoo, one-minute ponytail feel more pulled together.  And we all need those little wins right now.

Blouse // Ted Baker Chiara Blouse // Sometimes you need to make an impact on Zoom.  You need people to be looking at you in the screen view of seven people.  You need to stand out in a big way.  A blouse with a bold print or strong color palette with help you do that.  In a world where everyone else is wearing neutral solids and stripes, you can punch it up with the right top.

I love this Ted Baker blouse because it’s got the kind of crazy print that looks cool today and cool under a blazer next summer.  Never underestimate the power of hot pink or orange to grab people’s attention.  Over the course of my career, nothing I’ve worn to work has gotten as many compliments as a crazy orange blazer just because it’s unique and stands out.

Being in a tiny screen really minimizes the impact your clothes would have in person, so going bolder is a good idea.  But if you’re more of a subtle personality, try a light green or a bright green.  If you find a green blouse with pop, it will stand out without being overpowering on someone who prefers a neutral.

Earrings // Auree Cushion Stud Earring // There’s a little bit of purple in the blouse print, so I grabbed these earrings to bring it out.  If you have a mixed color pattern in your outfit, look for jewelry that pulls out the complementing colors.  It really raises the look.

Eyeliner // Eyeko Black Magic Liner // This is my favorite liquid liner.  The brush is fabulous, the formula doesn’t run, and it’s easy to apply with just a little practice.  If you’re looking for a subtle eye look with impact, a simple flick of the ends is the way to go.

Hair Style // An Easy Knotted Half Up // Kate at The Small Things Blog is my go to for hair tutorials, has been since we were both in a blogger nail polish competition 11 years ago (!!!).  This knotted half-up is a great hairstyle when you want to look like you put in a lot of effort, but didn’t.

Top // Self-Portrait Peplum Hem Blouse // I envisioned this look for a Zoom first date.  That’s why I went with a blouse that has some subtle sex appeal.  The square neckline and bustier top are a little bit revealing without being over the moon.  And the pale blue color should be flattering on both light and dark skin tones.

This square neck blouse from Banana in a deep red color gives you a similar neckline without the bustier.  The top also comes in a fun dot print.  If you like the bustier in the blouse, this subtle floral top is very fun.  Plus-size?  This black Eloquii tee and yellow linen top (also in misses) have a similar neckline.

Earrings // Saks Fifth Avenue Lapis Drops // These lapis drops coordinate beautifully with the pale blue blouse.  If you prefer something smaller, these Sattchi Hoop Loops are the way to go.

Eyeshadow // Charlotte Tilbury Darling Palette // CT makes the best palettes, and her online tutorials can teach anyone how to apply them.  I like this Darling palette because it mixes neutrals and shimmer for a subtle pop.

Lipstick // Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Amazing Amal //  Amazing Amal is my favorite lipstick color.  Unlike my usual nude, this one has real pop.  It’s a deep, sultry berry that looks good on almost everyone.  It gives you that made up look without being overpowering.

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  1. KK says:

    Love these! I find that I’ve been really piling on the blush and adding a little umph to my brows – those features seem to be critical to looking alive on zoom. I’ve also been wearing my hair down or half-down most of the time, as an updo sometimes isnt always flattering to the shape of my head on zoom, especially when I’m using a virtual background.

    Heads up that stripes are a hard NO on zoom and other video calls- the moire phenomenon will drive people crazy. Here’s more details

    July 15, 2020/Reply
  2. MOnica T says:

    These are great! I have to admit that I don’t bother, but that is in part because I work in IT and have a very tight-knit team at work that doesn’t care how I look..apparently…Also I can’t even imagine having a video-conference first date.

    Aside: am I the only person starting to wonder when all the free advertising for Zoom will end? It’s like how a web search is now a Google, much to the sadness of other search providers. I’m video-conference agnostic, I guess, but there are so many other products out there it’s funny how this one is the one that got picked. Maybe because it sounds the most like a verb, and the least likely to be confused with something else in conversation?

    July 15, 2020/Reply
  3. Anonymous says:

    Any and all hair tips welcome.

    I am flummoxed by what to do to/with my hair because it usually gets trimmed to chin length every 5 weeks and dried straight. Now it hasn’t been touched in over 4 months. It seems to grow through some new stage every couple weeks. I can’t stand to have it touch my face or neck, which means pulling it back, which is terribly unflattering on Zoom.

    It also is thick and curly and takes too long to dry straight now. If I slick it into a low pony, by the time it dries hours later, the top several inches is flat and makes my face look huge and the bottom couple inches is curly like a poodle. If I let it dry curly, it looks sloppy.

    Please help.

    July 15, 2020/Reply
    • Michelle says:

      How about a low ballet bun a la Blair Eadie of Atlantic Pacific? Or headbands might be your friend.

      July 16, 2020/Reply
  4. Ana says:

    Great ideas! Also really like how you created the frame (not sure what it’s called) with each look in it. I definitely spend more time on my eyes now. It’s also given me opportunities to wear earrings that I previously thought were a bit too fancy for work.

    July 15, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’ve been making the collages in Canva, I’m trying to make them a little prettier, even though I’m a bit design challenged.

      July 16, 2020/Reply
  5. Kelly says:

    This first top and yesterday’s Halogen top are giving me some election day inspiration. I’m poll working this year and my current closet business casual offerings are limited.

    July 15, 2020/Reply
  6. Dia says:

    I wear Amazing Amal constantly; in court to give me Ms. Clooney’s confidence and on Zoom cause it makes me look pulled together but approachable. It is the best of the CT Hop slips collection & that is saying a lot because they are all great.

    July 15, 2020/Reply