According to Coco Chanel: Professional dress code in the virtual world – Coronavirus (COVID-19)
United States: According to Coco Chanel: Professional dress code in the virtual world
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The professional dress code has undergone significant changes since the start of the global pandemic. Even before many professionals started working remotely, work clothes had relaxed, sometimes inappropriately. Now Zoom and other platforms have replaced much of in-person meetings, becoming the norm for workers in many industries.
With the shift from in-person presentation to online presentation, some professionals don’t remember or worry that they always attend professional events, as evidenced by their inappropriate dress and appearance.
Read the virtual room
While you may not be in the same room as those you interact with, professional standards still apply. As always, you should take inspiration from the situation and the context. A judge will likely appear in a virtual hearing wearing a gown or costume (the “dress” of judges has a busy past). Likewise, lawyers should dress as they would if they went to the courthouse. A coat, jacket, or other courtroom-acceptable clothing is always required – at least for any part of you that is visible to the camera. Even if you do not physically enter a courtroom, the process is formal and formal, and should be treated as such.
Likewise, if you are attending a Zoom business meeting, show respect to your colleagues, counterparts, clients or clients by wearing appropriate attire rather than appearing in dirty workout clothes with uncombed hair and a unwashed face. While the setting is often more relaxed than a face-to-face meeting in the office, no one wants to see you sloppy and at worst, and certainly not scantily clad. Stories of undressed or undressed meeting participants are commonplace, often inadvertently, and have unfortunately resulted in real consequences for some people.
When in doubt, overdress
Less formal clothing was generally in fashion before Covid-19 spread across the world. There was a time when people dressed to steal; now passengers often wear casual clothes that look a lot like pajamas or can even be pajamas. It is not uncommon to see people shopping or eating in restaurants in slippers. Likewise, workplace attire has become increasingly casual. The shift from formal business wear to casual wear has been
confirmed in the drop in sales of retailers selling business clothes in the past 18 months. Some may not go through this change and have even filed for bankruptcy. Has the pandemic sealed the end of street dress in the workplace? Unlikely.
Work environments may have changed dramatically over the past year and a half, but the value of portraying yourself as a serious professional has not diminished. Looking good, feeling good always applies and empowering yourself through your presentation, including your choice of clothing, allows you to convey to your audience that you are serious, confident and well prepared. Don’t let changing forces put you at a disadvantage. As Coco Chanel said, “Fashion changes, but style lives on”.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.
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