Introducing ’The Zoom Shirt’: The Essential Home Office Staple We Can’t Do Without

by Karly Rayner

Exchanging the tube for a leisurely commute between bedroom parkway and kitchen central has undoubtedly been liberating for many, but dressing for the home office has delivered its own set of challenges. 

Crafting a look which emerges from the sweaty belly of the underground looking pristine is a talent, but creating a chic,comfortable get up which belies the fact you’ve been working from the sofa is another one entirely. 

While it might be tempting to adopt a designated office slanket and be done with it, psychologists have proven that what we wear impacts our productivity. In a 2015 study in Social Psychological and Personality Science ‘formally” and “casually” dressed subjects were pitted against each other in five cognitive tests. Team formal outsmarted their casual counterparts with increased abstract thinking and improved performance. So, not only might slouchy home office staples lead to sloppier work, but there is also the more immediate threat of the oft dreaded onscreen conference call.

We all know the jokes about the “business up top, party on the bottom” Zoom aesthetic, and it really does feel faintly ridiculous to get too dressed up in your own home. That being said, having a steadward selection of staples can help you slip into your professional persona with minimal fuss.

Enter the Zoom shirt. 

According to a recent study on LinkedIn 42% of camera-savvy home workers already own one of these lifesaving garments. The premise is simple; a show-stopping shirt  you can drape over your office chair and quickly don whenever onscreen professionalism beckons. 

It might seem a bit like cheating, but Rupert Wesson, the director of Debretts — an authority on etiquette and behaviour — is thoroughly behind the phenomenon. In his own words, “it allows you to retain an image of professionalism on camera without having to get kitted out in full office attire, when you’re sitting at your kitchen table all day.” 

Naturally, we couldn’t agree more. It’s difficult enough to convince partners of the sacrosanct boundaries of the home office, let alone unruly children who suddenly become budding actors (or nudists, if we are especially unlucky) during important board meetings. When chaos encroaches, maintaining a level of professionalism in your dress can help you feel in control and ready to triumphantly plant your flag in the brave new world of homeworking.

Check out our handy little guide below for some carefully curated tips on how to choose the perfect Zoom shirt:

1. Pick Pastels to Emphasise Your Skin Tone 

The lighting in our Zoom rooms often leaves a lot to be desired, but never fear! The familiar shock of seeing your wan face appear on screen can be countered with a subtle pop of pastel colour. According to office wear mogul, Sarah LaFleur,  this can help bleached out skin tones blush with health on camera by brightening the face.


2. Avoid Taking the Plunge!


In real life, a plunging neckline can be flattering, especially for women with a larger bust, but Chelsea Grayson, the former chief executive of American Apparel and True Religion has some words of wisdom on low necklines. “In the real world, you can wear something a little bit plungy, because they’re presented with the whole thing, from the top to the feet,” she explained.”On Zoom, all people are going to see is your breasts. And you don’t want that. Unless you’re doing an OnlyFans thing.”


3. Don’t Compromise on Comfort

Semi-tailored styles are easy on the eye and on the waistline. Pair with leggings or, if you’re short like me, nothing at all! 

AND if you’re always losing your pen, our Darcy shirt has fancy sidepockets. Just don’t forget to screw that cap on tight!


4. Don’t Force Formal

Being too formal can look faintly ridiculous when everyone knows you’ve artfully angled your laptop to hide the encroaching domestic debris. This means now is a great time to allow a bit of casual boho chic to breeze into your working life 


5. Keep It Classic

A classic white shirt can shapeshift into a new ensemble every day with the addition of  statement earrings or colourful scarves. Oh, and our Colleen shirt also happens to be crease free for seamless chair to camera versatility.


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