For the past few weeks, we’ve all been quarantined and locked in our homes because of the COVID-19 virus. Most of our social interactions happen online or via social media. If you work from home, then you have likely had a Zoom call at least once a week. According to an article from CNBC last month “Its stock (Zoom) is up about 67% so far this year.” There’s already a uniform for Zoom calls and that’s business on top and sweatpants on bottom. What if you want to spruce it up for your next meeting. We’ve gathered the best products from clothes to hair and even filters you can use while on a Zoom call.
Styling your hair
Styling your hair should be a priority if you’re going to take on a Zoom call. The camera mainly focuses on your face and your hair should shine like a beacon. Check out these products specified for different hair types:
- Wavy hair: If you’re rocking some waves this season, make sure to add a bit of paste or pomade. After applying, brush out your hair to make sure the product is evenly distributed. Finish with some medium strength hairspray and you’ve got yourself a shiny Zoom ready do.
- Straight hair: Depending on your length, all you need to do is find a good hairspray and brush. Style your hair whichever direction you want. If you haven’t had a haircut in a few weeks (like most of us) try using a strong pomade. This can slick your hair back and reduce the amount of flyaways.
- Coiled hair: Similar to how wavy hair is styled, finding a good product is essential. Use something like Aveda’s curly hair line to lock in each curl and push away frizz.
- Kinky hair: It’s extremely important to maintain moisture. You can do this by hydrating consistently with products like a moisturizing mask. Finding the right brush is key too.
- N/A: If you’re like everyone else stuck at home, you’ve been tempted to shave it all off. If you’re seriously considering it, go for the full chop. It’s going to be summer soon and having a short cut is perfect for weathering humid days.
Finding the outfit
If you’re looking to stand out in the next call, try adding some color to your outfit. Specifically your shirt or jacket. Bright colors like red or yellow pick up well on video and can bring out the best features of your skin tone and face. It’s best to focus on pieces for the upper part of your body. No matter what, no one is pulling you away from those sweatpants you’ve been wearing for the last month.
- Jacket: Finding a good blazer with a solid color like this one from Brunello Cucinelli is perfect. The blazer itself isn’t too flashy (we’ll leave that for later) and it’s breathable.
- Shirt: Finding the right color is key here. We also want to remind you that summer is around the corner and that means dressing like you’re on a tropical vacation even if your next destination is Alaska. This color blocking shirt from Scotch & Soda is the perfect marriage of color and professionalism.
- Sweats: Finding the right sweats that match with the above is a task in itself and we think the French Terry Jogger from Michael Kors fits the bill. Simple with a modern cut, these are great for all-day wear.
When taking on Zoom calls it’s imperative to have a background that’s devoid of any distractions. It’s also great if you want to impress your coworkers (or whomever) with your excellent taste of home decor. Creating a space that’s perfect for Zoom calls only takes a few items. We understand if you’re cramped in an apartment with a few roommates, but with these products you’ll be able to showcase a sense of style in a way that will make your home look like rapper Drake’s manor.
- Backdrop: Having a blank solid colored wall is always preferred for video conferences. This works in a few different ways. The first being any sort of camera (old or new) will be able to view and pick up the most important part of whatever it's capturing: you. The second is a clean background devoid of any debris makes for a good canvas that can be filled with the smallest of items that make the biggest impact. Depending on your sensibility, an off-white wall is the easiest to work with. Janovic from Benjamin Moore has a great selection of paint products to choose from.
- Desk: Having the right desk is key. If you have a smaller space, why not go for a desk that takes whatever space provided and doubles it? This Batten Wall-Mounted Desk from Crate & Barrel is perfect because the wall-mount adds an extra layer to storage space. The color and material are contemporary, but not overly done and it has a myriad of uses outside of video conferences.
- Tchotchkes: With a few baubles you can turn a dreary space into a cool one. They are also a great way to showcase your unique personality. CB2 has a great selection of office accessories that are perfect for a desk or table.
- Rugs: The Isetta Rug in aqua from One Kings Lane is the perfect marriage of high-quality and style (that doesn’t overpower). The pattern on the rug is soft and the colors evoke a sense of style, but not overtly. Pair this with the desk from Crate & Barrel and you’ll have 75% of your conference room complete.
- Lighting: The Line Art LED Floor Lamp from West Elm is perfect for not occupying too much space, but still doing its job: lighting the room. If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, check out the Industrial Task Floor Lamp also from West Elm.
- Étagères: The Sobe Étagère available on One Kings Lane in black is understated and functional. That should be all you need from a good étagère. Also, a chinoiserie-styled bookcase is never out of fashion.
Where you take Zoom calls can sometimes be a hassle. If you find yourself dodging roommates/kids on a call, having a premade background can make a good difference. What about if you’re sporting new acne mid-quarantine and not exactly camera ready? Zoom has filters for touching up your appearance too.
- Setting up your Zoom account for different backgrounds is an easy process. Log into your account on Zoom.us and click on “Settings”. From there click on “In Meeting (Advanced)” and enable the “Virtual Background” feature.
- Once your account is enabled for different backgrounds, log into your desktop or mobile Zoom application. In your settings, you’ll see a new option called “Virtual Background”. From there you’ll be able to change your background. You can select from premade backgrounds or choose a photo or video of your own.
- If you want to touch up your appearance, click on “Settings” (while in the Zoom app), then “Meetings” and finally “Touch Up My Appearance”. This will enable a filter to automatically correct any imperfections. The setting will be saved and automatically turned on during your next few calls.
- With the popularity of Zoom calls rising, more and more creative backgrounds are becoming available. Your next call can be from under water or even from the The Simpsons' living room. The world is literally your virtual oyster.