If you’re like most working Americans, you’ve spent a lot of time the past few months on Zoom or other video conference calls. I know I have. And while I spend most of my workdays in sweats and a T-shirt, that won’t do for a Zoom call.

Going without makeup doesn’t cut it either (at least not for me) on Zoom days. Apparently I’m not alone—The New York Times just published an article about people and their “Zoom shirts”.

What’s a Zoom shirt? The Times defines it as “a top, typically kept on the back of the computer chair or a hanger nearby, that they pop on in the moments before their webcam lights up…a Zoom Shirt instantly spiffs you up.”

The Times says a poll conducted by The NPD Group shows only 10% of people put on work clothes when they’re working from home.

There’s a lot of advice in this article in how to dress Zoom appropriately—no jackets or ties for men (they’re too “pretentious”), pastels “brighten your face” and “statement earrings” are recommended.  Be careful of V-Necks—they can easily slip down and reveal too much.

One fashion entrepreneur told The Times she recommends women wear “a flowy top with a pattern that shows some movement.” Ironically, that’s exactly the type of top I wore on my last two (ok, five) Zoom calls.

Consumers, however, reports NPD’s chief industry advisor, retail, Marshal Cohen, are starting to spend again and those “Purchases are… more about finding ways to enjoy ‘getting out’ and once again expressing yourself as an individual in public.”

NPD reports sales increases in May for “kids’ apparel, underwear, sleepwear, and shorts” as well as bathing suits.

Are shoppers ready to head to the mall? NPD says last month more than two-thirds of consumers say they’re be comfortable shopping in a store once stay-at-home requests related to the pandemic were relaxed, and nearly 10% say they plan to go shopping in a store as soon as they can.

Cohen has some advice for store owners, “Retailers who can deliver a satisfying and safe shopping experience will win with the consumers who are ready to go beyond virtual shopping.”


Virtual conference stock photo by Gyorgy Barna/Shutterstock