We’re a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and are still working from home. I am often asked what style and or color top should be worn on Zoom calls? As a professional image consultant and Zoom makeover expert, I share with my clients that the most important thing about getting people to pay attention to you and what you’re saying is to help them focus on your face and torso without distractions.

Stand Out As Much As Possible 

The best way to accomplish this is to wear a different color from your background. Pick a color that is brighter, more vibrant or just plain different. This is the best way for people to pay attention to you and read your non-verbal communication, which is what we’re missing in the time of Zoom. 

Solid Colors Work Best

Help people focus on you like an artist creating a painting. I suggest staying away from medium to large patterns, i.e., checks, plaids or abstract prints. People are Zooming from home, working from whatever space is available to them, their dining room, living room, bedroom, garage or even a converted closet. Most of these spaces have assorted pieces of furniture and other elements in the background, creating your painting. By wearing a solid color that is different than your background, you will act as a color block in the middle of your zoom box to attract attention away from what is behind you and have people focus on you.

What colors work best on Zoom?

“No white” because you want your face and eyes to be the first thing people notice. The camera always picks up white and light colors first, so don’t wear white! The camera focuses on the white and light areas in your Zoom box and darkens everything else to adjust for the light. Avoid mostly white tops and very light blue, pink and ivory, which will also appear white on camera.

“No black” and other very dark colors. Black, navy, dark grey, dark burgundy, etc., will make you fade or blend into the background and make you look smaller. This will detract from people being able to read your non-verbal communication unless you’re sitting in front of a mostly solid white or light background. 

The best colors to wear are bolder, brighter solid colors that contrast your background. Small to medium patterns are OK if you have a relatively plain background. I get it; most people don’t have these colors in their closets since the color palette available in the stores these days is very grey and muted. Hopefully, with summer around the corner, there will be more colors available both in stores and online. Take advantage of this when you can to add more color to your Zoom wardrobe. 

Keep in mind; YOU want to be the “main event” in your Zoom box. Stand out and be noticed.

By Shelley Golden