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NextGen Magazine


Poll: Most Remote Workers Adopt Very Casual Dress, Save for Videoconferences

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 29, 2020
recent New York Times article, citing a poll, has confirmed what most of us working from home have long suspected: Most people get dressed up only for video calls and wear comfy clothes for most of the day. For these moments, many have what the Times calls a "Zoom shirt," that is, a business-friendly shirt allowing for a professional look for those on screen while they wear something like sweatpants or basketball shorts beneath in a mermaid-like juxtaposition. What's more, since people are only wearing these Zoom shirts for video meetings, they are washed far less than other garments because they're worn for only short periods of time. 

However, according to the Times, a Zoom shirt is worn less for completely recreating the office look, and more for just meeting a minimum level of presentability. The Times noted that since many people have Zoom shirts of their own, wearing a full suit jacket seems pointless, as if the wearer is trying to fool people into thinking that's how they're really dressed; further, the Times noted that women face different considerations for a Zoom shirt than they would for office-wear as they must account for the close-up nature of video calls.

The article quotes Maria Rugolo, an apparel industry analyst, who said that her company had run a poll showing that only 10 percent of people actually dress for their day when working from home. This result persists in spite of abundant appeals to dress as if going to work for the sake of productivity. This NextGen writer recalls trying to regularly do so at the start of the pandemic, an effort that lasted all of about two weeks before the allure of pajama pants and hooded sweatshirts became too great.