Livestream Lessons. What to Wear for Video, Zoom, Webinars, FB & IG Lives: View from the Top
On a recent Zoom call, one of the chatters asked for style advice for zoom, conferencing, livestreaming basically any kind of live business conference video calls. You’re at home, is a t-shirt and jeans ok? What about your jammies? Does it matter at all?
The truth is that most computer cameras are more forgiving than hyper detailed high def phone cameras. But, some of the advice photographers give for what to wear on video apply here.
“Some fashion rules for the big screen, apply to this very little screen too.” Candy Holladay
For instance, white and black are bad as white throws off color balance (even on a computer) and black will give you that floating head look. Not good unless you’re in a horror flick. And super busy black and white prints — well think vintage tv feedback.
The good news is you don’t even have to worry about the bottom half, only your shoulders or at the most waist up, depending on your chair and camera position. (Be sure to test your set up to see what shows before you begin your calls.)
Ideas for Spiffying Up the View From the Top:
- Wardrobe related to your business. If you’re in the fashion industry, wear your line — I always try to sport the vintage clothes in my shop when I’m onscreen. Spa gal? Speaking to your clients, a robe from your spa may be fun. B to B calls, depends on your industry.
- Necklines — because your top is what’s showing, necklines can make or break how you look. Go for, round, scoop necks, slight v necked tops, collared blouses or boatnecks.
- More Frills — My mom used to say we didn’t look good in ruffly things as they emphasized our “cuteness”. But now is the perf time to break out those tops that IRL might be too fussy. Ruffles, lace, bows will give you dimension on camera.
- Texture Up —Add accessories that give dimension to your silouette. Bonus, they draw the viewers eye towards your face. For instance, clip on suspenders (stop rolling your eyes — they are super fun on any age or gender!), a scarf tied off center or layer a sheer blouse over a t-shirt — instant glam.
- Bling — bring out those gigantic necklaces! Statement, bib or multistrand bead pieces can go on over practically anything to perk up your video & viewers. If you don’t own big jewelry, layer smaller necklaces of varying lengths till you’re happy with the chunk.
- Hair Everywhere — Barrettes, headbands and hair scarves keep strands out of your eyes (in a recent video I caught myself sweeping bangs nearly every 5 minutes!) but draw attention to your face.
- Vivid Colors — I always feel accountable for my viewers’ happiness. So I like going for sunshine yellows, oranges, pinks, reds . . . candy colors! If you don’t normally wear or own these colors, try adding a multicolored scarf.
What not to wear:
- Bare Skin — seriously when basically only the top half of your shoulders may be showing, not the time for an off-the shoulder top. Low cut, just stop! Everyone’s minds will wander.
- Nude colors — see my faux pas below. No contrast equals a ghost like appearance or worse blobby features — even my eyes & expressions are lost in the livestream below.
- Noisy jewelry — I adore jewelry, but I’ve made the mistake of wearing charm necklaces next to a lavalier mic that sounded like someone shaking a piggy bank in the mic and bangle stacks that jingled and jangled over my voice.
- White or black — see above.
- Small prints — they look muddy and detract from your message as folks try and guess the motif.
Does It Really Matter What You Wear?
This is the million dollar question. Really what you wear shouldn’t matter, but if you’re spending your time to communicate via a video call — don’t you want to make the greatest impact you can?
The wardrobe techniques here are designed to attract folks to your words and face which add power and personality to your message.
Now if the choice is between doing a video call and not doing the call because you’re worried you’ve only got a ratty tee on . . . do the call. But if you can, why not do a “Two Minute Makeover” and throw a bright scarf around your neck or a chunky necklace on?