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'The Zoom shirt': how the pandemic changed work dress codes

Work dress codes have radically altered during the pandemic. According to a poll from market research group NPD, only 10% of people get dressed for working from home at the start of the day and then change into comfortable clothes later.

With virtual video conferencing as the only contact with our colleagues, one item of clothing that has become essential is the so-called “Zoom shirt”. According to Urban Dictionary this is the “shirt or blouse that’s kept on the back of your desk chair to quickly be presentable for video conferences”. A recent poll by LinkedIn found that 42% of camera ready home workers owned one.

“It allows you to retain an image of professionalism on camera without having to get kitted out in full office attire, when you’re sitting at your kitchen table all day,” says Rupert Wesson, director at Debrett’s. “Dressing in a formal manner helps you look and feel more polished. It conveys respect to others. A study actually found that employees were more productive when casual dress was permitted. The ‘Zoom shirt’ supports this idea.”

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