December 2020 is finally here! Congrats, you’ve made it and if you are like me, you have received several web invites for virtual family dinners, virtual secret Santa’s, and virtual work parties. It’s definitely not my first choice of communicating but such a wonderful option to connect with family, friends, and coworkers at this time of year in a safe space.
Also, if you are like me you have slowly realized that you need to dress for some of these parties and really put your best foot forward with your stellar holiday style; maybe not so much with family but definitely with events where there are coworkers, employers, and new acquaintances to be had.
So how does your personal stylist recommend you shop, dress, and present yourself in the best way possible? Below are my 5 – tried and tested – tips to put you ahead of the pack with great style!
1. Focus on your upper half.
The majority of your time on these event calls will be focused on you from the waist up. So, how can we add flair with such a small canvas? Your base layer is going to be your shirt. Find something fun and festive. This can be an ugly sweater (that is super chic, obvi), a festive shirt with glitter, sparkles, or a winter pattern, or something a little bit less traditional (don’t go with the predictable reds and greens) —what’s your ‘go-to’ color? Find it, and we can work in some holiday cheer with your accessories.
Consider a layer on top of your base. For a work party, I recommend some sort of blazer or jacket but don’t go traditional. Find some holiday plaids, velvets or fun holiday patterns. However, if you are planning on wearing a glitzy party dress, let that baby shine and do not cover it up.
Accessories are an easy and fun option to add flair and personality to your style. I am always trying to find new pieces to add. Recently, I have been wearing a heart-shaped pin with LGBTQ+ pride colors that are attached to my collar. Along this same vein, find some holiday pieces that you could utilize. Think earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, pocket squares, or ties. You could add pins, a holiday hat, or a Christmas bow.
For the gents, this can be a bit harder as many of you don’t wear jewelry but what a great opportunity to try something new or think outside the box. You could add a holiday tie/bow tie, pocket square, or holiday tie-bar. If the event is more casual, look into a holiday costume!
3. Get a ring light!
I have mentioned this in previous blog posts and I am adding it here as well. It is important that you have great lighting. You don’t want to be backlit with shadows covering your face nor do you want a harsh light staring at you and washing you out. A good ring light will have various levels of brightness and shades or tones of lighting. Turn your computer camera on, set up your ring light, and find the lighting that works best and accentuates the best parts of YOU.
4. Don’t forget your pants!
As I wrote earlier, 90% of the calls you will have are going to be focused on your chest and up. That is what the camera sees, but what if you’re meeting with family? What if you’re meeting is more casual? What if you’re wearing a hot dress? What if you chose a tux and want to show off your socks? In these cases, don’t forget your pants.
Zoom meetings for work are stale and not very personal but holiday calls are going to be more personal and less formal. People may want to see your room, take a tour of your house, or see your Christmas decorations. Be prepared to stand up and walk around the house with your computer showing the people all of the things. But remember that our homes are full of reflective surfaces and if you feel you must only dress up your top half, be mindful of all the shiny surfaces. But do us all a favor and put your pants on; dress to impress and avoid any wardrobe malfunctions!
5. Have so much fun!
Remember that 2020 is just weird. Everything we have done and will do just feels different so try to have fun with it! As mentioned above, think about utilizing a fun holiday costume for your parties; dress up as Santa or Ms. Clause; decorate an old sweater with your holiday wrapping paper and bows, or design a fun background to upload to your zoom call (or download them from the internet—they are free!). These parties can be a great opportunity to think outside of the box, have some fun, and make others around you smile.
**Extra mile tip! Do your calls standing up!**
Most people are going to take these holiday calls in their office because that is the norm. However, think about setting up your calls in a new location. Where would you be if you are hosting a Christmas party yourself? If you feel comfortable, open up your home to the audience. Set the computer back and show your dining table; consider making cookies or wrapping presents while on these calls. Put Christmas music on in the background, fire up your Christmas tree and pour yourself some hot cocoa. By inviting people in, you will help foster more real and personable experiences and brighten somebody’s holiday!
Your Denver Personal Stylist