The pandemic’s dress code


Photo by Erin Sockolof

A man stands in front of his computer wearing a collared shirt and jeans.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that many people have been working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You probably also know that people don’t tend to ‘dress up’ for formal business meetings anymore. A handful of executives and reporters have even been caught on camera looking not so decent. But just how decent should you be if your co-workers and clients can’t see all of you?

Traditional dress codes state that you should dress in business casual attire the majority of the time. However, you should still dress in formal business attire for specific occasions. They also say that you should wear pants or skirts — if you are not wearing a dress — and proper footwear. But these guidelines, were for the most part, written before the age of Zoom meetings. 

This begs the question, what should you wear to a Zoom business meeting? Sure, your boss won’t be able to see your briefs but are you breaking company rules for not wearing bottoms?

 I say yes. It is not only an accident waiting to happen, but it can also cause poor performance. I believe that traditional dress codes were on to something with their strict guidelines. That’s not to say I don’t love a comfy pair of sweatpants but, productivity is more important. Plus, I can be comfortable on my own time. When I am working, I want to optimize the quality and quantity of what I do. I want to let people know that I am ready for success. For me, that looks like wearing modest and professional clothes, focusing and sharing creative ideas. All of that becomes much harder to do when your boss can’t see your thighs. 

So wear some pants because who knows, you might be the next Bill Gates.