Being cooped up at home during the COVID-19 pandemic likely means you’re relying on virtual interactions to keep yourself entertained and sane. Between video conferences and increased social media posts due to self-isolation and social distancing, your online presence is probably higher than ever.
Just because we’ve been asked to live like hermits doesn’t mean we have to look like them. Putting a little effort into your appearance when homebound will speak volumes to current and prospective employers, as well as your family and friends. Here are a few ways to step up your game so you can look and feel your best while stuck at home:
Video Conferences: Look Sharp in Your PJ Bottoms
It’s commonly said that you should continue your normal work routine, even when you’re logging in from home. While that may work for some, many find that they work better in the comfort of their pajamas.
With that being said, if you have a videoconference scheduled and you’re planning to be on camera, you should dress how you would if you were in the office (at least from the waist up).
Even from home, you should present your best self to your co-workers, which involves more than just wearing a collared shirt or a nice blouse.
The sharpness of your look also depends on the lighting during your videoconference. You don’t want your screen debut to look like you’re working from a cave, and that can happen if you’re relying only on natural light.
A room filled with natural light can appear bright to the person in it, but look dark on a screen. It’s wise to get on the video call early to test your laptop camera and check the lighting in your space. Desk lamps are a great investment for providing an extra glow when you’re on camera.
Video Interviews: Wear Glasses and Appear Studious
The economy has been on a downward slope as an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and left many looking for a job. With limitations on in-person interaction, video interviews may be the only way to speak with an employer about a new role.
Just as you would put your best features forward in an in-person interview, the same should follow for a virtual interview. Research suggests wearing glasses makes you look smarter, so sporting some specs in an interview can add points to your intelligence rating.
Knowing what frames best fit your face shape can really help you look and feel your best. Find a pair that accentuates your favorite facial features, such as your eyes, your hair color or your freckles.
Once you’ve found frames that flatter your features and fit your personal style, complete the look with anti-reflective lenses. You don’t want the light from your laptop screen to cast a glare onto your lenses, replacing your eyes with two glowing rectangles. Anti-reflective (also called anti-glare) lenses will shield against natural and artificial light, helping you see better and look better.
LinkedIn Profiles: Create a Memorable Look
Whether or not you’re currently employed, it’s a good idea to use some of this downtime to update (or create!) your LinkedIn profile. Typically, using a selfie as your profile picture is not recommended, but given the circumstances (and new “portrait mode” technology), we think you can make an exception.
Your profile picture is your first impression to prospective employers, so you want to be memorable yet professional. Choosing a red accessory like a tie or eyeglass frames will give off a bold-but-tasteful vibe.
Is red a little too much for you? Perhaps blue frames are more appropriate for your taste and comfort zone. Don’t go too crazy with a hat or bright-colored blazer — you want to stand out for all the right reasons.
FaceTime with Friends, Family: Look Them in the Eye
Family and friends will love you even at your worst, so it’s tempting to hop on a FaceTime call without putting yourself together. The thing is that when you look good, you feel better, even if all you’ve done is brush your teeth or comb your hair. You deserve a “you” that’s been taken care of and so do your friends.
Looking to spark some conversation? Get some new specs! If you don’t need prescription lenses, consider fake ones — yeah, it’s a thing.
Once you’ve gotten yourself camera-ready and you’re FaceTiming with someone, make sure you’re looking them in the eye. This can be tricky at times because the person you’re talking to appears on your screen, but the camera lens hovers well over their heads.
In order to look at their eyes — like you would typically do in person — you’re not actually making eye contact. Remember to look into the camera every once in a while so they can get a glimpse of your eyes.
Use Blue Light Glasses to Ease Eye Strain
Between video conference calls, working on your LinkedIn profile, and FaceTiming your friends, your eyes have a lot of screen exposure. Overexposure can make your eyes tired, dry, and bloodshot, which is why protecting them with blue light glasses (also called computer glasses) is important.
Though lenses that block blue light are helpful in avoiding symptoms of digital eye strain (headache, eye fatigue, etc.), nothing will be as effective as reducing your screen time. Set a limit on how long you gaze at a screen and keep yourself accountable when your “screen time” is up.
Consider this social media distancing — and an effective way to protect your eyes while also protecting your overall health during the coronavirus pandemic.