You might have heard the old adage “dress for success” — the suggestion that if you look like a million dollars, you’ll eventually make a million dollars.  This old saying may not be too far off. Many studies have shown that the clothes you wear may affect your mental and physical performance. But what if you work remotely? Does dressing up really matter when we’re not going “to the office”? In short, yes. The psychological effects of dressing up as well as the practical effects of what to wear also apply to video calls.

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How do you know what to wear when working remotely?

  • PRETEND YOU ARE GOING TO THE OFFICE. Many people report feeling better when they get out of their pajamas/yoga clothes and into proper work clothing. During the 2014 30-day “try-on-athon”, I noticed a certain level of self-respect for myself – and it helped create a distinction between when I was at “home” and when I was “working”. More importantly, my clients noticed on the video calls we had.
  • ACCESSORIZE. Things like scarves, jackets, jewelry, and hats can go a long way to making a simple outfit more professional and dressy.
  • TAKE OFF NOISY JEWELRY. Long earrings, bracelets, necklaces can sometimes create unwanted background noise on calls (by clicking against your earbuds
  • BE WELL LIT. On video calls, lighting is surprisingly important. Science shows that the better lit you are, the more engaging it is for others on the call.
  • SOLID COLORS ARE SAFE. On video calls, patterns like stripes and checkers can have some psychedelic effects and can get overemphasized.
  • STAY AWAY FROM ALL WHITE/BLACK. Wearing all white can be a bit glaring for others on the call; in contrast, all black can be gloomy and create a washed-out effect on the person wearing it.
  • DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE CALL. If you have an online interview or an important video call with a client, take the time to dress more professionally. It makes a good impression. If you’re meeting with a friend or people you’ve known for a while, this matters less, of course.


Results of the 2014 30-day “try-on-athon”

Click here to see the full album.

Podcast production by Podcast Monster

Graphic design by Alfred Boland

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More resources

198 – How To Have A Great Video Conferencing Setup

Results of the 30 Day Try-on-athon!




Work Together Anywhere Workshop by Collaboration Superpowers


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