The New Business Casual

We were all worried about how we and our surroundings would appear on video when we started using Zoom in place of traditional conference calls. During the first two weeks, I noticed that most participants would wear make-up and everyone’s hair was appropriately styled. At least the the top half of us looked presentable. People were wearing decent tops and maybe even a pair of earrings. I have no idea (nor do I want to know) what the bottom half looked like.  Spoiler alert, my bottom refused to budge out of yoga pants from the start.

Within two weeks, it all went to “Hell in a handbasket”, as my mother would say. It’s as if Covergirl went out of business. Not one fake eyelash or bit of voluminizing mascara was to be found. Gone were ruby red lips and eyeliner. I don’t know why the shelves in the grocery stores are empty of shampoo because the people I am hanging out with are clearly not interested in washing their hair. The two business hair styles are now:  a ponytail or a ball cap. Men seem to be opting for the ball cap only. I do feel sorry for my female friends and colleagues who could not muster the courage to color their own hair.  Does she, or doesn’t she? Oh, she does!  Sales of root touch up have increased almost 200% in recent months.

Our wardrobes have taken a nosedive too. During one conference call the chat room was overflowing with messages from participants asking each other what was written on their t-shirts. I was embarrassed (for about 10 seconds) when I showed up in the same outfit as a man (white ballcap and plain gray t-shirt). Luckily for me it was the company CEO and he was glad to see someone dressed as shabbily as he. An apparel company is manufacturing the WFH (Work From Home) Jammies which is half dress shirt and half sweatshirt on the top and sweatpants on the bottom. Sign me up! Shorts, t-shirts, sweats, and pajama bottoms have become the new business casual. I wonder if these will remain in the “new normal”?

Someone once told me, “Sloppy dress equals sloppy work”. I don’t know if this statement is true, but these yoga pants aren’t going anywhere!