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Top Tips: Your essential guide to ‘above the keyboard’ dressing

by Sarah Biancardi, House of Colour consultant

The need for online interactions in place of face-to-face gatherings and meetings is essential amid the COVID-19 pandemic and while social distancing measures are in place. The effects on our personal and professional exchanges require us to be available and camera-ready at all times.

How we present ourselves over camera/video has never felt more relevant. The area surrounding our faces, also referred to as our cameo/communication area, has always been the most important part of our bodies for dressing to make the right impression. The only difference now is that our faces are more visible than ever before (even in self-isolation), thanks to digital communication advancements.

Leading global trend forecaster WGSN reported ‘above the keyboard dressing’ as a pivotal trend for 2020 as we grow increasingly reliant on screen-based communications for sharing our life activities, events and for promoting professional and personal brands. Webinars and video calls are now crucial in the absence of face-to-face meetings.

But what does this mean in our newly disrupted lives and how can we alleviate the pressures of dressing for ‘above the keyboard’ interactions? Our top tips:

  1. Focus on accessories and clothing surrounding your face: Online communications typically highlight those areas that surround our face – think about adding impact and authority by detailing on necklines and sleeves, statement necklaces, earrings, scarves, hair accessories and make-up. Use eye-catching accessories to reflect your personal brand.
  2. Consider using hair accessories to keep your look smart and stylish: For many of us, maintaining our hairstyles is an essential part of our grooming routine and the prospect of longer breaks between hairdressing appointments will run deeper than a mild inconvenience. For now, keep hair freshly washed or styled for video calls, especially if these are for professional purposes. Use carefully placed hair accessories to keep outgrown cuts looking intentional and stylish. Knotted hairbands, hair scarves and pearl hair clips are no accidental trend. Stay in touch with your hair colourist/stylist to keep abreast of their opening times and availability.
  3. Keep ‘below the screen’ dressing simple and practical: WGSN predicts that ‘off-screen’ accessories including bags and shoes will lessen in importance as our online reliance increases. In the coming weeks and months it will serve us all well to keep our trousers, skirts and shoes comfortable and functional.
  4. Wear your most flattering colours and metals: These will take the hard work out of getting ready for you. Wearing colours from your seasonal palette will make you look brighter and more radiant on and off screen. Sticking to your seasonal colours will also give you more opportunities to mix and match outfits and accessories with ease. We work out your best colours during a colour analysis class.
  5. Remember your lipstick: In times of economic uncertainty we are less inclined to treat ourselves to costly luxuries. Buy a lipstick in a shade that suits your natural colouring to quickly and easily elevate your look – perfect for adding emphasis to your words during that video conference and for giving you a confidence boost when video calling friends and family. 

House of Colour consultants are here to help you continue to put your best foot forward in these unsettling times. Contact your local consultant to see how their services have been modified to accommodate social distancing measures.