When homebound workers need to dress up moments before a meeting, they reach for the breakout garment of quarantine season, the zoom shirt.
People who managed to stay employed during the pandemic will confess to owning a Zoom Shirt: a top, kept on a hanger nearby, they pop on in moments before their webcam reunions. It comes handy for a last-minute work meeting. Or a meeting planned a week ago. Or any meeting.
Maria Rugolo, apparel industry analyst for the NPD Group, said a poll showed that only 10% of people get dressed for working at home at the start of the day and change into “comfortable clothes” later. Some vast portion of the rest, just slip into and out of Zoom Shirts.
There are several ways to Zoom Shirt. Some people use only one garment. Others rotate at least a couple shirts, or stratify them by degree of formality, depending on the situation. Some take their Zoom Shirt on and off for every meeting.
When choosing a Zoom Shirt, should be considered that the garment rarely leaves a single room, needs the same qualities as a travel shirt: durable, easy to store, able to front in a variety of social settings. Most settling on cheap, casual, basic H&M numbers that maintain a cheap, casual, basic look. Some brands like the men’s wear Proper Cloth are starting to capitalize on this trend with a $175 merino wool dress shirt promised would “hold its shape” even after being thrown on the sofa near the laptop.
The Zoom Shirt market is competitive. LaFleur brand promoted the idea of “mullet dressing” — business on top, party on the bottom. Urban Outfitters: “Shirts, blouses and camis to keep you video-call ready.” Brooks Brothers: “What We’re Wearing: Our Video Conference Edit.” Neiman Marcus: “Picks for when you’re only in the mood for dressing up from the waist up.”
Walmart sold more tops than bottoms in the first quarter of the year. Google Trends shows that “shirts” is at a months-high search term. Google Trends records data for term “Zoom Shirts”.
The Zoom Shirt has accelerated the leisure wear trend. Chief executive of Suitsupply, has been selling lots of $100 popover shirts — long-sleeve polos with buttons that go halfway down, conveniently out of camera range.
In addition to the Zoom Shirt and its variants Zoom Scarf and Zoom Sweater, female executives told they kept a Zoom Bra beside their computer to pop on for meetings.What’s your zoom shirt?