The Video Call is Starting. Time To Put On Your Zoom Shirt

Joel Stein at The New York Times:

It’s time to log in to his first Zoom meeting of his workday, so Joe Farrell puts on a short-sleeve button-down from Brooks Brothers, in black, red and white plaid.

He has worn it for video calls on 70 consecutive days. This was not his plan. “My ego thought someone would notice,” said Mr. Farrell, the executive vice president of the comedy empire Funny or Die.

No one did. Not one of the half-dozen co-workers he sees every day via screen said anything. Neither did the 50-odd entertainment industry executives he Zooms with week after week. This is a man who once owned 210 shirts because, as the host of a design show on TLC, he couldn’t have viewers see him repeat.

Finally, the terrible secret of this single garment became too much for Mr. Farrell to bear. He began confiding in colleagues about his Zoom Shirt.

“Every time I’ve outed myself, they say, ‘Oh, yeah,’ and they pull up two shirts hanging on the back of their chair,” he said.…

For most of my time working from home, my uniform has been T-shirts and, in cool weather, sweatshirts. As Zoom took off this year, I pulled some sport shirts out of the closet — not as formal as dress shirts, but not as casual as T-shirts either.

I recently bought a few polo shirts, to have something comfortable, but with a collar.

I’m already thinking ahead to winter, and pullover sweaters and cardigans instead of the sweatshirts. I’m not expecting shelter in place to last that long but you never know, and regardless video conferencing is here to stay.

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner