We had an interesting discussion a while ago, wondering what IS the best Zoom shirt for women (based on a NYT article about men who had Zoom shirts). Readers have had a few threadjacks on the topic, though, so I thought we’d go on a hunt for today.
Some notes on the (very different!) takes on what makes a cute Zoom top:
- Some people have noted that it is “higher necked and brighter.”
- Some people have said they only wear V-necks because they’re more flattering.
- Some people say it just does not matter.
- For my $.02, especially as we get into fall, think about adding an easy third piece like a substantial necklace, a cardigan or sweater blazer or even a scarf
I usually just collage the ones we’ve already pictured in the roundup, but there were so many nice options I thought I’d make a collage out of some of those that are only mentioned/linked below.
Above: pink / ivory / purple / white
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Some Zoom tops we’ve seen…
This may be the first time I’ve ever recommended clothing from Walmart — but for $13 this top has a lot to like for Zoom. Cute ruffles and pleats at the shoulder, nice bright color, even nice ruffled edges at your wrists if you’re gesturing or adjusting on the call.
If you haven’t checked out Walmart’s Time & Tru brand, do take a look — it is often suggested by other bloggers as a dupe for Free People. Other affordable tops to consider: this $14 “femme lace top” and this $20 ruffled top (so happy and bright!). (This waffle tunic is a bit on the casual side but people swear by it as an affordable dupe for FP thermals.)
This cute eyelet puff top comes in white and saffron and is down to $19 today — lucky sizes only, though.
This top has a similar neck ruffle for $29, and this top also has eyelet details near the top for $29.
Fun fact: Express has an entire category now for “tops for video calls.” This crocheted tank feels fun, particularly because you can add it or remove it throughout the day as you want to. After all, white can be so flattering but it doesn’t always go well with the marinara in your lunch.
The above top is $29 and comes in white and black; I’m also a fan of this lace button-front peplum top, which almost looks like it functions like a cardigan. This $20 tank is a bit on the low-cut side, but I love the pleated details on the shoulder.
This madras plaid top is a bestseller at Ann Taylor and I can see why — it’s such a bright, beautiful color. I think it would look great layered under a cardigan.
In fact, I think you could actually get a lot of different looks based on what color you pull out from it (assuming you have different colors for cardigans). A dark blue one would pick up the blues and make the purples pop; a hot pink one would brighten it up and make the oranges pop.
It’s normally $59 but is marked to $30 today; available in regular and petite sizes XS-XL.
Other nice options at Ann Taylor: I love this bright blue flare-sleeve tee with pleated neck details; and this ruffle henley shell looks chic but effortless. The brand also has a ton of ruffle-neck options.
This lace and crepe top from Halogen comes in both sleeveless and long-sleeved versions — the sleeveless shell has a ton of great colors, including this cheerful green. Again, I’d do a cardigan with it because I’m always cold, but I think when everyone is back in the office it will also look great with a blazer. The tops are $59-$69 at Nordstrom.
Some other nice options: I love the tiny circles decorating the V-neck on this top from 1.State, and the pleat details on this rumpled satin shell from Vince Camuto are great for Zoom. (Also a reader favorite in the Before Times!) The button details on this silk blouse from Club Monaco are amazing, and there are a TON of tops with nice yoke details. This ruffle-sleeve top is also lovely (and comes in a zillion colors).
Finally, just a note that if you’re considering adding a third piece, statement necklaces can really elevate a simple tee; a sweater blazer can also frame a top nicely.
Pictured above, great sweater jackets for the office as of 2023: cream* / navy / black* / burgundy* / cropped black (also this Anthro one, and Kat loves this one*!) (* available in plus sizes)
Here are some fun statement necklaces as of Nov. 2022… Note that Alexis Bittar, Karine Sultan, Bauble Bar, Deepa Gurnani, Knotty, and even All Saints and Kendra Scott often have some nice options as well.
Readers, what kinds of tops do you consider “cute Zoom tops” if you’re on the hunt? What’s your Zoom look?
Do men think this much about their tops for zoom? I don’t understand why shopping your closet won’t work here. From the suggestions listed it doesn’t appear that prints,bright colors, ruffles or lace details, or any other type of decoration on a shirt is a detriment for the camera. It stands to reason that women own items similar to these already. Ladies who zoom – are the men showing up in new tops for your meetings?
Disclaimer: Yes I know stuff wears out, needs to be replaced for various reasons, or you get bored with what you have. Yes I know this is a fashion blog, people like to shop, consumerism isn’t all evil. Also that eyelet top is really cute. That’s not what I care about here. I am curious if there’s this much discussion about tops for men who zoom and if not, why do women need a new thing to be concerned with during a pandemic that men don’t need to think about?
Preach! This post demonstrates that “Zoom tops” have nothing in common with one another, and also nothing that differentiates them from other shirts. So, if you simply feel like buying yourself some new shirts, go ahead?
And no, I have definitely not heard of men being marketed anything analogous.
My guess: men don’t normally wear dresses, find them too formal for WFH, and then wonder what they can wear with their Athleta bottoms that will look passable on-camera.
I think it’s the sweet spot between comfort/casual and work appropriate that may be a hole in some women’s closets. If I’m working from home, I don’t want to wear a silk blouse or a dry clean only sweater. (My team keeps cameras off for all meetings so this hasn’t been a problem for me.)
Yes, this. Zoom tops have enough detail to look professional but they aren’t in workwear fabric, which I cannot seem to force myself to wear at home. They are usually a cotton blend and look equally good with jeans and dress pants. This has always been a wardrobe hole for me, so I have bought a few zoom tops.
Fair question. I’ll add that in my skypr world men’s fashion choices dictate formality. Meaning, I’ll be advised that I’m appearing remotely on something and “male lawyers in that part are wearing polo shirts” or blazers, ect. I get that the men’s attire is often a helpful shorthand but it does feel like they’re actually dictating the formality in skype court land by appearing early and often in their attire of choice.
I do think the “zoom shirt” concept can be useful for some of us. In the Before Times, I wore a lot of structured sheath dresses and blazers to the office and court. I am not wearing that at home all day! My casual tops were athletic wear (which can be revealing) or giant sweaters that are still too hot for this time of year. Not appropriate for videoconference court hearings, board meetings, or client meetings.
I purchased some additional tops from Karen Kane on final sale recently. They work for video calls and errands. They go with work pants when I go to the office, and leggings when I’m at home. I also purchased t-shirt dresses.
I think if you have a lot of work-appropriate tops, you’re fine without buying any new ones.
Exactly. I spend money on two types of clothes: (1) work clothes that are structured sheath dresses and various things of that ilk, and (2) high-quality athletic wear (tech fabric t-shirts, no seam shorts). Business casual, interesting top is just… not something I have.
It’s a fashion blog. She’s doing a relevant fashion angle. Some of us still want new work clothes even if we are WFH. I’m tired of wearing the same stuff since March.
The beginning of the article references an article about Men with Zoom shirts. So yes, some men are thinking about this…enough for an audience to get that article written and published.
This site has many articles about women’s fashion and shopping. You may want to stay away from this site if that bothers you. I am sure I think about clothes and appearance more than the men I work with and it doesn’t bother me. Tbh I probably think about my clothes and style more than most women I work with, too. I like fashion! Hate me for that if you must.
Of course men do not think this much about their tops for Zoom (if at all). The reason this is a thing is that we all need fewer clothes if primarily WFH, so retailers need to create more need for more clothes. Also, the way this site works is through ads from clicks from us–it’s how Kat and all make money. Yes, the consumerism peddled to women is BS, but why do you read this fashion blog in light of that sentiment?
Just because we’re all here reading a fashion blog doesn’t mean we can’t occasionally talk about this topic, especially when we see really egregious examples, like the made up idea of a “Zoom top.” We contain multitudes.
I keep flirting with the idea of quitting this site, and Anon at 3:53, you may have pushed me over the edge. The commenters are just so argumentative and judgmental and frankly, NEVER happy.
Actually, my husband is much more concerned about this than I am. Before, it was clear he had to wear a jacket and tie at work. Now, it’s unclear what he’s supposed to wear on video calls or on the days he goes in. Norms for acceptable professional clothing have changed incredibly quickly since March–more so than I can ever remember.
Kat, the photo of the St. Ambroeus goes to a J Crew sweater, and the text link goes to the Woolf.
whoops thank you! i think i fixed it…
Might be a little late in the day, but any suggestions for nice joggers (comfy enough for home, but nice enough to leave the house in) for men? Or work appropriate nice backpacks for men? DH’s birthday is coming up and he’s mentioned those two items in the past. He’s late 20’s, and medium sized athletic build. TIA!!
my husband (32) has and wears the uniqlo joggers with lined zippers (i think they’re called “MEN DRY STRETCH SWEATPANTS”) out and about all the time – i think the zippers make them look more intentional maybe. he also has the destination joggers from tentree (a sustainable brand that plants trees when you buy stuff) which are not like a sweatpant material but still comfy and look good. and i think he has regular sweatpants from tentree but they have the jogger-like legs where it goes in a bit that he wears around the house a lot
My SO has these joggers, they fit well over his biker legs, the fabric looks very nice, they are super flattering, and they seem comfortable for WFH: https://www.kitandace.com/us/en/commute-joggers/KMB10107.html?dwvar_KMB10107_color=10022#page=1&start=2.
For backpacks, not sure how formal his work is but Chrome Industry bags are indestructible and while some styles are pretty rugged, others may work for the office, e.g., https://www.chromeindustries.com/product/hondo-backpack/BG-219.html?dwvar_BG-219_color=MLBK&dwvar_BG-219_size=NA&cgid=backpacks.
Do I need to accept that Zoom has become the generic term for video conferencing? As someone in the video conferencing industry, it frustrates me that everyone just uses Zoom as the generic term. There are so many other video conferencing services that we can and do use, and calling the entire industry Zoom is detrimental to the other platforms.
It’s helpful shorthand because the other platforms’ names are stupid in conversation. Teams? Confusing. BlueJeans? What. Zoom is distinctive.
This always happens. . . we copied on Xerox machines and use Kleenex.
Haha Bluejeans. Totally what.
(Same Anon) can you imagine if we were all like, I have a Bluejeans happy hour tonight? Lol
The other platforms should have done whatever it is Zoom did, then. I totally understand where you’re coming from, but it’s a battle that’s already been lost.
I say “call” to mean video or phone call. “I have a call”. It’s almost always video. We don’t use Zoom at my company. We use google. Sometimes, I get invited to Zoom calls though.
Okay, I’m jaded about buying clothes right now and I barely zoom but some of these are seriously cute. Looking at you pink puff sleeve and elaborate green tank.