How to dress out of the box for your Zoom and Houseparty video gatherings

Autograph Top £45 online at Marks & SpencerAutograph Top £45 online at Marks & Spencer
Autograph Top £45 online at Marks & Spencer
Dear Style Clinic, My diary is more packed than ever with parties and special celebrations, albeit in a virtual way with conference video calls. Obviously, I can be seen - what should I wear? Stephanie Smith has the following advice ...

You are not alone. (Never have those words seemed so apt.) The Zoom and Houseparty apps are providing a welcome distraction from the ongoing lockdown isolation difficulties, and all this awful anxiety, not least by providing many of us with a reason to carry on, to make an effort, dress up and put on our best face.

The good news is that you only really have to think about dressing from the waist up, so it’s all about putting on a great top. Although, if you’re thinking of taking part wearing a top and just your pants, make sure you don’t have to make any potentially undignified moves as you top up your glass or wonder where your crisp bowl has got to.

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Remember, if you want you and your top to be seen, pull back from the screen - it’s worth taking time to make sure you are displayed attractively within your video slot, whether using your phone or your computer. Headbands and earrings are worth thinking about too, although styling here depends on whether or not you’re wearing headphones. Again, experiment. If you can’t indulge your inner selfie queen or king now, when can you?

Numph Nuarzilla vintage printed blouse, £56 from Horsforth-based Very Stylish Girl at Nuarzilla vintage printed blouse, £56 from Horsforth-based Very Stylish Girl at
Numph Nuarzilla vintage printed blouse, £56 from Horsforth-based Very Stylish Girl at
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Step out of those PJs and into morale-boosting #WFH style

Back to the tops. Just as in the real world, your choice will depend on the type of gathering. Bold but clean prints in two contrasting colours are effective, allowing you to be picked out easily on screen. The blue and white leaf print top here from Autograph at Marks & Spencer is great style for all ages, with its gathered high neck and loose sleeves - and very SS20 (though who knew we would be having a completely screen-delivered SS20 fashion season?).

A kimono jacket makes an easy-chic throw-on, if you’re really struggling to make the effort. For after-dark evening parties, think simple shapes and perhaps a little glistening embellishment about the neckline to catch the light. Although lighting is a whole other story ...

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

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Blue and white leaf print top, £45, Autograph online at Marks & Spencer.Blue and white leaf print top, £45, Autograph online at Marks & Spencer.
Blue and white leaf print top, £45, Autograph online at Marks & Spencer.

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