Perfect Fit: Setting the atmosphere of your Zoom meeting

Looking good on Zoom calls is not all about your physical appearance

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Illustration of fashion and home accessories (backpack, pillow, etc.) in shades of pink and blue
Refresh your life with these simple style recommendations. Illustration: Kitty Cheung / The Peak

By: Jaymee Salisi, News Writer

Getting ready for your Zoom call is not just about your outfit, but the overall image your webcam portrays of you. There is a certain ambiance within your little Zoom box, and it can impact the mood of the call. This is not to make anyone feel like they’re doing Zoom calls wrong, because we are all doing our best over a year into this pandemic, but if you’re looking for small ways to elevate your next virtual meeting, check out this list:

Something to sip on

Photo: Jaymee Salisi / The Peak

There’s something about the person you see in your 11:30 a.m. lecture who has a different beverage every week. Whether they are drinking out of a homemade pink and green ceramic mug or a glass mason jar with a metal straw, their beverage becomes an accessory and it sets an immaculate vibe.

The best places to find cozy and unique mugs are local coffee shops. My personal favourite spot is Old Crow Coffee in New Westminster. Leaning into the use of bubbly earth-toned fonts on their mugs and selling woven nesting baskets for fruit, their merchandise is a mix of retro and cottagecore. 

I especially like this shop because they carry local brands and frequently support initiatives such as the Black and Indigenous Self-Care and Healing Fund and the Vancouver Black Therapy and Advocacy Foundation. You glow differently in that ECON 220W class when you know you’re supporting a business in line with your personal values.

Good lighting = remote learning glow up

Photo: Jaymee Salisi / The Peak

I try to get as much natural light into my room as possible because I think it looks the most appealing, but my neighbours’ houses and 45-metre-tall trees have other plans for me. My laptop’s mediocre 720p camera quality and obnoxiously yellow room light are also not the most helpful elements.

So if your work-from-home situation is anything like mine, a ring light will be your saving grace. I found mine on overstock.ca for $40, which might be a bit much for artificial light, but the best remedy for a pixelated camera is allowing more light into it. And it can be used for multiple occasions too — like taking pictures during class while your laptop camera is off. You didn’t hear that from me though.

Give your background some backbone

Photo: Jaymee Salisi / The Peak

The universal struggle of our time: The Zoom background. 10 minutes before a meeting you will always find me shuffling around my room in search for the perfect background angle. Now that I’ve added some personalized elements to my room, the dramatics associated with this crusade have been significantly reduced.

Adding life to your background creates a story, making your Zoom persona more tangible. Due to my incapability of keeping a small cactus alive, I decided to fake it ‘til I make it with a couple plastic hanging plants from IKEA. Who would’ve thought the best way to liven up the atmosphere would be to add artificial plant life?

For unique pots, Facebook Marketplace is a great resource to add character into your decor. The beauty of online reselling is you can find some of your favourite items for under $15! 

I’ve found the most charming pots for $2 from thrift stores — it goes to show that less is more because I’ve received the most compliments on these items.