Student Pharmacist

Written by student pharmacists for student pharmacists, Student Pharmacist magazine provides the latest on career preparation, leadership, legislative activities and advocacy efforts, patient care projects, APhA–ASP Chapter innovations, life on rotation, tips from new practitioners, and more.

It’s a new year … with a new dress code
Kranthi Chinthamalla
/ Categories: Student Magazine

It’s a new year … with a new dress code

Interview? Presentation? Virtual rotation? Can I wear pajamas? The remote lifestyle has changed many people’s wardrobes. I no longer have to wake up early to iron out wrinkles, and it is acceptable to wear the same outfit twice. But my professional dress hasn’t changed at all. Dressing professionally gives credibility and confidence.

Normal routines changed in 2020, and now that the calendar has turned to 2021, it’s time to make sure your virtual dress is up to par when you enable that camera.


Even if the interviewer can’t see your pants, wear them. You would not want to accidentally reveal your pajamas. When in doubt, wear pants. 

Jewel tones

Jewel tones flatter all skin. These tones prevent washing out under harsh lighting. Teal, true red, navy, and blush are all flattering colors. Ditch the patterns and flashy tops. Blazers are still a must during a pandemic. Ties should be conservative and not wrinkled. 


The camera is highly focused on your top half. Stay well-groomed, and pay a little extra attention to hair and makeup. Keep it simple. If your white coat is mandatory, keep it wrinkle-free because wrinkles are amplified over video. 

Background and body language

Virtual meetings are now invitations into one’s home. Curate your scene either by cleaning up the space behind you or using a professional Zoom background. Lighting is vital. Your new virtual dress code also includes your body language. Keep your eyes focused on the camera.

My dress report card

Check on my look on Zoom in the photo above. See if you think my grades are accurate. And be sure to follow my tips for your future video calls!

Pants, even if you can’t see them (Pass)
Solid, conservative top (Pass)
Blazer (Pass)
Personal but clean background (Pass)
Simple hair/makeup (Pass)
Glasses are fine, but beware of glare (Needs Improvement)
Better lighting needed (Needs Improvement)
Shirt material looks wrinkled and is amplified (Needs Improvement)

Sidrah Alam is a third-year PharmD candidate at the Shenandoah University Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy and was the 2019–20 APhA–ASP Region 2 Regional Member-at-large. 

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