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People are buying shirts but not pants because they’re always on Zoom

Who needs pants in the age of the coronavirus

That seems to be the thinking of many consumers, according to Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of Walmart’s Corporate Affairs. The retail giant has seen a boost in customers buying tops — but not bottoms.

“These behaviors are going to continue to change and evolve as people get accustomed to this new lifestyle,” Bartlett said in an interview with Yahoo Finance on Thursday. 

These buying habits, Bartlett said, will ebb and flow “based on the news,” but despite a dislike for bottoms, he said consumers have also been buying more popsicle sticks, crafts, and puzzles — a dramatic shift from last week when Walmart saw a spike in sales for disinfectant and protective gear.

But it seems we’ve reached a new corporate attire thanks to COVID-19 and shelter in place mandates: Business casual on the top, pants optional on the bottom. And this makes sense, considering most people who have the ability to work from home have been using Zoom, the remote conferencing app, to dial into virtual meetings and company calls. 

As more people make the move to video conferencing apps like Zoom, the more conversations we have about the proper etiquette for e-meetings. 

Advice wavers on the appearance of toddlers and pets. Outlets like The New York Times have called these interruptions “cute and heartwarming” but ultimately have the ability to “derail it altogether.” The internet, however, appears to disagree with that advice. One user said, “If I’m on a Zoom call I only want to see your pets and have your kids tell me facts about your pets, sorry.”

The same goes for wardrobe. Workplace and home life have merged in the last few weeks, and don’t appear to be separating anytime soon, leaving work-from-home employees pondering the proper clothing to don before tapping “join call.”

“We have become a nation of Winnie the Poohs on Zoom,” Twitter user @lexlanham wrote. While user @ajvthegreat had a more practical tip: “Should you do a Zoom [or] video conference call and choose to not wear pants, just remember to not stand up.”

The verdict? Pants optional, for now perhaps.

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Meira Gebel
Meira Gebel is a freelance reporter based in Portland. She writes about tech, social media, and internet culture for Digital…
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