You’ve probably heard of “dressing to impress” for an interview or a hot date, but have you ever heard of dressing to impress yourself? Psychologists have performed research on this and found that how you dress may impact you more than you think.
Here’s why you should think twice about what you decide to put on in the morning.
To increase confidence and self-esteem
The way you dress changes the way you see yourself and can raise or lower self-confidence. This has been illustrated many times in studies, however one prominent experiment led by Professor Karen Pine at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, showed that people who wear clothing with certain associations are more likely to change the way they see their own abilities.
To demonstrate, she took two groups of men, one group wearing plain t-shirts and the other wearing Superman t-shirts. The second group predicted they could lift far more weight than the first group, leading experts to believe that the clothing changed their self perception. So, with this in mind, the clothes you pick can alter your sense of self in a positive way and may give you that extra bit of confidence you need.
To boost your mood
Have you ever wondered why, when you’re sad, you’d rather throw on some baggy pants and a t-shirt rather than dress up in your finest jewelry? Psychologists have studied this issue in a number of ways and have found strong contrasts between “happy” and “sad” outfits. If you feel a bit blue, it’s possible to change your state of mind by reaching for your favorite pair of jeans and heels rather than baggy sweat pants with holes in them. Fight the urge to dress bummy (even thought we love to) if you want to cheer up.
To help you achieve your goals
If you have an important meeting, presentation or examination looming, it’s important you understand that dressing a certain way can do more than just improve your mood and self-confidence. It can actually help you to perform better. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology has shown that subjects who wore white coats performed better when taking examinations than those who wore street clothes. This was due to the fact that a white coat is associated with authoritative medical professions.
Their improved focus was evident only when subjects actually wore the coat (not just when they were in the same room as the coat). So, if you need to do well and you have pre-existing ideas of what a powerful woman looks like, you’d be wise to copy her outfit styles in order to subconsciously take on some of those desirable traits.
Go ahead, try it for yourself
Not only does choosing the right outfit make you look amazing, but it can also improve your life in ways you hadn’t realized before. Certain clothes can make us bolder, brighter, and more focused. Maybe it is worth buying a new outfit before an important event in your life and taking the time to ensure your look impresses you, first and foremost. You know what they say, dress for the job you want.