“What you wear can influence your thinking and negotiating skills, and even hormone levels and heart rate” – Matthew Hutson
We all know that the way we dress speaks a lot about our personality, but as the years pass, numerous scientific studies have shown that what we wear also affects the way we think and behave. Even though these researches are mainly small, due to a great number of them, the first results mostly show that we actually feel different while wearing different types of clothes.
Some clothes make us feel more confident and more creative, other types of clothes makes us feel physically stronger and finally, a certain type of clothing makes people consider us more intelligent, unique and/or rebellious.
Clothing affects your self-confidence
According to a paper from Social Psychological and Personality Science, a certain number of subjects were instructed to wear casual clothing and formal clothing before taking intellectual tests. Those wearing formal clothing performed much better in the given tasks, especially when it comes to creative and organizational tasks, which confirmed higher creativity capabilities. So, next time you are facing a demanding task at work, make sure that you dress up, as it will make you feel more confident and focused.
Communication and clothing
Another important aspect of your character that it is affected by clothing is communication. In a study reported by the Journal of Experimental Psychology, subjects were required to wear formal and informal clothing in negotiation meetings. Those who wore business suits performed much better, as they assorted dominance over the person with whom they were negotiating.
On the other hand, those wearing informal clothes, sweatpants to be precise, had much lower testosterone levels and had lower scores when it came to persuasion skills. So, next time you are negotiating for a business deal, make sure that you suit up.
Attention and clothing
An interesting research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology back in 2012, showed a higher level of concentration with people who were told that they are wearing a doctor’s white coat. The study participants wore a painter’s smock, whereas others wore doctor’s coats. The ones dressed in doctor’s coats displayed incredibly higher results in attention demanding tasks. So, next time you are lacking focus, simply put on a doctor’s coat and immerse yourself in that concentration demanding task.
Effects of color on physical performance
The color of your clothes is not something you would expect to be affecting your physical or mental performance, however, two different researches showcase the effects of color on people’s physical and mental performance. The first study was published by the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology where the sportsmen were dressed in red and blue sport shirts. Those wearing red performed much better when it came to lifting weights before combat sparring.
Another important effect of the color red was that the heart rate of the participants wearing it was higher during the whole training process. Even though those wearing red sport shirts were more aggressive, it did not bring them more victories during combat practice.
Clothing and breaking the social norms
This study is particularly interesting, as it is dedicated to those who decided to break the rules of what they are expected to wear. We are all familiar with different social norms and respective dress codes followed by people in certain institutions. For example, when we think of a stock broker, we imagine a man wearing a suit; when we think of a surgeon, we imagine a man in scrubs, etc. However, according to several experiments published in the Journal of Consumer Research, breaking the expected dress code slightly can improve how you are perceived by the crowd.
According to the article, a man attending a black-tie affair, courageously decided to show up with a red tie. The results were astonishing, as people viewed this individual as someone who has a higher status and who is more capable and successful in all aspects of life. He was perceived as someone who is very confident and breaking the dress code brought about positive opinions. Another very interesting scenario was a professor in red Converse sneakers, who captivated the audience more easily as they valued his uniqueness.
The later interviewed audience revealed that the man was considered more intelligent and much more competent throughout the lecture. These examples clearly show that it’s possible to show your rebellious character by going against the established rules a little bit. But don’t overdo it, as it can seriously backfire.
Even though our clothing style greatly affects the way we behave and think, the smell is equally important. Some clothing items are easy to deal with, whereas others can be quite difficult to clean. The part of our wardrobe that causes the most problems are the shoes, but there are numerous creative ways to reduce the odor they give off. As published in an article on livescience, scents greatly affect the way we think and behave, so keep that in mind when dressing for a certain occasion. It’s equally important that you look good and that your clothes smell nice.
The aforementioned studies show how important dressing actually is. When you are getting ready for the next business meeting, keep in mind that your clothes actually say much more about you than you might think.