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Instant Confidence Boost From The Outside In: How To Dress For Confidence

Instant Confidence Boost From The Outside In: How To Dress For Confidence

When we try to look for advice on lifting confidence, it always has to do with our mindset. There’re hundreds of articles out on the internet to teach us how to gain confidence by thinking positively, killing negative thoughts, getting to know yourself and practicing interactions with different people. All of these suggestions are nice, but changing a mindset takes time, and communication skills take practice.

If you’re wondering whether there’re some faster ways to boost your confidence, paying some attention to what you wear can be a good idea.

Your attire has a significant effect on self-esteem and confidence.

Almost all of us know that how we dress will affect the first impression with leave for others;[1] but not so many of us are aware of the fact that it’s also affecting how we perceive ourselves.

According to the findings from a study published on the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, subjects who wore a lab coat which was associated with the doctor’s coat performed better than those who didn’t wear a lab coat and those who wore a lab coat described as a painter’s coat.[2]

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Researchers have called this phenomenon “enclothed cognition”, meaning that what you wear have a significant effect on your physical and psychological state. The clothes you put on can make or break your self-confidence level.

The wrong clothes can negatively affect your performance in work and life.

In the book Mind What You Wear – The Psychology of Fashion,[3] Professor Karen Pine says that the right or wrong clothes can affect your attitude.

In her study, she asked some women to take a math test. But unlike any regular math test, some women had to wear a swimsuit while the other group of women wore a sweater. It turned out that women who wore a sweater performed better in the test.[4]

This could be an extreme example because taking a math test while wearing a swimsuit definitely makes people feel uncomfortable. But this has proved that what we wear is affecting what we think and feel, and will affect both our behavior and our performance in work and life.

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To dress for confidence, embrace tailoring.

    Nothing makes you look good than well-fitting clothes. You must have seen someone who wore an oversized suit.  How did that seem to you? While wearing an ill-fitting suit may make others get the impression that they’re not ready for work; people who don’t have a well-fitting suit may unconsciously feel that they don’t fit into their workplace.

    Fashion blogger and TV presenter Ciara O’Doherty suggested looking for well-tailored pieces on the high-street. You don’t really need to spend too much money on a tailor-made garment.[5]

    Look for slightly padded shoulders, good quality stitching and hems, and try on multiple sizes to ensure you find your perfect fit. One tip is to get pieces altered by a seamstress so they fit your exact measurements, which is perfect for women who might be on the shorter/taller side.

    A good pair of shoes can make or break your overall look on different occasions

    For men, all you need is a smart pair of black shoes (Oxfords or loafers), a smart pair of brown shoes, a causal pair of shoes like boat shoes, and sneakers.

      For women, you should have a pair of dark shoes and a pair of shoes with light color or white color (depends on your preference, you can get yourself a pair of flats, or high heels, or boots), a casual pair of shoes like sandals, and sneakers.

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        The smart shoes can be worn in formal and semi-formal occasions; whether it’s for men to match a nice shirt or suit or for women to match with a nice dress or suit, the smart shoes are always perfect. And it’s always good to have some dark color shoes and some lighter color shoes because that would make it easier to match with different outfits.

        Most importantly, make yourself comfortable.

        Always opt for comfort first. If you are not wearing something that makes you comfortable, your clothes will only distract you from focusing on your work, which will eventually affect your performance.

          Take my advice on choosing the right clothes for the right occasions and get yourself some well-fitting clothes and good shoes.  That’s how you can build confidence from the outside in!

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          Reference

          More by this author

          Anna Chui

          Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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          Published on April 16, 2019

          How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

          How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

          When was the last time you did something for yourself?

          Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

          Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

          However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

          And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

          So how can you make that happen?

          Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

          Listen to Yourself

          The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

          This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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          What is your purpose?

          Have you ever thought about this question?

          Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

          In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

          Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

          All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

          If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

          But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

          For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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          If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

          How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

          Seek Out Continuous Education

          Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

          It’s Super Practical

          Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

          You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

          When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

          Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

          You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

          You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

          You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

          Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

          With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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          In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

          Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

          People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

          We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

          “Knowledge is choice.”

          Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

          Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

          Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

          Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

          Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

          Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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          When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

          Habits Make Your Time a Priority

          How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

          It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

          This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

          Your Well Being Comes First

          We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

          If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

          The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

          Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

          Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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