Do you have a special suit or a jeans-plus-shirt combo tucked away in the back of your wardrobe, saved especially for those must-get job interviews? Or a favorite pair of sneakers you wear to every marathon or race because you feel they give you that edge you need to beat your best time? You’re not alone, far from it, and there’s nothing strange about your need to choose your clothes carefully for each of those occasions. The idea that what you wear can shift your attitude, change your mood, and elevate your spirit is not a new one, but we’ve only scratched the surface.
Here are a few ways in which your wearables transform your identity and your self-expression, and how your favorite garments can help you overcome limitations in your life and motivate yourself to perform better every day, and in every aspect of your life.
Boost your problem-solving
It seems that our brains like dressing up, so researchers went out to test the idea of how the perception of our clothes can impact our actual abilities. In a study, people would put on a lab coat (while the other group was told it was a painter’s coat) and solve certain problems, and the study showed that the people in the first group were better at solving issues, even though the coat was the same.
Although the garment itself is not responsible for the change in your cognitive skills, your self-perception changes enough so that you gain better focus and you use your brainpower more efficiently to solve problems when you wear the right outfit.
Enhance your motivation
Have you ever felt super motivated to do some pushups or start designing a cool logo while wearing your pajamas? I didn’t think so. Most of us associate certain outfits with specific tasks in life, so our brain has different “modes” of operation whenever we choose to put a piece of clothing on. If you put some time and effort into choosing a mighty-looking workout ensemble, you’ll be far more inclined to push yourself at the gym.
This works well for all other areas in your life since putting on a fancy suit or even business casual attire can be more than enough to help you seal more deals and impress your clients, all the while making you feel more motivated to keep working.
Elevate your confidence
Although the old adage that “nobody is perfect” rings true for us all, we all have those ups and downs in our self-image over the course of our lives. What we wear can contribute greatly to how we feel in our own skin.
Wearing the wrong size or choosing something uncomfortable can wreak havoc on your morale, whereas picking out your most flattering garments can have the exact opposite effect.
We use clothes to show off our most ravishing features, while we at the same time conceal the ones we might not be too proud of. Putting on vibrant plus size swimwear for the beach means you love your body enough to keep yourself comfortable, but you also encourage yourself to express your style in any situation possible.
We stack the items that make us feel powerful, amazing, and sexy in our own skin, and that’s sometimes all we need to boost our confidence and enjoy our body.
Lift your mood
There’s a theory called “dopamine dressing”, which simply states that wearing bright, well-fitting clothes tends to improve your mood, in contrast to wearing darker hues and those unflattering, oversized hoodies.
So, you have somewhat of a difficult choice to make when you’re feeling down. Either you’ll put on something that matches your mood, which will probably be your first instinct, or you’ll go against your guts and put on something “perky” to give yourself a chance to feel better. There’s a reason they call it “feeling blue”. Try wearing orange or sunny yellow and see where that takes you!
Unleash your creativity
Even when you’re trying to impress your peers at the university or your colleagues and superiors at the office, you’re not just dressing up for them – you’ll benefit from the practice, too.
Much like your workout clothes collection has an uncanny ability to get you to do that extra set when you’d normally just go home, smart and sharp-dressing for the office builds up your mindset to perform better at your job.
Research shows that the choice of your office ensemble can help you think outside of the box, make smarter decisions, and boost your abstract thinking capacity.
When you’re about to start a new job, or you’re stuck in a creative rut with your existing one, try putting on something bold and power-inspiring, you might be surprised what it helps you achieve!
Well-tailored clothes made of quality materials that fit you well are in general a smart choice for a successful career and a healthy self-image.
Sometimes, however, we take our wardrobe for granted, and picking out the right outfit can actually mean so much more than leaving a good impression, so choose smart and feel free to express yourself through your style.
Alex is fascinated with “understanding” people. It’s actually what drives everything he does. He believes in a thoughtful exploration of how you shape your thoughts, experience of the world.