Clothing Affects The Way We Think
We all ask ourselves what to wear to work on a daily basis. This process is more important than we think! Fashion and clothing expert, Hugh Sinclair, shares his advice to Career Girls everywhere on how clothing affects the way we think and act.
Have you ever heard that clothing can affect the way you think? Well, research shows your clothes actually impacts your cognitive behavior.
A series of studies conducted by researchers at Columbia University and California State University looked at the cognitive consequences of formal clothing and found that the “power suit” lives up to its name. The researchers discovered formal attire helps people think more abstractly and about larger goals rather than the minor details of the workday. Wearing formal clothing like a suit changes the way the wearer thinks by signaling an environmental shift.
The researchers randomly assigned undergraduate students of both genders to either wear clothing they’d wear to a job interview or clothing they’d wear to class. They were then asked to complete a series of intellectual questionnaires to rate the formality of their clothing and the clothing of their peers. The results showed students wearing formal attire thought more abstractly and holistically. They also identified that they felt socially distant from their classmates wearing regular clothing.
The study signifies that what we wear really affects our cognitive behavior. The formal clothing made students feel more powerful, which led them to be more goal-orientated and think more abstractly. If you think you look good in formal clothing, it can also make you feel more confident and improve your mood and performance.
Another study also shows there is a direct relationship between our clothing and the way we act. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology performed a similar experiment using undergraduate students. The researchers conducted a series of experiments, in which some students were asked to wear regular clothing, while the others wore lab coats or paint smocks – which looked identical to the lab coats. During each round of experiments, the students were asked to complete a test. Those wearing lab coats made far fewer errors and were more attentive than their peers.
These studies show that the shoes and clothes we wear have a clear impact on how we view ourselves and our behavior. When you’re in an environment that requires you to think critically and pay close attention to detail, wearing the right clothing can make a huge difference.
About Hugh Sinclair
Hugh Sinclair is the Vice President of Logistics at Shopping Blitz, an online marketplace that provides the world’s best brands of clothing, accessories, shoes and lifestyle products.