Thursday, June 04, 2020

Do You Need New Clothes?

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When it comes to business fashion, my two favorite quotes are “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” by Mark Twain and “You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.” by Zig Ziglar. But do clothes really make the man (or woman)?

In an article on The Huffington Post’s website titled, “How Clothing Choices Affect and Reflect Your Self-Image,” there’s a phenomenon scientists call “enclothed cognition,” which means that the style of what you choose to wear can both reflect and affect your mood, health, and overall confidence. In other words, you’re not just presenting an appearance to others, but you’re also getting some of the characteristics of what you wear whether you realize it or not.

Take, for example, a simple doctor’s lab coat. In a study, researchers found that people wearing that coat, versus a painter’s coat or no coat at all, had increased attention and sustained it longer. Another example is that when people put on casual clothes, they tend to feel more relaxed. In today’s world of a corporate casual environment, this is important to note.

Does that mean you need wear a fancy dress or a suit and tie? No, but it does mean that what you wear should still look professional and stylish. Apple’s co-founder, the late Steve Jobs, accomplished this by often wearing a black turtleneck and jeans. It was casual, yet made a statement.

The right clothes can be empowering. Think of the uniforms that are often worn for a particular profession and the effect it has on the person wearing it as well as those around him or her. This same principle applies to the general workforce -- even if people work from home. While you could sit around in a bathrobe or yoga pants, or come to the office in a T-shirt and baggy jeans, it’s more effective to raise your game. You’ll not only elevate your status in the workplace, but you’ll also elevate your confidence.

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