Multiple studies have shown that dressing well increases your performance and heightens others’ impressions of you. For example, wearing clothes that make you feel important or intelligent can change the way you interact with others as well as your cognitive functioning. It can even make the difference between poor test scores and acing an exam.
What’s more, other people will make different assumptions about you based on the way you dress. This means you can make yourself smarter or more powerful based on your clothes alone. A change of wardrobe can help you get the job you want, the deals you want, the recognition you want, and even the mate you want. It’s that powerful.
Some people might feel like success and status are not as important as other things in life. They may see caring about clothing and first impressions as “shallow” or materialistic. However, some scientists have shown that the way we feel about ourselves is often directly linked to our appearance, whether we realize it or not. Dressing well takes advantage of this finding and allows us to literally dress for success.
The symbolism behind what you wear has more of an impact on your behavior and self-confidence than the clothes themselves. These studies show that when you wear an outfit that you associate with intelligence and power, you’re likely to do better and feel better than when wearing clothing that you associate with sloppiness or low-skilled work.
However, not everyone needs to jump into an Armani suit to feel good about themselves. Dressing in clothes that make you feel YOUR best benefits your confidence the most, whether you’re wearing a football jersey or a designer suit.
Beyond showing off your personal style, haircuts, there are a few other things you can do to help you dress your best and increase your confidence:
Wear clothes that fit
Take the time to measure yourself properly and try on your clothes before you buy. Have your clothes altered by your tailor for a perfect fit, if you have the means. Well-fitting clothes are flattering for your figure and they also make you appear more put together and in control.
Dress appropriately for the season
Always dress for the weather outside. This keeps you comfortable and shows that you are sensible and fashionable. Make sure you have a quality jacket for winter, a few light sweaters for spring and fall, and some flattering summer clothes.
Dress for the occasion
If you’re required to present at a meeting, wear whatever makes you feel the most intelligent and powerful. This will more than likely be a suit or other business attire, but it could also be a worker’s uniform such as scrubs and a lab coat. Likewise, if you need to be creative, wear clothing that makes you feel open-minded and inventive. Always pay attention to the attributes you give to your clothing before you put them on and start your day.