Ever wonder why you feel good when putting on your favorite jeans? It may prompt you to wonder if your clothing impacts the way you think and feel, as well as your behavior and performance.
Many people put extra effort into dressing up for special occasions, but a large majority is torn between dressing up and feeling guilty about wanting to. They may not want to put much thought or effort into their outfit.
However, recent scientific studies and research suggest something different. According to science, a makeover can give you an edge when interacting in your personal, social, and professional life.
Hence, there’s some truth to sayings like ‘look good, feel good.’ The way you dress affects your personality, behavior, confidence, attitude, and mood. In case you were wondering, the specific term for this is known as enclothed cognition.
The term enclothed cognition refers to the impact that your clothes have on several psychological processes. Most commonly, these include self-evaluation, interpersonal interaction, emotions, and attitude. Enclothed cognition is a result of the symbolism behind different kinds of attire in society.
Society leads you to believe that certain outfits are classy and powerful while others are interesting and fun. This is the reason your mind starts evaluating the personality and preferences of a person you just met.
Clothes and occasions don’t just help us evaluate other people but also ourselves. It is natural for people to evaluate their own selves and their role based on the outfit they’re wearing. This is usually a result of how a particular outfit makes you feel at a particular time.
Enclothed cognition suggests that the experience of wearing something affects your choice of behavior and attitude.
How Clothes Impact Your Thinking
It is true that dressing smart is essential to your confidence and sense of self-empowerment. But your clothing doesn’t just reflect your personality and send messages to the brain. In fact, it can also impact your thought process to a great extent.
One scientific study on the effect of outfits on the way you think suggests that professional dressing promotes abstract thinking. As it creates social boundaries and distance, it also increases your ability to think in more abstract and distant terms.
Formal attire influences your style of processing, improving your decision-making. So, your suit and tie may be giving you a broader perspective that can very well help you get a promotion.
According to the same study, students who wear more formal clothing to college also show a stronger inclination towards abstract thinking processes.
Thin-slicing is a psychological process that is responsible for dealing with visual details instantaneously. In simple words, it gives you the gut feeling, impression, or intuition about a certain thing or person.
Any new stimulus causes your brain to make millisecond judgments. Have you ever felt like one person is steadier and more reliable while you hesitate to trust another person in the same person? It is because of the thin-slicing process that you continue to judge books by their covers.
So, thin-slicing makes it important that you be picky about your personal presentation, and your clothes are an important part. Remember, the world is a stage, and the way you dress can affect the role you play.
Let’s have a look at how certain attires make a difference to your attitude.
What do you do on days when you have absolutely no motivation to work out? You throw on your activewear to prepare your mind. You’ll feel more motivated to exercise when you put on your gym clothes. Why is that?
It may be because your gym clothes set the mood and act as a reminder to stay fit. When you put on certain attire, it automatically changes your mood and sets you up for a specific role.
Your clothing affects your behaviors and attitude as well as the way you think. Uniforms are clothes associated with specific roles and expected behaviors. Wearing a uniform can activate your knowledge about your job occupation.
Not only this, it also gives you a sense of responsibility, making you more conscious of what is expected of you. Your coat can also encourage you to pay more attention to the task at hand, so you make fewer mistakes and errors.
The psychological importance of uniforms also applies to school-going children. Various surveys reveal that children perform much better when they wear uniforms. Wearing a uniform makes school more valuable and important to them.
Why do you think you feel like you’re dressed for success when you wear a tailored jacket? Have you ever heard of the saying ‘dress for the job you want, not for the job you have?’ It seems like formal dressing can make a huge difference to your mindset and how you perceive your job or business.
Structured clothes and office wear such as dress suits hold the power to put your mind in the right framework to start working. Such powerful attire makes you feel more confident and empowered. This is the reason many people also refer to it as power clothing.
Wearing powerful clothing releases certain chemicals in the brain that help you display dominance. This contributes to making you an abstract thinker and a better negotiator.
Try It for Yourself
Now that you know how your choice of clothes affects your emotions and thought process, here is how you can experiment with different pieces. This can uplift your mood and experience more success in your personal and professional life.
Colors denote specific meanings and can boost your mood in no time. So, you can choose the colors accordingly to dictate your emotions, behavior and confidence.
- Bright colors like yellow can make you feel happy
- Blue is a color for professionalism and serenity it also develops a sense of trust
- A darker shade of blue represents consistency and dependability
- Red can make you feel excited and sensual so wear red when you want to feel sexy
- Wearing black gives you a sense of power and control
- The color purple symbolizes mysticism and spirituality
- You can wear brown to feel more grounded and look more reliable
- Orange gives out an enthusiastic energy
- You can wear pink to feel more romantic
- Wear white to get in a clean and focused mental and emotional state
- The color green has soothing and healing effects
The fabrics you wear can also transform your approach and attitude.
- Fabrics like wool and cotton develop a sense of calm, promoting a more carefree attitude
- Silk and other fabric options that feel soft against the skin can enhance your mood and reduce stress
Prints and Embellishment
Moving on to prints and embellishments; these aspects also play a big role in regulating your emotions.
- Sequins and other types of embellishments can fill you with a sense of fun, excitement and enthusiasm
- Animal prints like tiger stripes help develop whimsical feelings
The way you choose to dress and the clothes you wear have a huge impact on your emotions, motivation, confidence and behavior for the day. The colors and styles you wear can affect your thought process and transform it completely. This makes it important that you choose your clothes with care.