You Are What You Wear
How Looking Good and Feeling Good Are Interconnected
Have you ever noticed how your mood changes when you’re wearing a killer outfit? That navy suit with the slim trousers makes you feel empowered in the boardroom. Your purple pinstripe skinny tie gives you that extra edge for your first date. This feeling isn’t a figment of your imagination. There are real, proven correlations between the way you dress and how you feel. As the old adage goes, you are what you eat. It turns out nutrition isn’t the only factor that influences your mood. You are what you wear, and if you’re hoping to change your outlook, it’s time to change your clothes.
The Huffington Post defined this phenomenon as “enclothed cognition” in a 2016 article.In short, you associate a particular piece of clothing with qualities, characteristics or even memories. When you wear that clothing, the symbolism impacts your physical experience of wearing it.
The same article highlights Lisa Stariha. She’s a body empowerment coach, and one of her defining principles for her clients is to get dressed every day. She recognizes that clothes give people power. Whether they’re searching for a new job or simply seeking to feel better about their bodies, wearing the right clothes can alter their self-perception and ultimately lead to great things.
Karen Pine, a professor at the University of Hertfordshire, dedicated her 2014 book Mind What You Wear to this very concept.Among the many angles covered in the book, she focuses on the implications of our clothing. What we wear not only affects the way we view ourselves. Our outfits can also send a message to the world about who we are.
“My book aims to make people more aware of how clothes can change their mood and their thoughts,” Pine told the Daily Mail.
She conducted an experiment with a group of students. Some of the students were outfitted in Superman t-shirts while the others remained in their normal clothing. When asked to rate their self-esteem and physical strength, the students in the Superman t-shirts had more positive perceptions of their talents and even believed they were physically stronger.
Let’s bring this logic into your world. Say you’ve got an important meeting coming up. This client is crucial to your business, and it’s important that you hit all the right notes. When you pull on your suit with a plain black tie, your look feels flat. You’re worried that you’re not making the right statement, and your confidence tanks. But when you swap out the black tie for a black and silver floral blossom tie, you breathe new life into the look and feel instantly empowered.
The bold pattern changes your mood because you’re happy to show it off. When you wear clothing that you love, you feel proud of your outfit. That pride seeps into the quality of your work. You interact, present and negotiate with more confidence.
Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand.If you’re looking for the key to success, start with your outfit. Switching up your look could be the unlock to changing your life.