Dress for Success: How Clothes Influence Our Performance

The old counsel to dress for the activity you need, not the activity you have, may have establishes in more than just how others see you—numerous investigations demonstrate that the garments you wear can influence your psychological and physical execution. Albeit such discoveries about supposed enclothed insight are for the most part from little examinations in the lab that have not yet been imitated or explored in reality, a developing collection of research proposes that there is something natural happening when we put on a sweet outfit and feel like another individual.

On the off chance that you need to be a major thoughts individual at work, suit up. A paper in August 2015 in Social Psychological and Personality Science requested that subjects change into formal or easygoing dress before intellectual tests. Wearing formal business clothing expanded dynamic reasoning—a vital part of imagination and long haul strategizing. The trials propose the impact is identified with sentiments of intensity.

Casual dress may sting in arrangements. In an examination announced in December 2014 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, male subjects wore their standard duds or were put in a suit or in sweats. At that point they occupied with a diversion that included consulting with an accomplice. The individuals who spruced up got more beneficial arrangements than the other two gatherings, and the individuals who dressed down had bring down testosterone levels.

For better focus, get decked out like a doctor. In research published in July 2012 in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, subjects made half as many mistakes on an attention-demanding task when wearing a white lab coat. On another attention task, those told their lab coat was a doctor’s coat performed better than either those who were told it was a painter’s smock or those who merely saw a doctor’s coat on display. —Matthew Hutson

Inspired by findings that winning combat fighters in the 2004 Olympics had worn red more often than blue, researchers investigated the physiological effects of wearing these colors. As reported in February 2013 in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, they paired 28 male athletes of similar age and size, who competed against one another once while wearing a red jersey and again while wearing blue. Compared with fighters in blue, those wearing red were able to lift a heavier weight before the match and had higher heart rates during the match—but they were not more likely to be victorious. —Tori Rodriguez

Trying too hard to look sharp can backfire. When women donned expensive sunglasses and were told the specs were counterfeit, as opposed to when they thought they were real, they cheated more often on lab experiments with cash payouts. Fake sunglasses also seemed to make women see others’ behavior as suspect. Authors of the study, published in May 2010 in Psychological Science, theorize that counterfeit glasses increase unethical behavior by making their wearers feel less authentic. —M.H.


It’s not news to anyone that we judge others based on their clothes. In general, studies that investigate these judgments find that people prefer clothing that matches expectations—surgeons in scrubs, little boys in blue—with one notable exception. A series of studies published in an article in June 2014 in the Journal of Consumer Research explored observers’ reactions to people who broke established norms only slightly. In one scenario, a man at a black-tie affair was viewed as having higher status and competence when wearing a red bow tie. The researchers also found that valuing uniqueness increased audience members’ ratings of the status and competence of a professor who wore red Converse sneakers while giving a lecture.

The results suggest that people judge these slight deviations from the norm as positive because they suggest that the individual is powerful enough to risk the social costs of such behaviors. —T.R.

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