Dress For Success: How The Clothes You Wear Can Boost Performance

If you’ve been waiting for a sign to start dressing to the nines each time you leave for work, or a workout, this just might be it. You’ve probably heard a little too many times each saying about first impressions. If those haven’t convinced you yet, then starting this off with some scientific findings could help.

What Does Science Say?

Scientists have conducted various studies to see if a person’s dress can have a bearing on performance. People were told to wear formal or casual clothes before exams. The tests showed better results among those who had formal attire. When dressed in formal clothing, subjects are more likely to feel powerful and open up their creativity and strategizing capacities, which then help them perform better at work.

In negotiations, wearing informal clothes was also shown to hurt performance. In an experiment that placed men in a negotiation setting with a partner while either wearing formal or casual clothing, those dressed casually generally performed worse than those dressed up.

If you still aren’t convinced, here’s another scientific finding that might change how you view what you wear for work. It was found in a study that wearing a white lab coat helped reduce the number of mistakes subjects were likely to make. Our minds are receptors of information we give it, whether verbally or otherwise. So, each clothing piece is a subliminal message to our minds telling what we expect of them. Surgeons can’t afford a mistake; it’s a profession where precision is not merely a business asset, but a matter of life and death, literally. The same goes for nurses, So, it comes as no surprise that the brain will be more inclined toward making fewer mistakes based merely on the message that you’re sending it by wearing that coat. It’s like a subconscious reminder of sorts.

First Impressions Matter

Your success at the workplace or even before you’re selected to join the workforce, in part, depends on whose attention you grab. While you might be one of the best in what you do, getting the right people to notice you is the key to not vanishing in the mist of other workplace geniuses. You have to exude that magnetism which allows people to notice you and your work right away.

Against the age-old advice, people continue to judge the book by its cover. Your clothes communicate something about you to anyone who sees you, especially if they’re seeing you for the first time. You want the message to be positive as it’s crucial to how they’re going to perceive any of your good works.

Comfort Is Key

For some professions, it goes beyond impressions and extends to functionality. The type of clothes you wear could literally determine whether you can effectively get the job done or not. Take doctors and nurses again, for example. Wearing scrubs is an essential prerequisite to a good performance at the workplace. If a doctor, surgeon, or nurse would choose to wear something other than the scrubs designed for them, the clothes could prove too restrictive for optimal productivity.

We can learn some good lessons from these medical professionals who often invest in quality health scrubs to allow them to work long hours in comfort. Do the same: Invest in good quality fitness clothes that are comfortable, flexible, and supportive.

Self-Esteem And Confidence

Now, you would agree that most of what we eventually act out starts on the inside. If this is true, then it’s essential to do anything to rave-up our perceptions of self.

In the first milliseconds of meeting a person, your brain goes through a process called thin slicing. This is when signals are sent to the brain for interpretation, which forms a quick opinion based on that information. But, guess what? The brain does this exact thing when you look at yourself in the mirror before leaving for work. What you’re wearing will signal how confident you’ll feel the entire day.

If you plan on getting things done, it’s advisable to dress the part. Dress for the kind of day you want to have. In fact, dress for the kind of career you’re hoping to build!

So, does dressing for success help at all? The answer is a strong yes! Several studies have proved that you can increase your chances of success by dressing well. It’s more than just psychology; what you wear could be the literal difference between success or failure at the workplace. And of course, this applies to exercise too – dress well for your exercise and workouts and you might find you start making bigger gains.

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