You Are What You WEAR
We’ve all heard that we are what we eat but, as I have covered in previous blog posts, I also believe you are what you wear. This idea has scientific studies behind it and everyone knows that what you wear greatly affects how you see yourself, which in turn affects how you show up in life.
As I heard on a podcast one day, the hostess referred to her lazy clothes as “Cheetos clothes.” You know, the clothes that she would wear to binge on Grey’s Anatomy and Cheetos. She believed getting rid of these clothes helped her to lose a significant amount of weight because no one sits around binging junk food and tv when they are dressed well. You know it, I know it. I believe she is on to something, maybe a missed element in the never ending quest on how to lose weight but I’m getting off track here.
Fashion psychology is an ever growing field but if you think that what you wear doesn’t matter then think again. There are many studies that indicate what we are wearing affects our behavior, how others judge us and reveals aspects of our character.
For instance, in studies, it has been shown that we make judgements about others within the first 0.10 seconds of seeing them. And the way we dress is a HUGE part of that first impression.
It’s interesting to see what some of these studies show so I am going to give you the bullet points on a few of these.
One study presented men in suits that were both custom made and off the rack. Women were presented in trouser suits or skirt suits. Participants were asked to rate them on confidence, trustworthiness, success, salary and flexibility. Women in skirt suits and men in custom-made suits rated higher on all five of these measures. All five. So, it’s not just what you wear but how you wear it (how it fits) that makes an impression.
Another study showed that color affected how men reacted to women. Men would ask women more personal/ intimate questions who were wearing red shirts vs. green shirts. (Note to self: Don’t wear red in a room full of strangers :-) Men also sat closer to women who were wearing red shirts vs. blue shirts. And still another study showed that black is perceived among managers as more serious, meaning employees who wear black (or dark colors such as navy) are considered more serious than counterparts who don’t wear those colors. And the way your manager perceives you most DEFINITELY impacts results in your life.
Another study had participants share images of their most worn shoes and they also provided information about themselves such as age, gender, income, personality traits to researchers. Then a test group was asked to make judgements about the owners after anonymously viewing images of the shoes. The test subjects were able to accurately identify age, gender and income based on the images of the shoes!
Another study had participants who were wearing counterfeit designer sunglasses and it showed those who were wearing these counterfeit sunglasses were much more likely to cheat on tasks. (You’re welcome for this bullet point ladies. This is just another reason for us to stay away from knock-offs. Surely our guys don’t want us to be cheaters…)
There are tons of these studies so I won’t go on but what this shows is that not only does what we wear affect our performance, it determines how others perceive us which can also affect our performance.
SPOILER: I’m going to be posting more about fashion psychology and determining our own personal style going forward because how we see ourselves is so important to how we behave and what we can accomplish. So stay tuned for more fun facts on the way.
To those who are still wondering how to strike that perfect balance in their own personal style, remember that you don’t have to be someone you’re not. If heels aren’t your thing then there isn’t some mandate that you must wear them to be considered “stylish.” You probably know this but reminders are always good.
It’s also a good reminder that our style often changes throughout life as well. What I wore to class in college is not how I dress these days. But I still want to look my best, but my life is very different as a small business owner and mom of three.
One more thing:
Comfort is a priority in feeling confident in your clothes. This is another reason I launched my line. I wanted to offer clothes that women could be comfortable wearing, not worry about sweat stains while having more choices than oversized t-shirts or sticking to black.
But I don’t want these posts to be construed as me advocating my own style as good for everyone. I want everyone to find their own style :-) My personal style is finding the perfect balance between traditional preppy style mixed with athletic/ performance materials. I couldn’t find it so I created it. I call it Luxure. Luxury+Leisure.
But that doesn’t mean this is YOUR style. So stick around and share these posts, we will help everyone find their own personal style and be confident in what they are wearing.