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How What You Wear Affects Perception

Let excellence be your brand.

Your brand is communicated by what people see as well as through what they experience. This includes how you present yourself to the world.

You probably already realize that, rightly or wrongly, how you dress influences how others, including competitors as well as potential customers, perceive you (and by extension, the quality of your work and value of your brand).

But did you know that the clothes you wear also change your perceptions of yourself and greatly influence how you think? Since many of us work from home and follow an extremely relaxed dress code, have you ever wondered if you produce better results in pajamas and comfort clothes or professional attire?

Or, if you still have a day job and are working on your business as a side hustle, have you considered whether or not casual Fridays have a negative impact on productivity? And do those who work in a jeans-and-t-shirt start-up have an edge over a business-casual competitor?

Researchers are just now getting to the bottom of questions like these. David McRaney of the You Are Not So Smart podcast explores the phenomenon known as “enclothed cognition.” Turns out clothing has a significant impact on performance!

Learn more about how the clothes you wear change perceptions here.

As David explains:

“Up until now, most psychological investigations into clothing have dealt with how clothes communicate status or facilitate rituals. For instance, if you put a person in a police uniform and have them ask questions or make demands you’ll get completely different results than if you had the same person wear a pirate costume.

But what about the person in the uniform or the costume? Are the clothes affecting his or her behavior, thoughts, judgments, and decisions?

The evidence collected so far suggests that yes, the clothes we wear affect our minds in ways we never notice. In fact, it’s likely the same person in the same situation in the same clothes will behave differently depending just on the color of those clothes.”

Need a quick overview of the science? Watch the video. Then start thinking about how to put your clothes to work for you in your business.