The effect that clothes have on the way we think about ourselves and how we interact with others never fails to interest me. You should never underestimate the power of a fabulous outfit; what we choose to wear is so much more important than you may think…
Cognitive dissonance is a technical term that describes the mental discomfort that occurs when you dress in a way that doesn’t feel like YOU. You feel a sense of disconnect. We’ve all done it… gone out for the evening wearing something that perhaps wasn’t our first choice… something we didn’t feel good in… and it (badly) affects the entire evening.
Science now confirms that what we wear influences our behaviour, personality, attitude, mood, confidence and how we interact with others. “Enclothed Cognition” is a recognised phenomenon and is a term that has been coined by scientists to describe the effect that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes.
In layman’s terms; what you wear has the ability to change how you think and behave. How powerful is that?
You must have heard the phrases “Dress to Impress” or “Put on your Power”. As the above scientific explanations support; there really is some value in these sayings. Stepping out in an outfit that feels well put-together, flattering on your shape and in-alignment with your personality cannot fail to instil confidence and dynamism. Whether you are attending a business meeting or a social gathering; you will feel more equipped to conduct yourself positively and with impact if you feel confident in what you are wearing.
“Dress shabbily and they’ll remember the dress, dress impeccably and they’ll remember the woman.” Coco Chanel
What is even more powerful about how we dress, is the opportunity to manipulate other people’s perception of us. We make assumptions within the first 3 seconds of meeting someone based upon appearance. So it goes without saying, that what we wear and how we wear it plays a huge role in so-called ‘personal impact’. So think about how you want to be perceived… and dress accordingly! Clothes help us prescribe our self-image to others.
Furthermore, what we choose to wear helps us have control over our bodies and the way they look. Clever dressing allows us to enhance what we like and conceal what we don’t like.
We’ve come a long way since using clothes simply to protect our bodies from the elements. Clothes are a form of self-expression; a way to express our unique self. Much more than materialistic adornments, they are powerful tools that can enhance performance and influence how others see us.
So never underestimate the power of a fabulous outfit!
If you’d like some advice to help you utilise your wardrobe in a more effective way and put together outfits that make an impact, please check out my Styling Services.