Did anyone else see this New York Times article on “enclothed cognition”?
That’s a fancy, science-y way of saying that what we wear impacts how people see us AND how we feel about ourselves. There’s actual research backing this up, people! And I’m just thrilled about it because I know there are still a few holdouts who refuse to admit that dressing stylishly can boost your confidence. Know anyone like this? A sourpuss who insists that fashion is shallow and frivolous, and spending time, money, and energy on your appearance is … well, vain? I’m never gonna tell you that how you look is more important than your personality, achievements, or relationships. That stuff on the inside is SO important. But to flat-out deny that what’s on the outside needs tending, too? Just plain short-sighted.
Think about a rough morning. The roughest. A morning when you were overwhelmed and exhausted and would’ve happily paid someone a bunch of money to be you for the day. Once you hauled out of bed and cleaned yourself up, you had two choices: Give in to your mood and dress messy, or put on a sharp outfit and fake it. If you went messy, you probably slogged through your day and came home feeling the same as you did when you woke up. If you took the time to assemble and wear a great outfit, I guarantee that doing so boosted your mood. You felt more alert, more alive, and more willing to meet the day’s challenges.
How do I know this? Well, I’ve seen the power of great style again and again while working with Styling by Sisters’ clients. But I also know it because I’ve lived it. Do you know how many days I claw my way out of bed feeling blah? All I have to do is whip together a fantastic outfit, and the clouds part and the angels sing! What I wear can totally change my state of mind, how I feel about my body, and how I interact with other people. And what YOU wear can do the same.
Here’s another example: You’re getting ready for a big presentation at work, and flipping through your closet. Are you gonna yank out the same old outfits you wear every week? Heck no, you’re gonna reach for something dressy and flattering and chic. Because you want to exude power and confidence while you’re presenting, and you know if you show up to run your Powerpoint in sweats and sneaks that no one will take you seriously. This may seem super obvious, but think about it for a minute: If putting effort into how you dress when you’re doing something important impacts your performance and how much others respect you, isn’t that something you should be doing on the regular?
I’m not saying that if you don’t dress sharp every day of your life you’re some kind of failure. No way, no how. There’s nothing wrong with wearing jeans and t-shirts when the mood strikes. But if you never try to step up your game, never kick your style up a notch, you’re cheating yourself. Because wearing cute, bright, flattering, stylish clothing WILL make you feel better than wearing the same old soft, comfy stuff day in and day out. Dressing up WILL boost your mood higher than dressing down ever can. A great outfit WILL change the course of your day.