“Clothes make the man” – we all must have heard of this famous saying at one point or the other, but not many of us took a second to ponder on the words. But as it turns out, the clothes we wear do play a huge role in defining us.
People only take a few seconds to form an opinion about a person and their characteristics, just by looking at what they are wearing. So, dressing consciously with the occasion in mind can lead to a favourable first impression!
Your Clothing Can Influence People’s Perception of You
Research has found that minor changes in clothing style can affect people’s opinions regarding an individual. According to a study exploring the perceptions of women in the workplace, the type of clothing played a major role in shaping people’s initial views about them.
This particular study showed that women who wore feminine attire were perceived as more submissive and incompetent. In contrast, those wearing more masculine clothing were deemed to be unkind and unfriendly.
Your clothes can also be a mirror of how successful you are. In another study, several participants were shown pictures of a man for only three seconds before judging him. The images were of the same man wearing a bespoke and a readymade suit, with minor differences.
These few seconds were enough for the participants to judge the man in the tailored suit as more successful and confident. This explains how a single look at a person’s clothing is critical in forming the first impression.
So How Exactly Should You Dress?
Even minor changes in clothing style can lead to drastically different judgements. By carefully choosing your attire, you can make a difference in what conclusions people draw on seeing you for the first time. This is also the reason why we should wear clothes appropriate for the occasion.
For example, power dressing in the form of formal suits and pants is popular in business settings not only because it puts the wearer in the business mindset but also because it’s a subtle gesture of assertiveness. Casual clothing, on the other hand, gives off a relaxed and easy-going vibe.
Therefore, someone who is naturally more inclined towards formal clothes and prefers to dress in tucked-in shirts and creaseless pants can come off as stiff and conservative. On the contrary, if tees and shorts are your go-to, you can be taken as someone who is light-hearted and open to socialising.
There’s also something to be said about your preference for expensive or budget-friendly clothes. It isn’t just an indication of your economic status but also reveals parts of your personality.
However, believe it or not, money isn’t everything that matters when it comes to being well-dressed. You don’t need a designer wardrobe. What you need to focus on is good fitting and comfort. You can find well-tailored clothes and custom sportswear in nearly every budget range.
Research has also found a relation between the clothes we wear and our psychological processes. In other words, the clothes you wear influence how you feel.
To sum it up, dressing right can boost your confidence level and set the tone for positive interactions with others. Therefore, it’s worth putting some time and thought into the process.