The Psychology of Dressing Well

We’ve all heard one piece of advice: “Dress for success.” It’s hard to believe that the clothing we put on can so quickly alter the way that we carry ourselves. Nonetheless, this common phrase holds some truth. Science actually says that the clothing we wear affects our behavior, attitude, personality, mood, confidence, and even the way we interact with others.

Everyone has those days when it’s most convenient to throw on a pair of sweats and a hoodie for the day. As a college student, it’s difficult to spend our limited time picking out a cute outfit. However, I know that dressing well automatically boosts my self-confidence. I’m not suggesting to dress fancy for class. Simply swap your sweatpants for jeans and your hoodie for a nice sweater. Pick out pieces in your closet that you specifically feel great in; this will automatically uplift your mood during finals. When I dress well to take test, I automatically feel prepared, confident, and less stressed. Research even shows that the clothes you wear actually positively impacts the way you perform.

As college students venturing out for summer internships, we are reminded to “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” A Yale University study proved that dressing well can affect the way your co-workers see you, how confident you’re feeling, and how well you’re able to analyze the big picture. There is clearly psychology behind how we dress. It is common knowledge that without even trying, humans tend to judge others based on their clothing. When we look polished and professional, bosses and coworkers are more likely to trust us. Additionally, what we wear dictates to the world who we are, and how we want to be perceived and treated. Take time to think about what you’re wearing, as it’s a sense of self expression and impacts how others identify you. To stand out from all the other interns, throw on some interesting prints, colors, and patterns for a fun yet classy everyday office look.

I am a firm believer that clothing can boost a person’s self-esteem and can positively impact the way that one performs in all aspects of life. Dressing well has only led to beneficial effects in my life. Especially as many of us head into summer internships, don’t be afraid to embrace your fashion taste and dress for success!

COVER PHOTO: The Balance Careers

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