You don’t follow trends and you don’t care much about luxury brands. More importantly, you don’t think what you wear determines who you are. Then, why in the world should you care about fashion ?
Your clothes change how people view you.
Right, never judge a book by its cover. But very often, out of all the books in the bookstore, we pick up the book with the most interesting name and cover. Yes, we shouldn’t judge people by what they wear. However, we human beings do make decisions based on our instinct, feeling, and impression, consciously or unconsciously.
Tyler Tervooren, the author of Riskology.co, used to be a sloppy dresser. He never thought that he had to dress “sharp” to get people to listen to him. People should listen to him because he knows what he is talking about. Then, what he experienced on a bus totally changed his perspective on why people need to care about dressing well.
¹Years ago, I was on the bus headed to a friend’s house. I knew the neighborhood but wasn’t sure which stop to get off at.
The gentleman sitting next to me noticed me looking out the window every few seconds trying to get my bearings and asked if I needed help. I told him my predicament, and he confidently told me I should exit in two stops. I thanked him for the advice.
A moment later, another man standing in the aisle who’d heard my conversation leaned in and said, “Actually, you should get off at the next stop.”
I thanked him, hopped up, and exited just like he told me to, ignoring the advice of the first guy.
What was the difference between the two men? And why did I choose to listen to one and not the other? I asked myself the same question as I walked the last few blocks to my friend’s place. Read on for the answer.
As I walked away from the bus, I realized in an instant why I listened to one guy and not the other.
The man in the aisle was dressed sharply. He looked like he was on his way home from work in a fancy office downtown. My seatmate was wearing sweatpants, had a dark stain on his t-shirt, and looked like he might have skipped showering that day.
In this moment, I realized just how many preconceived notions and stereotypes were built into my own assumptions of other people. Here I was complaining how people judged me by my clothes while I did the same to them—can I trust the instructions of someone who can’t be trusted to even keep food off his clothes?
I didn’t mean to make this judgment. It was simply years of social conditioning taking over. My decision process went into autopilot. If you want people to listen to you, there’s an important lesson here:
Dress the message.
A good cover may not make a good book, but it helps to draw attention. A well-put-together look is as important as a good cover, it will help you make a good impression. Dress sharp and appropriate, it helps everywhere you go !
Your clothes shift your internal-self !
When your friends tell you “dress up, you will feel better ‘ when you feeling down/lost your job/just break up with gf/bf, they may be on to something. A put together outfit makes you feel more confident and helps set you in a better mood. Not only that , it may also change how you behave and act. Don’t believe me ? Check out a study from Northwestern university examined a concept called “enclothed cognition”.
²Researchers define it in their report as “the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes,” meaning what your clothes are saying to you, not about you. And how they make you feel.
The researchers distributed standard white lab coats to participants, telling some that it was a doctor’s coat and some that it was a painter’s smock. All participants performed the same task, but those wearing the “doctor’s coat” were more careful and attentive. Their actions were influenced by their clothing.
There is a reason why people say dress like the person you want to be. Your clothes can help to shift your internal-self !
What do you think? Have you experienced that people treat you differently just because of what you are wearing? Has your outfit changed your mood , attitude, and actions? Share with us in the comments below !
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¹ Tyler Tervooren, The psychology of dressing well, Riskology.co
² What your clothes say about you. Forbes.com
I am very excited to introduce you a new section on my blog : Fashion 101²
What is Fashion 101² ?
It’s 101 days of fashion 101. Let’s go back to the fundamentals! In this section, we will talk about ways to wear a basic piece in your wardrobe ; different fashion terms and where they come from; fashion for different occasions and so on. If you have any fashion questions , please leave me a comment here !I hope you will enjoy Fashion 101² as much as I enjoy writing them up !