Work wear

Have you ever considered what effect the way that you dress has upon your career? It may be something that you don’t think about very often, but according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the clothes you wear can really impact upon how you perform in your job.

It’s no secret that dressing in a certain way has an effect on the first impressions that you make, and how people treat you. Indeed, the study cites that women who dress in a masculine fashion at interview are more likely to be hired.

On top of this, clients are more likely to return to formally dressed therapists than casually dressed therapists, and an appropriately dressed customer service representative will elicit stronger purchase intentions than those who are dressed inappropriately.

However, there is also evidence that the clothes you wear don’t just impact upon the way that other people perceive you, but also upon how you see yourself and perform your particular roles.

This research has in fact coined the term ‘enclothed cognition’, which refers to a systemic influence that particular clothes have upon the wearer’s psychological processes.

Hajo Adam and Adam Galinksy, the authors of the study, found that when participants wore a doctor’s lab coat, they were able to perform the same tasks better than when wearing artists overalls.

The notion that the clothes you wear can affect the way you feel and behave mean that decisions on workplace attire should not be taken lightly. For employers, enforcing the wrong dress code could impact upon productivity, motivation and staff morale.

Or from an employee’s point of view, getting the best out of yourself could start with sorting out your wardrobe, as it would seem that the right clothing may well further your career.