Seven years ago, professors Adam D Galinsky and Adam Hajo wrote about ‘enclothed cognition’ in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology to describe the relationship between fashion and self-esteem. In their hypothesis, the researchers used a doctor’s lab coat and a painter’s coat. The group of people who wore the doctor’s coat exuded high levels of attentiveness and carefulness while the ones in painters coat did not.

This experiment is just one of the many that scientists and even psychologists have used to prove that how you dress and your self-esteem are directly related. The question, therefore, is how do fashion and style affect your self-worth?

1. Fashion affects your self-perception

A big part of self-esteem is actually how you see yourself, whether it’s true or not. In an egg-chicken scenario, people who don’t like their bodies tend to cover them up with baggy unsightly clothes and then feel bad for the way they look in those clothes. However, you can use fashion to raise your self-esteem even if you don’t like your body or your life in general. A 2014 survey by KIA outlined that when men wear a power suit and have a clean shave, it boosts their confidence. This works for every man whether their self-esteem is high or not. Because when you look at yourself in the mirror, your self-perception changes. Wearing designer outfits is one sure way to feel good about yourself, and offers ties that will do just that. The next point is related to what I have just described.

The Power Pose Impact & Clothes

Wearing the right outfit and making intelligent choices when it comes to picking your apparels defines your level of confidence and how good you feel about yourself. It’s like the Power Pose effect that accentuates your body image by uplifting your body language. Even if you’re wearing pallid clothes. A healthy posture or a simple change in the way you carry yourself can primarily step up your self-esteem says the social psychologist Amy Cuddy.

Designer outfits and trendy apparels always work to your advantage. Even if you do not have that body language that sends off powerful vibes, a stylish formal attire that makes you appear debonair will do the work. That’s when you’re exuding a style statement. Those 6-inch stilettos, the checkered fitness leggings, and that cashmere layer! They’re the perfect accessories to enhance your look and make you feel excellent about yourself. The reason: when you put on those stylish outfits, you’re not just making a statement but are also dressing up for a predefined image. The entrepreneur, the gym lover, the party animal, or the laid back dude from downtown! It is an essential element of our self-creation that ties naturally with how we look and feel about ourselves.

2. How others perceive you

If you want people to hand you coins on the streets, dress up in tattered clothes, and keep unkempt hair. You may be the richest man in the world, but if you dress like a homeless man, people will treat you like one. The idea behind official wear in the workplace is primarily a matter of perception. How you dress will affect how your clients, employees, and even colleagues look at you. You have to dress the part if you want to feel powerful. The perception other people have of you, without a doubt, raise or lower your self-esteem.

Clothes And Their Attributes: It Matters

Another crucial reason why fashionable clothing directly relates to our mood, personality, and self-esteem is the qualities every clothe carries. A great-looking, the latest fad will instantly make you feel empowered! Why? Simple! Clothes entail classes; they have personalities too! Each design element, the colors, the fabric, and the shape define a particular aspect and perception. All these create a specific standard that relates to our personal fashion sense and style statement. For example, when you wear a black silk dress, it exudes panache, sophistication, elegance, and power. Also, the fabric specifically indicates qualities like opulence and luxury. Try wearing one to your next informal occasion and watch those heads turn in awe!

When you buy something that matches your fashion statement, it tends to give off natural vibes of confidence, high self-esteem, and a positive personal image of you. Another recent example is the floral prints that most of us prefer in our designs. These are associated with the free-spirited street style or boho aura. According to a study by Professor Karen Pine, such an outfit or fashion accessory will not only make you feel happy about yourself but infuse productivity in your everyday life too. For example, wearing a cardigan during a math exam may get you better results, or a superman T-shirt might help you score high on your soccer team.

Wardrobe Choice Influences Our Self Perception

The selection of our clothes matters when it comes to elevating our self-esteem and how others perceive us. You might feel comfortable wearing baggy, oversized layers to your dance class, but does that make you feel confident about your looks? Perhaps NOT! Several factors play a significant role when it comes to selecting your outfits, as these are predefined standards concocted by the community.

Any society would tag an outfit as appropriate for a particular event or situation. Nowadays, fashion is more random! The brands that offer stylish apparels, elegance, and show spunk, rule the style stereotype. It’s all about snagging the right fashion spot to elevate your self-esteem and body image without too much diligence. Pick your clothes wisely! Tap into your fashion ingenuity and rock your body image like no other

3. Fashion affects your moods

To answer a lady who asked what is the best way to get in workout groove. A Hollywood trainer stated that you need to dress the part first. When you put on your yoga pants, sports shoes, and tie that headband, your mind signals your body to get ready for work out. Similarly, when you wear a power suit and a pair of really classy official shoes. Your mind gets ready to take on the corporate world.

In her book Mind What You Wear; The Psychology of Fashion, Professor Karen Pine states that what you wear affects how you behave. If you want to be productive all day, dress up in funny looking pajamas or sweats because they make you feel lazy.

The truth is, even a single piece of clothing has the power to make you feel good about yourself. However, you have to accompany that fashion sense with the right posture and the right attitude for a full effect.


Ana is an internet entrepreneur and one of the founders of iGuides, she loves to give adequate time to her passion which is writing. She holds a PHD in English Literature.

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