This is a contributor’s blogpost …
When people think about fashion styles, they tend to think of something that’s a reflection of someone’s inner self. We see style as something that reflects how we’re feeling, what our thoughts might be, what our general attitude to life is. We associate suits with someone who wants to be taken seriously, who is ambitious and formal, for example. It’s depicted as a one-way system, style reflects mood.
But the link between style and mood is nowhere near as clear cut as this. Style isn’t just a reflection of your mood – your mood can also be a reflection of your style. In order words, your moods can be affected in profound ways by your style of dress.
This isn’t some mumbo-jumbo that is to be dismissed with a casual wave of the hand. This is something that has been researched with much seriously in social sciences and psychology. The ways in which mental processes are affected by what you wear is referred to in some fields as enclothed cognition. If a term like that doesn’t suggest that this hasn’t been seriously scientifically studied, I don’t know what will!
So when we’re deciding what to wear on a given day – or what long-term style choices we wish to implement into our lives – we shouldn’t just decide on the basis of how we’re feeling. We should also consider how we want to feel.
Photo Courtesy of Stocksnap via Pexels
There are some clear ways in which your fashion sense affects your mood, things that you may already have considered. Let’s take confidence. People usually only talk about style and confidence in a negative way. For example, we talk of people who aren’t confident enough to wear vests or bikinis. But you may already know the feeling of putting on a nice new suit, or a luxurious dress, or some designer sunglasses – these things make us feel more confident, right? We’re not just wearing them because we’re confident; we often wear these things because doing so helps give us that confidence.
Color is, of course, a very important thing to consider, here. Young adults may remember a lot of people who were considered sad or moody – or, in the parlance of the day, emo – to wear a lot of dark colors. We see this as being reflective of those somber moods. But the colors you wear have distinct psychological links to negative or positive feelings. This means that negative feeling can actually be boosted or exacerbated if you “dress the part” and wear a lot of dark, grim clothing.
So if you’re looking to become more serious about time management and business creativity, then it may be time that you put some more focus into what you’re wearing every day. Just throwing on whatever t-shirt you see first can put you in quite a casual or even lazy mindset. People who put on loose pants on their days off are often actively – purposefully – getting themselves in a chilled mindset. So trying to dress a bit sharper, even if you’re working from home that day, can help you instil a really productive and confident mindset.
Don’t underestimate the power of your style on your mindset!