Clothes are the outer expression of our interests, vocations, memories and relationships. They can be an expression of who we truly are.
In a 2012 experiment, Adam D. Galinsky and Hajo Adam examined the effects of the participant’s attention towards wearing a lab coat and found that in the first experiment, wearing a lab coat increased selective attention, while not wearing one diminished it.
But in the next set of experiments; the people who wore the coat and believed it was a doctor’s coat were more attentive than those who were told that it was an artist’s coat. The changes in our minds that we experience when we wear certain clothes are called enclothed cognition. Such an interesting name!
This process is not new to us. When we look into our lives, we tend to feel more powerful and more serious dressed a certain way. The black, navy or charcoal grey skirt or pants with matching blazer and stark white shirt create the perception of power and wealth. Their own mood and the mood of the people around are is instantly lifted when someone wears bright happy colors. Clothes help lighten anxiety, lift depression, inspire focus, foster ambition, slow our anger and help us achieve calm.
Clothes can help us become who we are meant to be; bringing closer the future self, who we dream of becoming. But, finding the right outfit for the moment, to reflect who we are in the here and now is most important. After all, it’s parts of the present pieced together over a long time that creates the future.
The power of fashion is not to be overlooked. Its ability to make us feel the way we want to feel cannot be underestimated. What we wear will lift our confidence and increase our belief in our selves. It can create a sense of calm, display our truly authentic selves, or make us appear the fake.
We can create whatever we want and whomever we want through the style and fashion that we choose.