To follow up Tony Capasso’s guest post, I thought I’d share this study from Sports Psychologist Iain Greenlees covered by Lauren Aaronson. This goes without saying, but in any situation that you are in, dressing the part is half the battle. Not only does dressing appropriately help you feel more confident in a given situation, but others are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt. In short, you will perform better and be given more leeway than someone who is dressed inappropriately.
In the study, athletes were shown videos of their opponents warming up.
“When the on-screen athletes had confident body language—good posture and robust eye contact with the camera—player-viewers felt that they would win fewer games than they would against opponents who slouched and averted their eyes.
Additionally, the athletes felt more confident of beating opponents who wore generic sportswear, like sweatshirts, than opponents who wore sport-specific clothing, like brand-name polo shirts and spiffy shorts.”
If simply dressing better makes you feel more confident and competent, why don’t we all do it? Does dressing the part get old? Is it a habit we form, just like exercising? I’d say that unless you dress the part on a consistent basis, you won’t identify with role you’re dressing for. You’d feel like an actor wearing a wardrobe. To dress the part for real, the wardrobe and your identity have to be completely congruent. I believe it is a habit you must pick up, but there is no reason that any of us shouldn’t be dressing the way we could be.