Dressing the Part


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.




5 thoughts on “Dressing the Part

  1. I picked up the habit early on starting with my various internships in high school. Working with professionals, I got a kick out of wearing a crisp shirt and tie – it made me feel like I was bringing my “A game” and it stuck with me. Once you feel it on the inside, it shows outwardly. Overtime it becomes your persona – good points here Adam


  2. Great comments here Adam. I’ve found that dressing the part goes a long way to making you feel like you’re playing that part. Like a lot of things, mental preparation is 90% of success. This is one of those parts of mental preparation that people often forget.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s