How you dress has a big impact on how people view you and how you view yourself. According to 99U, it’s not about dressing one specific way, it’s about considering your audience and using that to your advantage.
We know about some of the science behind how your clothing choices affect how people view you, and that extends to the office dynamics as well. For example, if you want to appear persuasive and authoritative at Facebook, you probably shouldn’t wear a tuxedo, because you’ll just get laughed at. The idea here is to take advantage of what you know about a workplace:
Formal suits aren’t always the way to go. Research shows that people who wear more daring outfits are perceived as more attractive and individual, which could be advantageous in more creative industries. Casual dress can also be more persuasive, depending on your audience. In 2010, a female experimenter reported that students were far more diligent in following her detailed instructions when she was dressed casually (like they were), as opposed to smart and professional…
If you need to be persuasive at work, the lesson from these studies is that there’s no single rule for how to dress. You need to balance the power of authority, which you get from smartness, against the allure of camaraderie, which comes from dressing like your audience, and may require going more casual.
The fact is, what you wear to work changes how people view you. According to two different studies, it also has an effect on you view yourself. So, when you’re getting dressed for work, take a few seconds to consider the psychological impact of what you’re wearing, how it fits with where you’re going and who you’re with. Head over to 99U for a few more tips for using science to your advantage when you’re getting dressed.