Leigh Crymble
2 minute read
6 Feb 2014
7:02 am

The Lo Down: Dress for success

Leigh Crymble

What if what you chose to wear every day had a significant impact not only on how others saw you but also on how you felt?

Image courtesy Stock.xchnge

According to a study published last year in the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, this is the case. In the study, participants were shown pictures of people wearing tailored clothing standing next to those who were not.

The outfits differed slightly and the models’ faces were pixelated so that physical attractiveness did not play a role. The findings were clear for both genders: those who wore the well-fitting clothing were judged as more successful and confident than those who weren’t.

The psychological power of clothing

More so than how others view us, our clothing choices often reflect the mood we’re in as well. Karen Pine, author of Flex: Do Something Different, found that there were correlations between what we wear and our emotional state.

In her study, Pine found that 57% of female participants reported wearing jeans and baggy tops to work when they felt depressed and 62% of both male and female participants were more likely to wear bright, bold colours when feeling happy.

Perhaps more interesting was that these participants felt they could alter their mood simply by changing their clothing.

Dressing the part
Experts’ advice to wear tailored clothing is one thing; having the cash for this is quite another. So, if you’re not in a position to pay regular visits to a tailor, here are some tips when clothing shopping:

1. Play to your (body) strengths
Get to know your body shape and what styles and cuts flatter you. Be realistic about what sizes fit you and choose cuts that complement your body.

2. Brand it
Once you know what style of clothing to buy, identify brands that you like, can afford, and fit you properly. This will  make future shopping easier as you’ll already know what sizes to try on.

3. Colour yourself beautiful
Know what hues suit your hair colour and skin tone. For light tones, clothing in pastel shades of pinks, blues, and purples is recommended whereas for darker tones, brighter colours are complementary. But don’t feel restricted. Experiment to see how you feel in different colours to know what works for you.