Instant Confidence Boost From The Outside In: How To Dress For Confidence

When we try to look for advice on lifting confidence, it always has to do with our mindset. There’re hundreds of articles out on the internet to teach us how to gain confidence by thinking positive, killing negative thoughts, getting to know yourself and practicing interactions with different people. All of these suggestions are nice, but changing of mindset takes time, and communication skill takes practice.

If you’re wondering whether there’re some faster ways to boost your confidence, pay some attention to what you wear could be a good idea.

Your attire has a significant effect on self-esteem and confidence.

Almost all of us know that how we dress will affect the first impression with leave for others;[1] but not so many of us are aware of the fact that it’s also affecting how we perceive ourselves.

According to the findings from a study published on the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, subjects who wore a lab coat which was associated with the doctor’s coat performed better than those who didn’t wear a lab coat and those who wore a lab coat described as a painter’s coat.[2]

Researchers have called this phenomenon “enclothed cognition”, meaning that what you wear have a significant effect on your physical and psychological state. The clothes you put on can make or break your self-confidence level.

The wrong clothes can badly affect your performance in work and life.

In the book Mind What You Wear – The Psychology of Fashion,[3] Professor Karen Pine says that the right or wrong clothes can affect your attitude.

In her study, she asked some women to take a math test. But unlike any regular math test, some women had to wear swimsuit while the other group of women wore a sweater. It turned out that women who wore a sweater performed better in the test.[4]

This could be an extreme example because taking a math test while wearing a swimsuit definitely makes people feel uncomfortable. But this has proved that what we wear is affecting what we think and feel, and will affect our behaviors and our performance in work and life.

To dress for confidence, embrace tailoring.

Nothing makes you look good than well-fit clothes. You must have seen someone who wear an oversized suit, how did that seem to you? While wearing a bad-fit suit makes others think that they’re not ready for work; people who don’t have well-fit suit may also see themselves not fitting in the working place.

Fashion blogger and TV presenter Ciara O’Doherty suggested looking for well-tailored pieces on the high-street. You don’t really need to spend too much money on a tailor-made garment.[5]

Look for slightly padded shoulders, good quality stitching and hems, and try on multiple sizes to ensure you find your perfect fit. One tip is to get pieces altered by a seamstress so they fit your exact measurements, which is perfect for women who might be on the shorter/taller side.

A good pair of shoes can make or break your overall look in different occasions

For men, all you need is a smart pair of black shoes (Oxfords or loafers), a smart pair of brown shoes, a causal pair of shoes like boat shoes, and sneakers.

For women, you should have a pair of dark shoes and a pair of shoes with light color or white color (depends on your preference, you can get yourself a pair of flats, or high heels, or boots), a casual pair of shoes like sandals, and sneakers.

The smart shoes can be worn in formal and semi-formal occasions; whether it’s for men to match a nicely look shirt or suit or for women to match with a nice dress or suit, the smart shoes are always perfect. And it’s always good to have some dark color shoes and some lighter color shoes because that would make it easier to match with different outfits.

Most importantly, make yourself comfortable.

Always opt for comfort first. If you are not wearing something that makes you comfortable, your clothes will only irritate you from focusing on your work and affect your performance eventually.

Take my advice on choosing the right clothes for the right occasions, and get yourself some well-fit clothes and good shoes and that’s how you can build confidence from the outside in!

Featured photo credit: Paramount Pictures via renegadecinema.com

Reference

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