Have you ever wondered why people say things like “dress for success” or “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? There are many reasons that stay behind these sayings. In reality, a smart outfit can make the difference in your productivity at work. But, if you are telecommuting or working as a freelancer, does your outfit affect the way you work during the day? Keep reading this article and find how your clothes affect the way you work and the results you deliver.

Your Clothing Influences Your Self-Confidence

Whenever you dress smart and business-like, you suddenly feel that your confidence and creativity boost. For example, professor Karen Pine from the University of Hertfordshire did a test on a group of people asking them to wear a t-shirt with the Superman logo on it. After putting them in several situations, professor Pine concluded that the superhero outfit helped them be more confident in their abilities. Another research conducted by Adam Galinski showed that clothing influences the way our brain works. He discovered that people’s minds become more agile when wearing a white coat. Associating the white coat with being a doctor helped them increase their performance.

Your clothing style also influences the way others think about you. Put on a tie and a sleek suite and you will notice that, instantly, the others will start considering you an influencer and listen to your opinion greater than before. Another study conducted in Turkey and UK shows how people start to make assessments from the first seconds they see each other. 300 men and women were asked to tell what they think about various persons who were wearing different outfits. Their judgements went beyond the clothing style. For example, a person wearing a perfectly fitting suit was rated as confident and successful.

So, our clothes influence the way we feel at work and how the others think about us. Here are three golden rules you can follow to boost your productivity at work.

This is how clothes can help you become more productive at work!
  • Have a talk with yourself every morning. Before you open your closet to check what shirt and shoes you should put on that day, it is always better to have a short talk with yourself in the mirror. Evaluate first how you feel and what are your mood and plans for the day and then go to the closet. For instance, if you feel tired, pick something more colourful which can energize you a bit.
  • Stay comfortable. You don’t have to wear a t-shirt and jeans to stay comfortable in the office. When you think of comfort, think of the materials your clothes are made of. First of all, your clothes should fit you. You will see that when you have a day full of meetings, these aspects become extremely important. You don’t want to feel suffocated by a tight shirt during an important meeting. What is more, you need to focus on important matters at work and not on how rumpled your pants will look like after you stand up.
  • Don’t be afraid of change. Fashion is constantly changing. What was considered outdated some years ago now is extremely on fashion and vice-versa. Don’t be afraid to embrace new fashion styles and adapt them to your work environment. Moreover, you don’t have to dress for your age. On the contrary, your clothes should reflect the way you want to feel.
Is Casual Clothing Killing Your Productivity?

But, what happens when you are a freelancer and you spend most of your time working from home? What if you are working as a translator or in an environment where people are more relaxed? Will your productivity be affected?

When your clothing style is very casual at work or in your free time, it becomes difficult to stay focused and alert at work. Therefore, it is very important to draw a clear line between the working schedule and your free time. A study conducted by a team of researchers from California State University, Northridge, and Columbia University concluded that the clothes influence our self-perception. They found that when people dress casually they describe themselves as being more relaxed and friendlier. On the contrary, those who wear a suit, think that they are more competent and rational.

What does this mean? Do you have to put on a suit even when you work from home? You can decide to wear some particular outfits in this case. For instance, you can dress a bit more formal. It will help you think abstractly and become more creative. Think of these aspects the next time you choose your outfit and you will see what impact the clothes will have on your productivity.


Related: 6 Bad Habits That are Killing Your Productivity at Work

Elisa Abbott is a freelancer whose passion lies in creative writing. She completed a degree in Computer Science and writes about ways to apply machine learning to deal with complex issues. Insights on education, helpful tools and valuable university experiences – she has got you covered;) When she’s not engaged in assessing translation services for PickWriters you’ll usually find her sipping cappuccino with a book.

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