The clothes you wear can and WILL have a direct impact on your confidence. If you toss on sweatpants and a t-shirt everyday, you will feel less confident than if you wore a well-made outfit consisting of high-quality denim jeans, a button-up shirt, and the right footwear. It’s just that simple.
It’s unknown how or why exactly fashion affects confidence, but the general consensus among experts is that it does. One plausible theory is that we make first impressions based on appearance; therefore, it only makes sense that your choice of clothes will directly affect your level of confidence. If you’re attending a corporate event or expo in which dozens or even hundreds of other workers are in attendance, you obviously want to present yourself in the most professional manner possible. Doing so will give you greater confidence, at which point you’ll feel more comfortable networking and conversing with other workers in attendance.
Another possible reason why fashion affects confidence is because the right clothes allow individuals to blend in and look “normal.” There’s nothing wrong with differentiating yourself from the pack by wearing a unique outfit, but you usually want to keep your style similar to the respective event and/or atmosphere. In other words, don’t wear a pair of shorts and sandals to your best friend’s wedding. Most wedding guests wear a semi-formal attire for this type of event, so it’s a good idea to follow a similar structure with your outfit. A pair of khaki-colored chinos with a button-up shirt and tie is an excellent choice that’s sure to boost your confidence.
You might be surprised to learn that there’s evidence backing up the theory that clothes affect your level of confidence. In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers found that participants who wore white lab coats scored higher on tests than participants who wore casual, everyday clothes. While participants were fully aware that they lacked any real medical training, just wearing a lab coat gave them confidence, which is why they scored higher on the tests than their counterparts.
This isn’t the only study that links fashion to confidence. Several other studies have found similar results, with men and women who dress well having greater confidence. The bottom line is that you should think about the clothes you wear and how it will be perceived by those around you.