People at work often comment about “how dressed up” I am. I don’t think I am. But because I believe that clothes make the woman, I am usually wearing a dress or a skirt with a coordinating sweater and am almost always wearing heels (with or without stockings, depending upon the time of year). Given my work at the university, my goal is to look professionally casual. Compared to most folks, however, I’m “dressed up” because I’m not wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
I know I’ve spoken about the rhetoric of fashion–what you wear conveys a message that lets other people know all sorts of things about you (including your values) whether you like it or not. But it also conveys those same messages to you!
It turns out that what you wear has an impact on how you think. This phenomenon is called enclothed cognition. It explains why you may have more confidence when you are dressed a certain way and feel schlumpy when wearing pajama-style pants and a t-shirt. Clothes really do make the woman!
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This video provides a brief explanation about enclothed cognition and its impact on the way we think:
When have you noticed enclothed cognition at play in your own life?