It’s no coincidence that getting decked out for a night on the town can lift your spirits. Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz” is a classic song powerfully suggesting that fashion can cure the blues. He was definitely on to something. Eventually, clinical psychologists would study clothing choice and how it affects us.
A 2012 Northwestern University study confirmed the connection between clothing and thought processes. Researchers found that participants who wore white lab coats proved to be a lot more careful and attentive than those wearing a “painter’s smock.”
Indeed, our wardrobe selections can send messages to the world around us about our inner motivations, emotions and life experiences. Many of us have committed our fair share of fashion woes, sending messages we’d like to forget. And for first impressions like a date or job interview, how you dress does matter.
Are you wearing only neutrals? In her book, “You Are What You Wear,” clinical psychologist Jennifer Baumgartner says neutral shades may indicate you’re stuck in a psychological rut. Do you practically live in your “mom” outfit: jeans and a hoodie? Well, maybe family comes first for you.
So how do you break free from these clothing associations? Well, as powerful clothing choices that have stood the test of time, classic pieces stick around for a reason. Garmany is full of such styles that triumph in projecting a successful image. Consider the clean lines of Jonathan Simkhai’s navy lace-up dress (just right for work or play), or a plaid suit from Rag & Bone accessorized with a red Salvatore Ferragamo handbag. You’ll send a strong, positive message with options like these while also boosting your own mood.