A friend of mine is taking a masterclass on fashion and came across an interesting piece of research about what happens in the brain when we wear certain types of attire.
A researcher had subjects wear a white coat that they believed belonged to a doctor. Those who thought they were wearing a doctor’s coat became more attentive, an effect that didn’t hold true when they believed the garment was a painter’s coat.
They call this phenomenon enclothed cognition. You can read more at The Atlantic article here.
So I got to pondering that, and I think it’s interesting how cultural biases like this impact our thinking. You might think that you wouldn’t be influenced either way. And you might not be.
The point we can suss out here is that the meaning-making we associate with our clothing impacts how we think.
So, if you’re working on a project that requires creativity, maybe you want to think about looking at your wardrobe and donning an outfit that makes you feel creative. Or if you’re working on a project where you’ll need to be attentive, focused, responsible, etc., look at your wardrobe and consider what outfit would make you feel more fastidious and on-task. For some, that might mean a button-down collar and bow tie; for others, it might mean subdued colors. It’s your call.
So here’s an invite to explore: Think about what your calendar holds tomorrow, pick a theme for the important activities, and then explore your wardrobe to see what seems to best support that theme! Then, speak aloud to yourself: I’m choosing this outfit because it makes me feel powerful, or creative, or on-task, or whatever your theme happens to be.
I’d love to hear what you notice!