In 2012 researchers from Northwestern University in the US found that wearing specific articles of clothing had an effect on the wearer’s psychology and performance. The researchers concluded that clothes have a symbolic meaning. When we wear an article of clothing with a specific meaning, these clothes can influence our psychological state. It’s called “enclothed cognition.”
The symbolic meaning is related to the characteristics wearers attach to a particular garment for social or psychological reasons. When people use a clothing item they relate to specific features (i.e painter coats and creativity, scientific ones and intelligence), they assume some of the ‘traits’ associated with that piece.
Clothes were shown to influence the way wearers behaved, and is it surprising? I mean, isn’t that what fashion lovers have felt about getting dressed since the beginning of time?
Being aware of the power that clothes have on our mindsets can help us become more aware of how to use them to our advantage. When we’re mindful of the impact of what we wear, enlisting our wardrobe as ancillary seems like an easier task, allowing us to choose pieces that speak to us.