I Went Four Days Wearing Different Styles

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Many people have heard the saying “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” In my experience, this idea of dressing for the way you want to project yourself is quite effective- it influences the way you carry yourself, interact with friends and coworkers and more.

Everyone has a different style; whether that be sophisticated, trendy, preppy, casual, what have you. Clothes are unique to the person who wears them – and, they can have effects on you- more than you may think.

Studies conducted in the U.K conclude that clothes have significant effects on someone’s behavior and attitude, as well as interactions with friends, family, and co-workers, according to Psychology Today.

Independent video producer and host Lucie Fink at Refinery29 accepted a challenge to put this idea to the test; and spent one week dressing in a different style everyday. I decided to do the same and document how my experience was different when wearing styles contrasting my usual look. This challenged me, as I put virtually little to no effort in my appearance at school.

Following in Lucie’s steps, I planned different types of clothes to wear: Professional, trendy, laid-back, and sporty clothes.

Monday: On Monday, I decided to dive right in and wear professional clothes. It is important to note that this style is polar opposite of mine. I am used to leggings and hoodies on the day-to-day. So, I chose a striped button down, black blazer, black jeans, and heels – in addition to pulling my hair back into a low bun (an interesting alternative to my high, messy one).

Not only did I attract much more attention than intended, I noticed some key effects of this outfit throughout my day. For starters, I immediately felt productive by merely wearing different clothes. My day was efficient, and interactions with my friends was more to-the-point and mature.

I immediately felt productive by merely wearing different clothes.”

This feeling can be explained by a study that professors at Northwestern University conducted, which consisted of dressing students in white lab coats and having them take tests; the students who were told that their coat was a doctor’s coat performed better than those who were told it was an artist’s coat.

Tuesday: Tuesday was very different than Monday; I wanted to try and be trendy. I went with “mom” jeans, bulky white shoes, a cropped hoodie, and put my hair up with a scrunchie. Honestly, this outfit was a bit too close to my regular attire, so I didn’t experience many changes the day; however, I felt a bit blended in with everyone else.

Wednesday: This one was interesting. I attempted to do a yogi-like outfit, with big balloon-y pants, sandals, a white tee, and a pink headband. The reactions were interesting, with several “Wow”s, and a few “What are you wearing?”s. Overall, this was a very calm day, and unfortunately not very productive.

Thursday: This was the last day- because this challenge was harder than I anticipated. I went back to my roots and dressed a bit sportier, like I would’ve in middle school when basketball was life. The look was black leggings, a DXB Nike t-shirt, and tennis shoes. It was a strangely similar day to monday, because I was on top of everything, for the most part, and didn’t joke around as much with my friends.

At the end of the week I reflected on each contrasting day: Monday was productive. Tuesday was fun. Wednesday was laid back, and Thursday was upbeat. For me, its apparent that clothes really do impact how seriously people take you, how you feel about yourself, and how your overall day goes. I’d like to challenge readers to take on this idea, even just for a day. It’s surprising how stepping out of your familiar style can influence you.

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