Enclothed Cognition: Dress Like You Mean It

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society,” Mark Twain.

Clothes have power, they affect people around you and affect yourself. They also enable you to become who you want.

There is even a term called Enclothed cognition to describe this phenomenon (“describing the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes”).

In 2012, Professor Adam D. Galinsky and Hajo Adam wanted to see if there was a connection between how we dress and how we perform. In one of the experiments they ran, students who wore a doctor’s white coat to perform different tasks made half as many errors as students who wore regular clothes. That’s right: Half. As. Many. Errors. Let that sink in.

Students who dressed like doctors were less likely to make an error—even though the tasks assigned in the study had nothing to do with medicine.

Personally, I find that pretty amazing.

Think about it: a great outfit can make you feel fantastic ! Just as much as it can make you feel terrible ! And how uncomfortable it is when the outfit isn’t right.

For the next week, dress up a little nicer than usual. Shave (if that’s something you do) twice as often. Comb your hair. Even if you work from home and nobody knows what you’re wearing.

Try it, and then take a moment to notice how you feel, and if it affected the quality of your work.

Interesting reads:

Simplify – De-Clutter Your Life


I came through following quote from the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson:

Material possessions often cluttered life rather than enriched it.

Steve Jobs was highly influenced by the teachings of Zen Buddhism. He believed that it was important to avoid attachment to material objects. Peoples’ consumer desires are unhealthy and to attain enlightenment you need to develop a life of non-attachment and non-materialism.

When people make a lot of money, they feel that they had to live differently. They will buy expansive cars and big houses. They are always shopping, wardrobes full of clothes and shows. Slowly it grows so much that “what to wear?” becomes the first question they face first thing in morning.

It’s no longer about enjoying these material possessions, instead it becomes a daily struggle to manage them, Nancy Twigg once said:

Instead of being served by what we own, we end up serving our possessions with inordinate amounts of our time and energy.

Isn’t it curious how quickly roles can be reversed? Possessions that are supposed to enrich our lives are often drain us instead. Things we think will make our lives better, only bring additional heartache and hassle. Instead of being server by what we own, we end up serving our possessions with inordinate amounts of time and energy. [From page 108 of Clutter to Clarity: Simplifying Life from the Inside Out by Nancy Twigg]

“Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.” – Bryant H. McGill

By decluttering your life, you could actually welcome more abundance? Why? Because you will create more room; more space for better things.

Image source: De-Clutter Your Life by Adam Sicinski