Every single day, we make a decision about what to wear. A black cotton T-shirt exudes casual comfort while a moisture wicking zip-up conveys athleticism. Our clothing choices send messages about who we are to others. But can the way we dress be more than just a superficial statement?
Clothes are an effective way to communicate.
The way we dress says something about how we see ourselves, and it also can communicate how we approach others. A well-tailored dress or suit indicates that we are serious about a potential job. A formal black outfit worn to a funeral is a way of showing respect to someone without saying a word. Even a night out with friends can be elevated by an extra touch of accessories or a fun color.
Clothes are a part of self-care.
Studies have begun to explore the connection between what we wear and how we feel. The way we dress can impact how we feel about ourselves, and choosing colors we love is just the beginning.
Finding clothing to complement our body type, exploring our personal style, and finding brands we believe in can turn opening the closet into a moment of inspiration rather than an avalanche of stress and self-deprecation. Dressing well isn’t just about building an image — it can be a way to boost our mental health.
Dressing well is a fun way to express yourself.
Fashion can be art. The complexities of patterns, textures, and ways to pair items are endless. Building a wardrobe can be an opportunity for fun, and a chance to bring more beauty into the world.
How we dress impacts how we work (even when you WFH)
Studies have found evidence that the items we wear can affect our psychological processes. I know of one business woman who wore heels even to her zoom meetings because she was personally able to tell a difference in her professionalism and productivity when she did so.
Although I will never wear heels just to show up to a video conference, I do make sure to set aside clothes specifically for work. They help me plug into a productive and professional demeanor.
Well-dressed doesn’t mean miserable.
Or at least, it shouldn’t mean that. Look for pieces that check both the comfortable and classy boxes. It might make shopping take a bit longer but will put you at ease in the long run.
For my work-from-home needs, I have a small collection of dressy tops that are elegant but also soft and flexible; they help me get in the zone on a workday without sacrificing my sanity.
Getting that classy top or a new pair of shoes doesn’t have to be superficial — it could be the first step in communicating authentically with others. Our fashion choices can boost our mood, increase our productivity, and bring a bit more beauty into the world. So have a little fun with fashion — there is dignity to dressing well.