You are what you WEAR!

That’s the gist of new research by Dr. Adam Galinsky, a psychologist at Northwestern University. He says whether you realize it or not, the clothes you wear have meaning and they can alter the way you act and think.

To prove it, he recently set up an experiment where he had people try on different outfits. Then, he and his team looked for subtle changes in the way each participant behaved. And believe it or not, their behavior changed depending on how the outfits were described! For example: When a white lab coat was described as a “doctor’s coat,” Dr. Galinsky says people took on the symbolic characteristics of a doctor – meaning they acted more attentive and helpful. Then, when that exact same lab coat was described as an “artist’s coat,” people acted more expressive and creative! Also, when people put on a black t-shirt, they tended to become more aggressive.

Dr. Galinsky says these experiments show there’s a strong link between our clothing and our psyche. And it helps explain why some people act and feel more powerful when they wear expensive suits and shoes, for example.

As Dr. Galinsky puts it: “When we put on a suit, we’re not only giving impressions to other people, but we’re also giving an impression to ourselves. We take on the characteristics of our clothes”.

Keep that in mind the next time you’re choosing something to wear. Dr. Galinsky says whatever you pick, your clothes will have a direct affect on who you are, and how you act!