Fielding and Nicholson tailors contributed a guest post for us recently on how to dress for a promotion. You can recap the post here, but the points mentioned seem to be on trend, as results of a study published in HR Grapevine concerns workplace fashion, and suggests that the more expensive your clothes, the better you could do at work.
The Big Picture
There’s a bigger picture to look at here, and although saying “expensive clothes help us work better” is potentially flawed, there are elements of how clothes make us feel that fit. Designer clothes can be cripplingly expensive and for most, well out of reach when it comes to filling the workplace wardrobe! A better way to look at this study we believe therefore, is in the effect of our clothes on our confidence.
The Study Results
The results of the study are fascinating, and we have a summary below:
• Designer brands can help performance in a task by reducing anxiety. This is attributed to participants feeling better about themselves during the completion of a task
• The more skilled someone is at a task, the less impact designer brands will give them. The association of clothes to performance appears to be with self perceived confidence levels – as those with lower skill have less confidence and more anxiety. For such individuals, the “helping hand” from fashion is more effective
• Participants wearing designer brands feel better about themselves when undertaking a task. This makes another case for confidence, and how what we wear can make us feel more so
Confidence seems to be the method by which designer clothes in this study increased performance. Therefore the takeaway from the study could be in building confidence, rather than splashing out on some D&G. Mental wellbeing initiatives and praise could also have a similar effect, although the effect from wearing expensive clothes appears to be immediate according to the study.
What We Think
Rather than support an idea that the price of our clothes is going to help us perform, we prefer to believe that how your clothes make you feel – regardless of price – can contribute to better workplace performance. Whether you shop at Armani or Primarni… working in attire you enjoy and feel good in can help your confidence, and your performance.