Can what you’re wearing affect your performance in life? You know that depending on what you’re wearing people will treat you differently; your clothes are your business card.
But can what you’re wearing also effect how you perform in life? Northwestern University found a phenomenon called enclothed cognition; the effects of clothing on your cognitive process.
The study is a scientific field called embodied cognition, aligned to the concept that we think not only with our brains but with our bodies too. When we put on certain clothes our ability to take on certain roles is impacted.
In an experiment, three groups were tested for sustained attention. The first group was asked to wear a doctor's coat. The second wore a painter's coat (both coats were identical). And the third could see a doctor's coat hanging in the room, but wore only their usual clothes. The result was clear. The group wearing the doctor’s coat had about a 50% better result than the two other groups. The same result was found in other set-ups as well.
So what does this mean if you’re a trader?
Everyone is different with regards to their own style, but there are guidelines to follow that could help. You want a sharp mind? Then choose sharp clothing. Some traders say that swapping their denim to a navy chino had a positive effect on performance. While that may not be true for everybody, the personal styling pros at Dappad have put together the 5 key considerations to keep in mind when dressing.
Choose well-fitting, high-quality, smart and timeless pieces, in neutral colours. This can be denim as well as suits – the emphasis should be on the quality and fit. Below is the Dappad guide to dressing for maximum performance on the trading floor, and in life.
1. Choose fitted clothing
Too baggy or relaxed clothing will make you think you’re on your sofa watching Billions. This rule applies to trousers, shirts, jumpers and coats.
2. Wear neutral solid colours
Wear mostly neutral solid coloured clothing rather than crazy patterns and colours as they may become a distraction.
3. Buy the highest quality your money can buy
What message do you think the clothes and body will send your mind when you put on a well-designed piece in a high-quality fabric rather than a cheap ill-fitting piece? You know the answer yourself.
4. Do not forget the shoes!
Tom Ford says it’s impossible to look good in cheap shoes, and we agree. You may have dressed the part on top but if you fail to do below unfortunately you’ve failed. You can opt for a trainer just as well as a classic Oxford, Chelsea boot or brogue.
5. Last but not least: underwear!
If you would have to be rushed to hospital would you be proud of your underwear? If the answer is no, you know what do to now.