Dress for Success Proven

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Research shows that wearing nicer clothing does indeed improve work performance

We’ve always said that if you look good, you feel good. And if you feel good, you do good. Turns out that is exactly the case according to a The Wall Street Journal article, which reported on studies that support dressing better in the workplace leads to higher productivity in several ways. Specifically, simulations of varying work scenarios, such as business meetings, found that those who wore more formal clothing exhibited higher confidence levels, greater abstract (aka, big picture) thinking, as well as improved how others perceived the wearer over those who dressed casually.

A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology translates this directly into dollars. Participants donning either suits or sweats engaged in negotiations over a hypothetical factory.  Suit wearers pulled in an average profit of $2.1 million, with concessions averaging $830,000, compared to an $680,000 average profit and $2.8 in average concessions by negotiators in sweats.

Another study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, found that people who dress more formally were quicker to engage in abstract thinking, the kind akin to leadership and executives. The dressed down group tended to get caught up in the smaller stuff.

The Wall Street Journal goes on to interview experts about how to best apply the dress for success approach in different work environments. For example, for a more casual office, wearing a three piece suit could be awkward, but a cashmere sweater or nice shoes could set an employee apart in a more appropriate way. Fit is also a critical component in establishing oneself as well-dressed. Even a designer brand suit can appear sloppy if not tailored well. A well-fitted sports coat or even a tailored jacket over jeans reads higher-end.

Investing in a few of these high-quality pieces can really make all the difference (shopping lovers rejoice!).


Concerned about caring for your dressy items? Sudsies Dry Cleaners & Laundry specializes in the care of luxury wardrobes, including suits, designer brands, and custom and couture works. Cleanings are performed by hand and with eco-friendly solutions, while the tailoring department works in tandem to assure impeccable fit and repairs. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary pick-up of your dry cleaning.

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