“Dress for the job you want, instead of the job you have.”
“The clothes make the man!”
We hear these and similar sentiments often, and seem to associate dressing better with doing better and achieving more in the workforce. But is there actually evidence that “dressing for success” works? How? Do certain clothes make us do better, or are we just perceived differently?
In the business world—with interviews, meetings, and presentations—appearances do often set a first impression.
We tend to consciously and unconsciously judge people based on what they look like, including what they wear. While we may be judging based mostly on [socially conditioned stereotypes], we are still making decisions toward and assumptions about people based on their outward appearance. These assumptions can be completely accurate or completely inaccurate; it’s impossible to know if we don’t look at a person’s achievements and work habits.