The Mediscrubs aphorism ‘It’s Not What You Wear, It’s Who You Wear” rings true, as we can see from a study in 2012 from Northwestern University.
When Clothing Style Influences Cognitive Style
Back in 2012, Researchers examined a concept called “enclothed cognition.” They define it in their report as “the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes,” meaning what your clothes are saying to you, not about you. And how they make you feel.
These researchers distributed standard white lab coats to participants, telling some that it was a doctor’s coat and some that it was a painter’s smock. All participants performed the same task, but those wearing the “doctor’s coat” were more careful and attentive. The results showed that their actions may have been directly influenced by their clothing.
Your Clothing Impacts Your Thinking
Of course, dressing well is important for your confidence and sense of self-empowerment. Your style of dress does more than just send messages, to your mind or to others. Research from a team of psychological scientists from California State University, Northridge and Columbia University indicated that style actually impacts how you think. They found that dressing more professionally increases abstract thinking and gives people a broader perspective. “The formality of clothing might not only influence the way others perceive a person, and how people perceive themselves, but could influence decision making in important ways through its influence on processing style,” the study showed.
What your work attire says about you
They say it takes about seven seconds to make an impression. Stained lapels will never be forgotten. That’s the message from corporate image and fashion experts, who say that our work apparel make or break our chances of professional success.
Clean and professional looking uniforms are a must for any health professionals’ wardrobe because the reality is that we are often judged firstly by our appearance other than our skills and experience. If you wear scrubs or uniforms that are not looking their best, it can and will work against you in a serious way.
First impressions are often lasting impressions. Others perceive the way you dress at work as a reflection of who you are, what you care about, what you believe about yourself and want others to perceive. So, it’s important that you choose your attire consciously not haphazardly and that you understand what your work apparel says about you.
Remember, style and comfort can influence many important factors in the workplace, from the way people approach decisions to the way people focus on a task. Taking intentional command of how you dress, and present is a good step in empowering yourself, accomplishing your goals, and living a more lucid life at the helm of your decisions. So, pay attention! All the world’s a stage.