Power Suits: The Psychological Impact of Wearing Smart Clothes

Many of us have experienced that wonderful feeling when we slip on our best suit, dress, shirt or even shoes. Well, did you know that psychologists suggest that wearing your smartest clothes may have far more benefits than you had ever imagined…

This week I wanted to highlight an piece of research that sits in the area of psychology called ‘enclothed cognition’ – it’s related to how you and I think, feel and behave depending upon what we’re wearing.

Research undertaken in 2015 by psychologists at California State University found that people who wore formal clothes felt more powerful. Now, we don’t always need to feel powerful but I suggest there’s certain situations, maybe professionally and maybe personally, were feeling more confident or more powerful could possibly be really useful. In previous Meetology® Minutes I’ve offered various mental tricks to improve confidence but it also seems that simply putting on a formal piece of clothing could be a really important first step to that.

So next time you want to feel confident or powerful have a look in your wardrobe; do you have a favourite dress, suit, skirt, shirt, whatever it might be that makes you feel really good? It could be time to start wearing it more often!

I’ll be back next week with some more Meetology® – the fascinating psychology powering exceptional people skills,


Jonathan Bradshaw
The Meetology® Lab


Michael L. Slepian, Simon N. Ferber, Joshua M. Gold, and Abraham M. Rutchick. The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing. Social Psychological and Personality Science August 2015 vol. 6 no. 6  661-668




About the Author:

Jonathan Bradshaw presents and trains internationally on the fascinating psychology powering exceptional interpersonal communication. He is Founder of the Meetology® Lab and leads the company’s team of behavioral psychologists in collating and sharing cutting-edge research on exceptional people skills. As an experienced and engaging keynote speaker Jon has presented at conferences and business events in over 30 countries and is an award-winning columnist and blogger. Learn more about him speaking at your next event via www.meetology.com or connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.