The Psychology of Bad Style

Young brunette woman choosing clothes in home interior
While we may pretend our clothing choices are insignificant, they actually reflect our psychological state of mind.

Getting dressed is a profoundly psychological endeavour.  Often we punish ourselves for our perceived imperfections (physical or otherwise) by not dressing our best.  Remind yourself that style is not a reward for perfection.  Just by virtue of being human, you are worthy of dressing well. 

Other times we dress down as a form of psychological rebellion against our current circumstances.  Perhaps we dislike our job and dress somewhat sloppily (or against the grain of our corporate culture), as a conscious or unconscious signifier that we’re not a committed member of the pack.  If you identify with this view, I would challenge you to look at clothing as a transformative tool.  Dressing is a way to remind yourself and others that you are more than your current circumstances.  Through clothing you can reflect aspirations that are as representative of who you really are as is your current lifestyle.

Another psychological style-impediment is the idea that clothing is shallow.  If you identify with this perspective, I would challenge you to assess your ability to further your causes with an image that is more persuasive and influential.  Studies indicate that people attribute positive behavioural attributes to people who have a  polished image.  Others rate us as more intelligent, capable and trustworthy when they deem us attractive and well put-together.

Whether your goal is excelling in your career, helping those less fortunate through fundraising, or influencing public opinion and policy for a more just world, wouldn’t you fare better in your goals if people assumed you were smart, capable and trustworthy just by looking at you?

A polished image will open doors for you.  Leverage the transformative power of clothing to further your goals – even if your goal is as simple as feeling good about yourself every day. 

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