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In the beginning, clothes only needed to keep us warm and dry. There wasn’t much more to it than that. But today they play a much bigger role in our day-to-day lives. With so many different shapes, sizes, colours, styles and fashions of clothing available, we now have more choice than ever. And for important occasions, like deciding what to wear to a job interview or to meet someone important, that choice matters.
Sometimes it’s rather obvious what our clothing choices do: that is to say, what impressions they make on others. For example, how many of us would see a man in a suit on a Tuesday and think “businessman”? But there’s more to it than that. As it turns out, we’re more sensitive to the subtleties of apparel than we might think.
When it comes to a man in a suit, even small details have a big effect on first impressions: for example, the cut of the suit. When researchers showed people a picture of a man in a suit for just a few seconds, those people judged him more positively overall in a bespoke suit than in a similar off-the-peg suit: apparently, the bespoke suit particularly made him look more confident and higher-earning.
So, if the cut of a suit can make such a difference in immediate first impressions, what else can? Whether it’s tailored or not, wouldn’t a clean and tidy suit look better than a dirty and scuffed-up one? These are important things to consider when you’re picking your next job interview outfit.
Not only does your outfit influence the impressions you make, but it also affects how you feel and behave. We all know that wearing our best outfit can make us feel more confident. But even unconsciously, we just naturally take on some of the personality that comes with it.
A good example is the lab coat effect: research has shown that people wearing a white lab coat ended up paying better attention in tests than those in a painter’s coat or no coat at all. Another study on students has also shown that dressing professionally improved their abstract and big-picture thinking. The way we process things can have a big effect on our focus and decision-making in working life, so why not help this along with the right outfit?
If the right outfit could do with a clean, we’re here to help. If you have a job interview coming up, and you need to look sharp and feel ready, then what are you waiting for? We’ll make sure your professional look is clean and tidy, so you can dress smart and be confident.