For many men, putting together an harmonious outfit is a challenge. As Bill Cunningham famously quoted “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life” . This is a very true statement. Putting on a suit in the morning gets you in work mode, and it is a proven fact that wearing nice clothes at the office can affect the way colleagues and customers perceive you.
In a study about mock negotiations of buying and selling completed in Yale in 2014, 128 young men aging between 18 and 32 participated to find whether attire by itself is a factor of success.
Three groups were formed, one group wearing sweatpants and sandals, one group was dressed neutral and one group dressed in suit and tie. The outcome was astounding. Just by dressing in a suit and tie, this group averaged 3x the profit than the participants in sweatpants and roughly 30% more than the neutral group.
They concluded that dressing up for the job makes a person feel more powerful and engage in big-picture thinking like a CEO, while the other groups had a smaller mindset and concerned themselves about smaller issues.
In my experience, dressing is a skill, it is something you can actually learn and practice. Going back to my initial statement that many men find it challenging to assemble a nice outfit. Almost daily I hear customers on the phone saying that they just don’t seem to have an “eye” for fashion.
When AMC’s Mad Men was running, we received phone calls from customers that wanted to dress like Don Draper, when the show Boston Legal with William Shatner was on TV around 2008, customers called and wanted to wear the neckties Denny Crane was wearing. There are more examples, and this contradicts the statement that these men don’t have an eye for fashion, they see what they liked and want to dress that way.
It does not have to be a TV show or a movie. Maybe you know someone dapper and wish that you would dress that way, or you follow someone on Instagram that meets your sense of style and wish that you would be so fashionable? So why don’t you just start. Dressing up is not hard, it is not difficult. Find the style you can see yourself pulling off, start with a few items like a new shirt and a new necktie and work your way up to a good suit and in turn, be more successful at your job. It can be that easy.