Get Dressed Australia

With Treasury predicting Australia’s effective unemployment will top 13% before the end of the year, and hundreds of applicants for every job listed, it’s never been more important to “show up” as your best self if you want to keep your job, find a job, or win that coveted piece of new business.

And quite frankly, right now it’s easier to stand-out.

Australia has never been a nation known for its sense of style. And there’s no doubt that dress codes in business have relaxed significantly across many industries in recent years. But you only have to take a glance around when you venture out of your home to notice a nation engulfed, it seems, in lethargy and lacking motivation.

I get it!

Like most people confined to their homes since COVID hit, I too gravitated towards comfort, in my case, sweatpants. And the effect on my mindset and behaviour was immediate and significant – slower, uninspired, insecure, and doubtful. Some days, simple business goals seemed unreachable.

Then I started getting dressed again! And, unsurprisingly, the effect on my mindset and behaviour was immediate and significant – energised, inspired, confident, and excited about the future.

Science backs this up. It’s called enclothed cognition. Quite simply, we think differently based on the clothes we wear. The term, enclothed cognition, was coined by cognitive psychologists Hajo Adam and Adam Galinksy from Northwestern University. It relates to the effect that clothing has upon a person’s mental process and the way they think, feel, and function, in areas like attention, confidence, or abstract thinking. Put simply, the clothing we wear affects our psychological state, as well as our performance levels.

For example, in their experiments, Adam and Galinsky showed that if a person was dressed in the white lab coat of a doctor, they would perform better. However, if it was perceived that the white coat of say an artist or street clothes the performance was less.

The point. Quite simple really. Get dressed! It’s transformational.

COVID has reminded me that how you dress can make or break your day. Just as exercise or eating well makes you feel better, dressing well makes you feel better. And it makes others feel better too. I wore my favourite Giorgio Armani suede coat to the supermarket last week and the admiring stares and smiling faces were visceral!

No one is suggesting you wear designer gear to shop for your cornflakes. Or even that you should don a suit and heels in your home office (albeit, for me, this is a must when I host any virtual event). But now, more than ever is the time to lift and inspire yourself and others. And a purposefully curated appearance can do that.

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Written By Michaela Betchley

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