"Look the part, to be the part"


Fashion was a foreign thing to me. Wearing my bright coloured 'Smurf' blue hiking jacket in the city was a standard operating procedure and I wasn't concerned about what others thought. It was a functional piece of clothing that would keep me warm!

But who cares what others think, right? After some thought I realised this is not the point. The truth is, it's how your appearance makes you feel. In the military I remember thinking how "looking the part, made you act the part". It definitely had an effect on your psyche. This goes for many other areas of our life too. Take cycling for example. For those who do it - it feels much better getting on that bike looking like a pro rather than someone who looked like they borrowed their dad's sports kit! The matching pink socks and shades are not a mistake. Why? Because it actually makes you get on that bike with a positive frame of mind - a man or woman ready to hit the hurt locker!

Take skiing as another example. The matt helmet, mirrored googles and pants that complement the jacket, all project an image that this snow chaser is about to hit some serious powder! The truth is you probably picked the outfit for the apres-ski and that you only get to use that kit once a year, but it makes you feel good, right?

The fitness industry is another modern day example of how wellness and gym work has become such a big part of our lives. We want to wear fitness attire that will also fit into everyday life, such as going for a coffee or to the shops. Let's face it, most people buy these clothes because they want to feel sporty or look healthier, right? The point is that it boosts ones confidence and creates a positive mindset. 

In hindsight, what you wear is going to be important. It's going to affect how you feel and how others perceive you on first impressions. For those still not convinced, think back to the time when you had to wear something formal. A dinner jacket / dress for example. If it was well fitted, secretly you felt like James Bond or a Bond Girl! Well, this goes for everything else. 

I haven't read any peer reviewed literature about the psychology of fashion, but there are articles discussing how attractiveness improves your occupational success ('dress to impress'). Without a doubt it has an effect on most of us, whether we are conscious of it or not. After all, what we wear acts like our second skin. 

If you are in need of a new jacket think about how it will make you feel. How it will function and in what occasions you can use it. Importantly think about how your purchase will impact our environment. One we all share and need to take responsibility of.

James.

 


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