Go with me, if you will, back to the year 2000 when Sandra Bullock strutted her stuff in “Miss Congeniality”. What was it about changing from a boring black suit to a sexy blue dress that made the woman hold her shoulders a bit more taut and her chin a little higher? To play the role of “Miss United States”, she couldn’t simply show up, she had to dress the part. Or maybe imagine Jenifer Aniston in “Just Go With It” when she meets Palmer for the first time. Or Lindsay Lohan when she first becomes a “Mean Girl”… You get the picture. Whatever movie scene analogy you prefer, the point remains: the way we act is influenced by the way we dress.
According to researchers, this is not just a behavior reserved for Hollywood movies. It’s true that what we wear influences our behavior. When we dress to workout, it’s the same deal. The act of putting on athletic wear, feeling confident in your own skin and looking good before you even get the results of your workout can boost your confidence and your athletic performance. Dressing in a nice pair of sneakers, leggings, and top can encourage you to better workout than if you were to show up to the gym frumpy and dress for something else, like, let’s say, ah, I don’t know… a nap. AKA, wearing an old oversized hoodie from your college boyfriend or baggy sweat pants or old shoes with holes in them… nothing wrong with it, but it’s likely not going to encourage you the same way a sleek active wear would.Positive affirmation is a reward commonly used in urging people to accomplish
Positive affirmation is a reward commonly used in urging people to accomplish goals and maintaining your health and fitness is no exception. In fact, rewarding yourself by getting a new pair of leggings once you finally drop a size may help you better achieve your goals and keep going than if you were to punish yourself by banning yourself from dessert for a month.
Researchers refer to this phenomenon as “enclothed cognition”, speaking to expressive effects that clothing has on our cognitive thinking and acting (1). So, there you have it, science defending your purchase decisions. The point is to get yourself moving, be confident, and have fun with it!