We have always been told to

dress the part; or dress for the

job you want to have. Neither

of these statements are bad

advice but it does sound rather

vague on the style you should

follow, and leaves very little

room for your personality to

shine through. Over the last

couple of years we have seen

the definition of “work casual”

change, which has a lot to do

with how we view trendsetters

and nonconformists in the


The red sneaker effect

Researchers of Harvard

Business School conducted a

joint study in 2013 called “The

Red Sneaker Effect“. They were

looking to find how

nonconformist behaviour

influences people’s opinions

about us. What they found is

that people associate

nonconformist behaviour with

competence and higher status.

That means we think that

people are more competent

and successful if they have an

extraordinary appearance or

display eccentric behaviour.

This sounds great for weekend

warriors, but what about in

the corporate work

environment? There people

still reacted positively to

eccentric sneakers or torn


“I have a number of

super-successful Silicon Valley

Clients who dress in ripped

denim, Vans shoes, and

T-shirts. They are worth

hundreds of millions, even

more, but it’s a status symbol

to dress like you’re homeless to

attend board meetings.” – Tom

Searcy, CBS Moneywatch

You are what you wear

So why when you wear a lab

coat do you feel smarter?

Psychologist Joshua I. Davis of

Northwestern University

introduced a term called

“enclothed cognition” to

describe the influence that

clothes have a wearer’s

psychological process. In other

words how you feel when you

wear certain items.

There is a symbolism around

certain items, and those carry

through to how you feel when

you wear them. Scientist’s lab

coats are worn by people who

are known to be intelligent

and careful; when you wear

them you feel smart and

attentive to others. You

associate a pilot’s uniform with

someone who’s commanding

and confident; so you might

feel the same way while

wearing a pilot’s hat.

Let your personality show

Over the years, business men

have gone from wearing black

or dark navy socks; to ones

will all the colours and

patterns you can think off.

And sometimes a trend can go

too far. The Wall Street Journal

has already forecasted the

death of the funky sock trend.

Yet while it may be on its way

out it is not forgotten.

Gone are rainbows and glitter

pineapples on socks; in their

place we are finding more

subtle coloured checks and

hound’s-tooth patterns. Now

more often than not the colour

of your socks is coordinated

with your shirt or jacket, pops

of colour in pock squares, or

nods to lego cufflinks.

“Fashion is not something that

exists in dresses only. Fashion

is in the sky, in the street,

fashion has to do with ideas,

the way we live, what is

happening.” – Coco Chanel

Read the room

It has become more acceptable

in corporate environments to

let a little of your personality

shine in the clothes you wear.

While certain industries will

always have a dress code,

there is a degree of

individuality that has been

allowed to creep in and no one

wants that to go away

completely. It is a small way

for us to stand out and show

what we are passionate about

while getting our job done.

As long as you are not

offending your co-workers or

Clients; we say wear your

leather jacket with tassels on

casual Friday.

Published by Sima Sarkar

I am Anjan.I am a freelancer.I am trying to write day to day human issues.I want to highlight issues related to 'Mother Earth' as well.

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