Putting Effort into Your Appearance: It’s About Confidence, Not Vanity

Picture this: you’re having a rough day. Maybe your physics exam went horribly; maybe you and your significant other split up; maybe you struggle with anxiety or depression and it’s just worse than usual today. Self doubt and insecurity start to creep in, and your confidence sky dives. Cue sweat pants and a trip to the nearest bodega to check out the ice cream selection, and soon you’re a pile of distress, feeling… let’s just say not your most attractive.

https://twitter.com/ohh_deer

https://twitter.com/ohh_deer

Does this sound familiar? I think we’ve all been here. But even though your impulse is to crawl into a hole, and the last thing you want to do is put on nice clothes and style your hair, that’s exactly what you should do. Putting effort into your appearance makes you look more confident, which makes you feel more confident and act it too. Scientists Adam Hajo and Adam D. Galinsky research the effect that your style and clothing choices have on your mood, health, and overall confidence. This is the result of a phenomenon called “enclothed cognition.” In an article for the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Hajo and Galinsky explain that enclothed cognition “involves the co-occurrence of two independent factors — the symbolic meaning of the clothes and the physical experience of wearing them.” That means what you choose to put on has a real affect on how you feel and what your style and clothing are saying to the world.

https://twitter.com/fpjsprobinsyano

https://twitter.com/fpjsprobinsyano

In a Huffington Post article, “How Clothing Choices Affect and Reflect Your Self-Image,” Jill L. Ferguson quotes Karen J. Pine, a professor at the University of Hertfordshire (U.K.) and author of the book Mind What You Wear: The Psychology of Fashion. Pine maintains, “When we put on a piece of clothing we cannot help but adopt some of the characteristics associated with it, even if we are unaware of it.” Think about it: how do you feel and act in your favorite outfit? In sweatpants? After a haircut? What about wearing loafers? Heels? Gents, wearing a nice aftershave? I know that when I wear a fancy dress for a night out, I stand up straighter, walk with more intention, and probably project more confidence as a result. This isn’t to say you need to be dressed to the nines all the time. I love my flannel shirts and combat boots, and sometimes I feel more confident wearing that than wearing a form fitting dress (especially on a full stomach). Just a touch of something that spruces up your appearance can make a difference in how you feel, look, and present yourself. Often on days when I have to share my work in front of a group or have a difficult conversation, I’ll put on some lipstick, or as I call it, war paint.

https://www.redbubble.com

https://www.redbubble.com

I particularly like red, since it’s the color of confidence. I’ve always thought there’s just something about the classic red bottom on a pair of Louboutins that projects elegance and confidence. But that doesn’t mean you need to run around in heels on the daily. A few days a week I’ll spritz on some perfume, or wear a noticeable pair of earrings, style my hair differently, or brush on some mascara. These efforts don’t need to be head-to-toe 24/7. In the event of a break up, sometimes a dramatic change like a totally different haircut can do wonders to make you feel fresh and attractive; I just got a chop this weekend! But day-to-day, it’s just about putting in the effort to make yourself feel confident—and that’s inextricably linked to feeling attractive. So shine your shoes, try a new hair style, pull out that little black dress, and start wearing red!

By Sofia Lerner


Sofia Lerner is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English as a senior at NYU. Passionate about literature, dance, and wellness, Sofia aspires to help the arts thrive and help others pursue healthy lifestyles. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


 

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