It’s no secret. As women, we’re persistent overachievers. We’re successful in a million and one ways – and we know it. Researchers are now finding that there’s a correlation between success and the items you choose to wear– and it’s stronger than you might think.
Check out these 4 character traits of successful women, and how their savvy manifests itself in the bag they carry:
Powerful women know that success means taking calculated risks. And in the fashion world, the symbolic meaning attached to those risks is fascinating. The Journal of Consumer Research took a look at what happens when people (ever-so-slightly) break with fashion norms. In the first scenario, a man wore a striking red bow tie to a black tie affair. The effect? He was perceived as having higher status and competence. In another study, a professor giving a lecture wore decidedly red Converse sneakers and was observed to be more competent, earning higher ratings among audience members.
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In a study published by the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, subjects wearing nicer clothes performed higher on cognitive tests. What’s more, they demonstrated a boost in abstract thinking – the kind typically exercised by someone in a position of power (think: high-level exec). Those more casually dressed? They tended to sweat the small stuff.
And the research continues to back it up.
Dr. Adam Galinsky and Hajo Adam gathered remarkable findings in a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. The researchers tested three groups: one wearing a white lab coat believed to be a doctor’s, one wearing a white lab coat believed to be a painter’s, and a third wearing no lab coat at all. Those wearing the doctor’s lab coat demonstrated a much higher ability to pay attention.
Fun fact: The scientific term for this phenomenon is enclothed cognition.
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A group of women surveyed by car manufacturer Kia proved that fashion can significantly affect confidence levels. Those questioned ranked high heels, a little black dress, and designer perfume among the top 10 list of what makes people feel confident.
It turns out it has implications in the exercise realm, too. We often subconsciously perceive yoga-pant wearers as devoted gym enthusiasts. Just ask psychologist and personal trainer Susan Rudnicki, who observes: “I see girls at hatha yoga wearing Lululemon clothes, and they look the part, and I think: They must be really good. They have their life together. I’m an instructor, and even I feel that.”
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Do you carry your bullet journal around in your bag? Is your checkbook perfectly balanced? Do you love spreadsheets? Do you live by the motto, “A place for everything, and everything in its place”? There’s a reason for that, and it speaks your success level. Results-driven women know what they want, and go for it – in a simple, organized manner.
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What does your bag say about your success story?