How wearing a suit can make you more confident

14 September 2014

How wearing a suit can make you more confident

Anyone who’s ever watched at least one superhero movie in their life will appreciate the transformative power of a suit.

Prime example — Spider-Man’s geeky alter ego, Peter Parker. When this socially awkward schoolboy pulls on his Spiderman suit, he instantly transforms into a web-slinging, trash-talking crime-fighter. Sure, getting bitten by a radioactive spider might play a part in this heroic metamorphosis, but let’s not let a minor plot point spoil a good analogy.

In any case, the symbolism of putting on a suit is clear. It represents a shift from casual to a more confident, capable individual. Applied to us mere mortals, this item of clothing can have a powerful effect on our sense of self-assurance.


So how exactly does it work?

A change in body language

When you feel more confident, your body language automatically changes, and your movements and gestures become more expressive and exaggerated. But make no mistake, you’re not showing off, you just feel good.

This enhanced mental state essentially alters the way you carry yourself. And as it turns out, the very act of changing your body language can give your confidence levels a boost.

Of course, a made-to-measure suit can increase this effect even further. The very fact that an item of clothing has been uniquely designed for its wearer makes him feel above average and out of the ordinary - a real one-off.

People treat you differently

Turn up to the office in a sharp new pinstripe and heads may turn while your coworkers might even remark on how good you look. You’ll play down your stylish appearance as if it’s nothing (what a modest chap you are), but inwardly you’ll be lapping up the attention. And quite rightly so.

The fact is, a suit gives off a sense of not only style but also professionalism and competency - earning you an added level of respect. So, while you might not be actively seeking the extra attention, it’s hard to deny the feel-good factor that comes when you receive a few nice comments.

You’ll feel more confident in your abilities

Beyond merely feeling good, a suit can also bring about certain changes in your mentality.

Returning to the superhero theme, a study carried out at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK asked students to put on a Superman t-shirt to see if it altered their way of thinking. And it did.

“When wearing a Superman t-shirt the students rated themselves as more likeable and superior to other students,” concluded the lead researcher, Professor Karen Pine. Not only that but students also believed they could physically lift more than other students who were wearing regular clothing.

What does research like this indicate?

That certain clothes carry a confidence boosting power that can change the way you think about yourself. And a finely tailored suit while not containing any mystical powers as such, can certainly make you feel more confident in your appearance and, therefore, your abilities.

So you see, your suit is not just stylish attire that is tailored to make you look good. No, it’s far more than that. It’s a confidence boosting, attitude changing, piece of kit that is essential for the boardroom, the altar, or any other nerve-jangling situation you might find yourself in. So do yourself a favour, and make sure your suit is a good one, and that you take real good care of it.