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Dress to Impress: Why Bringing Your Style A-Game Can Help You Think More Creatively

Outdo your co-workers' outfits, and there's a strong chance you'll out-think them too.
James Ryang

Get just a bit more dressed up than the people you work with, and you’ll also generate bigger ideas and think on a higher, more abstract level.

How so? According to new research, when you outdress your co-workers to even a subtle degree, it makes you feel more powerful; that, in turn, allows you to feel and think more like a leader, reports the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

“Wearing more formal clothing leads to more big-picture thinking,” says study co-author Michael L. Slepian, Ph.D. And it doesn’t even matter how dressed up you get, he says: “What’s key is that you’re wearing clothing that’s more formal than your peers.”

So if your office is full of chinos and button-downs and you want to bump it up a notch, add a checked blazer and suede boots; if your firm is just suits as far as the eye can see, try one of the new slim-cut double-breasted or three-piece numbers, or a nailhead or houndstooth pattern.

And if anyone challenges you about upping your style game, your new, more powerful brain will have just the right snappy comeback. 

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