Does More Clothing Make You Look Smarter?

Does More Clothing Make You Look Smarter?

Does More Clothing Make You Look Smarter?

Does More Clothing Make You Look Smarter?

No…..not exactly.

“More” clothing doesn’t make you look smarter, but wearing clothing that better covers your body and shows less skin does!

Specifically – you want to ensure that you don’t show too much skin (open chested shirt, sleeveless shirts, shorts, body tight clothing) to avoid becoming an “object” in the eyes of the viewer.

Once you are objectified, you lose much of the ability to be valued for your acumen.

A study was conducted by University of Maryland psychologist Kurt Gray and his team from Yale and Northeastern University yielded these results.

The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology turned some heads as it detailed how our perception on a person (male or female) changed based on the amount of clothing they wore.

The reason for the variance is that we tend to objectify a person by their bodies instead of their mind when they wear less clothing.

This raises some interesting points you will want to consider when wearing a open cut shirt, no shirt at the pool party, or a sleeveless shirt to the company picnic.

For example – if you are at a business pool party attended by colleagues you will be meeting for the first time, don’t go walking around introducing yourself in your bathing suit only.  Have a shirt on or consider skipping the swimming altogether.

Additional clothing provides a better chance you will be perceived as more intelligent. You never know what one introduction can lead to in the future.

Agency Vs. Experience

Diving further into the study reveals that we don’t simply categorize humans as either object or human.

Instead – we place people into two distinct categories:

1.  Agency –  A person who has the capacity to plan and show self-control.

2.  Experience  A person with the capacity to show emotions such as fear and pain.

The study explains that factors such as the amount of skin a person is showing can shift a perception from one category to the other.

Looking at both men and women during the study, it was revealed that when the focus turns to someone’s body, perceptions of agency (which is self-control and action) were reduced, and a portrayal of experience increased.

This is important for the leadership types. You want to be seen as someone who can act on a plan and lead initiatives through to completion. Not someone who leads by emotion.

Lesson from all this.

Revealing too much skin is never a smart decision when you want to appear intelligent.

Yea, writing this I feel like a I’m advocating a Victorian sense of prudishness……but if you really want to strip off that clothing then do it in the company of people who know you well.