Northwest Missourian Opinion

While most people dress more casually on Fridays, I like to pick a more formal outfit because I enjoy calling it “Fancy Friday.”

With frigid temperatures and constant wind, it’s easy to spend every day in sweatpants and T-shirts with the same hoodie thrown on top.

Choosing a business casual or professional outfit may seem like a hassle before 8 a.m. most days, but the benefits of dressing up once a week outweigh the minimal cost of putting extra effort into selecting a nicer outfit.

A person in professional clothing is often seen as more intelligent and credible than someone who is casually dressed.

According to a paper published in “Social Psychological and Personality Science,” undergraduate students who wore formal attire thought more abstractly than the students who wore casual clothing. The study results show the students felt more powerful when dressing professionally.

Similarly, an article on the American Psychological Association's Psych Learning Curve by Chloe Levin shared an experiment which showed students who dressed professionally had higher self-esteem and more confidence. Both play key roles when a student judges their self-worth.

“Simply changing the way you dress can have a drastic impact on how you think about yourself,” Levin said.

Dressing up also improves focus and attention.

In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Hajo Adam and Adam D. Galinsky tested the effects of professional clothing by using lab coats, a piece of clothing that is associated with doctors and scientists. They administered several cognitive tests to undergraduate students.

Some were given lab coats to wear during the test. Adam and Galinsky found that the students who wore lab coats made half the mistakes the other students made. Simply wearing the jacket improved their performance.

If simply handing a student a jacket improved their performance, imagine what actively choosing professional attire would do. Self-esteem issues could be greatly diminished.

I enjoy dressing up because I know I’ll smile when I see myself in the mirror, even if it happens to be the worst day ever. People take notice when my outfit is fancier than normal. It’s not attention-seeking; the compliments are only an added bonus to the way I feel when I put a little more effort into the way I look.

It could be as simple as a collared shirt or a flowery skirt. A new pair of earrings or shoes could do it too. Changes don’t have to be huge to be impactful. Putting in that bit of extra effort once a week is beneficial in many ways. If there’s a question of when to start, Fancy Friday would be worth a try.

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