Do you know that when you look good, you feel good, and your performance skyrockets? I’m going to prove and explain that today.
But before we get to that, let’s take you all the way back to the days leading up to my third grade 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
Since it was a local tournament put on by a church, there were no official uniforms. The only requirement stated that you needed to wear the same color as your team (for obvious reasons).
That meant that our uniforms were up to us (and our parents, sigh.) We decided on black. And one of my friends or their parents suggested that we just get a bland, black t-shirt from Old Navy.
Easy and convenient clothing choice for everyone? Yes. Effective and inspiring choice to increase performance? Not at all.
Because I knew that if I wore that plain black t-shirt, then I wouldn’t look as good, which meant I wouldn’t feel as good, and most likely I wouldn’t play as good when the tournament came around.
My team needed me to play like the best player on the court that I was if we were going to take home the competitive title, so I couldn’t afford to not play well.
I decided that my teammates can get the black shirts, but I wanted to look good so I wore a long sleeve tight Under Armour shirt with matching Jordan black shoes—and I knew I looked fly.
Long story short, we won the tournament and I played at a MVP caliber. Mostly because I already had the skills, but also because I got the most out of my talent since I looked good and felt good the entire tournament.
Since then (and even then I needed to have the coolest Jordan shoes with black socks to differentiate from everyone else wearing Nike shoes and white socks) I noticed that when I looked good, I played my best.
I didn’t know how to put it into words back then, it was just a feeling. But now I’m a little more versed at writing and I describe the phenomenon as look good, feel good, play good.
This truth I recognized in third grade hasn’t gone away. I still believe in the power of dressing for success and how it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Let’s dive deeper into the whole look good, feel good, and perform good concept. Because once you learn this, you’ll become more successful as soon as you implement this in your life.
Looking Good Leads To Success
Whether you recognize it consciously or not, you will set yourself up for success when you start prioritizing your appearance.
Looking good doesn’t mean you need to blow $10,000 on designer clothes from head to toe. You don’t need Prada and Gucci gear, or a Patek watch (retail $4 million plus).
It could be as simple as waking up early to shower, doing your hair, brushing your teeth, and wearing your favorite shirt or jeans—compared to going out in public with the clothes you slept in.
That will make all the difference in how you present yourself.
If you don’t have any clothes you like, spend some money on a few nice t-shirts, button downs, cardigans, and pants that you’ll wear for the next one to three years. In a way, you can look at how you present yourself as a business expense (just don’t file that on your taxes unless it’s legitimate).
Looking good is especially important in your job interviews. You don’t want to look like you borrowed your grandpa’s oversized suit or your mom’s blazer.
Invest $100 to $200 in a black or blue fitted suit so you look your best and give off the best positive impression to the interviewer across the table.
Studies show that the almighty and impossibly difficult to change first impression happens in a 7 second window. And snap judgements of your face are made within a tenth of a second according to a Princeton study.
It’s safe to say that if you look like crap that first impression and future interactions won’t turn out well for you.
You can’t escape the fact that society judges people by how they look. If you’re a multi-millionaire who presents himself in a ripped shirt and has mud on his pants, (though ideally we should love all people the same) people are going to treat you like dirt.
Dressing nice, and what that means, is different for every unique individual. But everyone can benefit from looking their best and adding some style to their wardrobe.
What’s the most convincing argument to make it a priority to look good? You’ll feel 100% better about yourself.
First of all, what you wear directly influences your confidence. Meaning your overall mood gets a complete upgrade as you walk out the door looking your best.
Confidence is a powerful tool that people pay thousands of dollars to attain through life coaches, seminars, and retreats.
Here you are spending a fraction of the cost on presentable clothes and getting a massive confidence boost. Unbelievable, I know.
Specifically, you’ll have more self-esteem to make that client call, ask the cute bystander at the coffee shop for their number, or negotiate your salary to an extra $1,000 to $10,000 raise.
Dressing for success is a solid life hack to get yourself rocking in the feel good department. But it’s not just that.
What happens when you feel confident? You suddenly gain more energy.
One way you use this extra energy is to perform better, which we’ll get to in the next section.
Another way is since you’re feeling good, you naturally send positive vibes to other people who feed off of your energy. They’re now feeling good and passing this along to the people they meet, all because of their conversation with you.
These people won’t forget their happy interaction with you. Now it’s not a stretch of the imagination to see how this leads to more invitations to things like lunch and weekend events. So what you wear also deserves credit for making you friends.
And besides all the external bonuses, on the inside you feel good about yourself. You can’t beat being happy and smiling!
However, compare that confidence and energy to the opposite: when you start your day with a shower, messy hair, and wearing a dirty shirt with unintentionally ripped jeans. You’re in a happier place when you dress well than when you’re self-conscious about what you’re wearing.
This 180 degree difference in how you look worsens how you feel, your confidence, and your energy. Looking and feeling lethargic all but guarantees you don’t perform your best.
I hope you see that a ton of benefits come from when you look good and feel good as a result.
Let’s now dive into how dressing for success leads to success.
Besides dressing for success to improve your mood, here’s what else happens when you look good and feel good: You perform better.
You got that? That’s a huge discovery!
Think about it. One simple change in the morning from some mediocre shirt to a stylish one that radiates confidence can physically increase your performance.
Since you look good and feel good, you’re inspired to put your best foot forward and perform.
Maybe you ask a senior coworker to lunch—which later turns out that this guy suggests you get promoted.
Maybe you stay an hour after work to really nail the proposal—and you land the whale of a client next week.
Or maybe you decide to work out after when you otherwise would have went home and watched Netflix—which causes you to get in the habit of exercising (and getting ripped) before your vacation.
Those are all three very real scenarios that have roughly happened in my life. That’s why I know this works.
(It also explains one reason why I performed well for my live TV interview—I wore my favorite leather jacket and Batman socks.)
We covered that since your perspective of the day is positive, you get a ton of work done.
You will be more productive and procrastinate less all because you intentional picked out your outfit the night before. I’m not making this stuff up. It’s real and it works.
But one last advantage is you become unusually relaxed when a roadblock gets in your way. Instead of feeling like this is another thing going wrong, your previous mood allows you to feel optimistic about the problem. That’s extremely valuable in any job. Because optimism leads to a solution.
Now will a nice outfit make you into a top performer on its own? No, that comes down to hard work. But it can give you the confidence, energy, and initial success to build up to one of the best in your field.
There’s a lot more to looking good than meets the eye.
You know why to dress your best, here are a few ideas how.
How Do You Look Good?
After consulting the elite fashion blogger A Style Breeze—also known as my sister—we came up with a few ideas to spice up your wardrobe and look your best.
The categories are broken down into a male and female apparel suggestion for the categories: professional, casual, and trendy.
This whole look good idea is definitely something I want to work on throughout this year. I’m tired of dressing lazy and worrying that a business partner or potential future client will get the wrong impression of me.
And I fully appreciate the confidence and energy boost that comes from wearing stylish clothes. I can never get enough of those positive vibes in my professional and personal life.
So it’s a good thing my sister Alli is a fashionista, because I’ll be going to her for more clothing advice now and later on.
If you also want to commit to dressing better and staying trendy, visit Alli’s YouTube channel A Style Breeze to discover more stylish fashion tips.
And thanks for the help, sis!