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Vanity. A Deadly Sin or The Key To Happiness???

April 22, 2021

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Steal My Cheat Sheet

The very first nasty comment I ever got on Facebook was, ‘I’m not vain enough to care about style.’

This was years ago. And while I can’t remember what I did yesterday, that comment is forever burned into my brain.

I had soooo many responses tumbling around in my head. Some super snarky. Some intended to convince her that making an effort to look good is absolutely not vain.

In the end, I said nothing.

Why do I bring this up?

Over the past year, I’ve heard tons of comments like:

I’m living in sweatpants because I have nowhere to go.

Pajama pants all day every day are good enough. No one sees them on Zoom anyway.

I have a ton of clothes, but I haven’t left the house, so what’s the point of dressing up?

Well, sunshine! It’s called enclothed cognition.

Sounds so fancy, right?

It’s not. Not really. People have known about the concept since the caveman days.

‘Course it looked a bit different back then.

Back then, there was a woman who lived two caves down. And she used to prance around the fire pit in her very best fur toga for no apparent reason on a random Tuesday. Just because it made her feel good.

It’s totally true. I Googled it.

First, let’s debunk a myth. Putting effort into how we look is not vain. It’s not frivolous. How we feel about our appearance literally impacts every facet of your life.

It’s All About You:

how does dressing affect your personality

Northwestern University did a study on enclothed cognition. Their findings? Not surprising. People who get up, get dressed, and put effort into how they look are

  • More productive
  • Have better focus
  • Experience increased creative thinking

If you’re anything like me, there have been days in the last year, when I skipped the shower and hung out in clothes too ratty to actually be seen in outside the house.

You too? Oh, good!

Now, ponder back. How productive and motivated were you?

Did you mark everything off your to-do list?

Come up with tons of great ideas to solve a problem at work?

I sure as heck didn’t.

Because like it or not, cleaning up and getting dressed signals our brain that we have stuff to do, people to help, and solutions to find.

A shower and fresh clothes seem a cheap price to pay for that kind of result.

It’s About Your Career:

does dressing well make you more attractive

This one came from Money Magazine

Women who look good and are well-groomed get :

  • Hired faster
  • Make 12% more money
  • Get promoted faster

Is that because they look good or because they’re confident?

I think it’s likely both, but we can all agree 12% more money would come in handy.

If you’re mad about the money thing, don’t be.

Men have it worse. Well-groomed dudes make 15% more than their sloppier counterparts.

It’s About Others:

Why Dressing Well Is Important

How awesome would it be if everyone did what you asked?

If your team at work ran out to achieve every single goal you laid out for them?

Or if your husband rushed to the liquor store because somehow you ran out of wine?

Or if your kids raced to clean their rooms and put their dirty clothes in the laundry room?

Or if your dog stopped barking like a lunatic when the Amazon delivery guy came to the door?

Okay, I think the last one might be pushing it.

However, if you were a superhero, how cool would it be to have the power of persuasion? I’m thinking it would be right up there with Invisibility and Super Speed.

Back to the enclothed cognition study, it showed that people who were dressed well are:

  • More respected
  • Perceived as smarter
  • Thought to be more capable

Talk about justification for buying that awesome dress you’ve had your eye on.

Heck, it might even be a tax write-off.

Put A Bow On It:

Looking good has little to do with vanity and is all about improving your mindset, getting more done with less effort, making more money, and living a better life.

What’s not to love about that?

So here’s a style challenge for you…

Let’s step it up a notch this week.

  • If you’ve been living in yoga pants, try swapping them out for a cute pair of jeans.
  • Bring out that dress you love but haven’t worn in months and months
  • Slap on some bright lipstick and mascara

Then, let’s see if it changes how you feel. Do you get more accomplished? How many people notice the effort?

Then, leave a comment below and share your findings. Forget Northwestern. We’ll conduct our own study.

‘Til next week.

Hugs & happy shopping.

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