It's no secret that the clothes we wear, from a power suit to leggings and a hoodie, can affect our moods and behaviors. But beyond what colors or styles we choose to don, wearing clean clothes could make you more successful. I met with Cognitive Psychologist, Dr. Lawrence Rosenblum, who commented on this phenomenon: "Our clothing changes the way we perceive ourselves, but it also changes the way the brain works, how it forms concepts, and the kind of decisions we make as a result." It turns out, cleanliness is a source for this type of change. A preliminary psychology study that Dr. Rosenblum is working on has found that something as simple as how clean clothes are can have an effect on happiness, comfort, and relaxation.
This study consists of a series of attention-related tests performed on college students wearing either clean or dirty clothes. While the results obtained are still from early stages of the study, they suggest that people wearing clean clothes are not only somewhat happier, more comfortable, and more relaxed than those wearing dirty clothes, but they are also better able to focus on a task at hand. This improved cognitive performance from clean clothes might cause you to think twice about going from the gym to an exam. But just because clothes don't appear to be sweaty or grimy, doesn't mean they aren't.
P&G Fiber Scientist and Skin Care Expert, Mary Johnson, used the jars on the center of this table to represent just how much nastiness ends up on our clothes on the daily. Those big ones in the back? Sweat. Each holds a liter. On an average day, whether we feel sweaty or not, we produce one whole liter of sweat. If you actually feel like you've worked up a sweat, that number could increase to two or three of those bad boys. That's in addition to the oil, salt, and skin flakes represented by the three containers front-and-center. Grossed out yet?
Now I'm not one to preach about washing an article of clothing after every. Single. Wear. (That would be much too hypocritical of me.) But if you have a big interview, meeting, presentation, exam, or any other higher-stress event coming up, I would highly suggest pulling out a freshly-laundered outfit for the occasion rather than re-wearing those same slacks you wore yesterday. You just might perform better than you would have otherwise.
Images: Unsplash/Pixabay; Miki Hayes