Dress to impress

If you want to appear authoritative it really does make sense to dress smart. A raft of studies have shown that people in more formal attire get served more quickly in shops, have more luck soliciting charity donations, and are usually judged to be more intelligent and academic. A study that looked specifically at female applicants for a managerial job found those who dressed in a smart masculine style were perceived as more forceful and aggressive and were more likely to get hired.
If you can, pay attention to detail. Research published this year using faceless photographs, found that a man dressed in a bespoke suit was rated as more confident, successful, and flexible than a man dressed in an off-the-rack suit. “Minor clothing manipulations can give rise to significantly different inferences,” the researchers said.

This suggests it could be worth going the extra mile when dressing yourself for an important meeting or interview. The same principles also apply when it comes to group image. A survey in 2009 found that business students rated companies with a formal dress code as more authoritative and competent, while those with a more relaxed approach, were seen as more friendly and creative. So if you’re a manager in charge of your organization’s dress code, think about the kind of image you’d like to cultivate. Which leads to the final point …

Studies have shown that people in more formal attire get served more quickly in shops and are usually judged to be more intelligent and academic.

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