When we think of fashion, we usually think of the impact our clothing will have on other people. As we are preparing for a job interview, we dress nicely to impress the interviewer. While we’re at work, we actively strive to maintain a more professional appearance. When we’re going on a date, we choose an outfit that will have a positive impact on the other person. Of course, our tendency to think of fashion in a social light is natural and justified—the way we dress definitely impacts the way others see us—but it is only half the battle.

The Double-Edged Sword

Research suggests that there is someone else that our clothing has a lasting impact on: Ourselves. We all have had experiences where we think our outfit makes us look attractive, which in turn raises our self-confidence. Besides that, we rarely consider the fact that the way we dress definitely influences how we see and feel about ourselves.

The way you choose to dress is a double-edged sword: In addition to being a reflection or projection of your personality, your clothes can have an effect on your behavior. In other words, the way you dress both reflects and influences your body, mind, and spirit. Here is a fun study that accurately demonstrates this:

The Power of Fake Sunglasses

In one study, participants were given a pair of fake designer sunglasses. Half of the participants were told that the sunglasses were real and genuine and the other half were told that the sunglasses were fake. They were then asked to perform some simple math equations that were easy to do but would take a while to complete. And they were told that they would earn a certain amount of money for each question they successfully answered. When the study was completed, the results showed that the participants who were wearing the fake sunglasses were more than four times more likely to cheat on the test than the people who were wearing what they thought were genuine designer sunglasses. To read more about the study, click here.

Be Mindful of the Way You Dress

This is one of many studies that reveal just how strong the impact our clothing has on us. When we put on clothing, it is imperative that we remember that the way we dress impacts those around us and also ourselves. And often, our clothing affects us even more than it does those around us. So, when you take this into consideration, I trust that you realize the importance of being more intentional about the clothes you choose to wear on a daily basis. Just remember: What you choose to wear impacts you first.