September 6, 2012

Sartorial Science

In my last post, I posted about a quote from Elle Canada's May 2012 issue, and I would like to continue discussing another interesting tidbit from that issue.  In Noreen Flanagan's Editor's Note, she explains a theory called "Enclothed Cognition" developed by Hajo Adam and Adam D. Galinsky.  In their research, 29 students were asked to perform critical thinking tests in white lab coats, and another 29 in their own clothes.  Result: those in lab coats had half as many errors.  In another test, 33 students were in lab coats, 33 others in painting smocks, and the last 33 in their own clothes.  Again, those in lab coats scored highest.  In a final test, a lab coat was draped over a chair in the same room as students wearing their own clothes.  No boost in scores was seen.
So what does this all lead to?  A confirmation of the idea that "clothes influence performance when they have a symbolic meaning and when they're being worn".  Or as Flanagan explains in a more visceral way, "It's more desirable to wear a Jason Wu original than a knock-off, and standing beside a rack of Chanel suits isn't the same as wearing one."
The first half of her quote is something I try to dispel time and time again on my blog to, as I'm aware, ears that don't always agree.  But the second half of Flanagan's quote is something I think any fashion shopper can relate to.  You can sneak as many furtive glances at that gorgeous embellished number as you want, trying to convince your beating heart you can live vicariously through these glances, but you would only be fooling yourself.  Nothing compares to that moment when you slip on whatever has been beckoning you.  You feel like a different person, you stand taller, you look at yourself in the mirror with a flustered smile, and you think, "Wow, so this is what it's like to live."

Image Source: Science, Chanel


  1. :)

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  2. gorgeous post!


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  3. Interesting---and it definitely makes a lot of sense! You definitely associate your identity with the pieces of clothing that you're wearing!
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  4. Very interesting :)


  5. This article is also relevant!

  6. Very interesting!!! I like this tipe of post!!!

    Love your blog too!

    Maybe we could follow each other? :-) let me know!


  7. love the pics!!!