Everybody knows the old adage; if you look good, you feel good. However, did you also know there is scientific proof that looking good for your workout can actually enhance your performance?

Enclothed cognition is a term coined by researchers to describe the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes. The 2012 study, dubbed the ‘White Coat Power’ experiment, found enclothed cognition involves two independent factors working together in your mind—the symbolic meaning of the clothes and the physical experience of wearing them. The study used two groups of people and gave each of them a white coat. The coat was described as a lab coat, which a pre-test found was associated with carefulness and attentiveness. When performing attention related tasks, the study found the group performed better when wearing the coat.

They then split the group up even further- one half wearing a lab coat described as a doctor’s coat, the other a lab coat described as a painter’s coat. The results were increased and sustained attention with wearing the doctor’s coat compared to wearing the painter’s coat. This simple and amazing experiment proves that your performance depends on both the symbolic meaning and physical experience of wearing certain clothes.

Now, take a look at your workout gear. If you see a baggy, stained shirt, odd socks and sad looking trainers, it may have a negative impact on your workout. Some will say comfort is key- but it’s vital to remember that sport and training hasn’t ever been about comfort; it’s about pushing your limits for maximum gain. You could be surprised what a fashion update could do your performance.

If you follow our lead, do the research and source the right workout attire for your training regime, understanding and recognising the benefits of wearing the sharpest gear might just give you the mental edge to match your physical capability.

Stay tuned for the Perfect Fit guide on where to find the best gear to match your gym goals in Dress To Press, coming soon…

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