Monthly Archive for July, 2014

Skirt Suit And Cufflinks

I a recent BRW Magazine article, the discussion of the importance of first impressions came up (yet again). I’ve blogged about this topic under the theme of Erotic Capital - an academic term that sounds provocative and yet just makes common sense in a world that is dominated by appearance and perceptions

Skirt SuitA report: The Effect of Appearance on First Impressions by Professor Karen J Pine, Professor Ben Fletcher & Neil Howlett, of the University of Hertfordshire in collaboration with Mathieson & Brooke Tailors Ltd, takes the discussion from what you look like to the importance of what you’re wearing…

Background
First impressions are formed rapidly and are often highly accurate. After seeing a face for just one second, people make judgments about another’s personal and occupational attributes.

How much does a person’s dress style affect these judgements?
The study tested three hypotheses:

1) that people make rapid judgments of others based on clothing alone

2) that a minor manipulation of the man’s clothing (e.g. the cut of a suit) will influence these rapid judgments and

3) that manipulation of the masculine – feminine dimension of the woman’s clothing will affect the impressions formed.

Conclusions
Apparently minor clothing manipulations gave rise to significantly different first impressions of the man, with a more positive impression being created by the bespoke than the off-the-rack suit.

The change was very subtle, both suits were formal, the same colour and the same fabric, yet nonetheless they had a very different impact upon perceivers. Most previous research has experimented with manipulating the overall style of clothing, for example comparing formal clothing with causal wear.

This study demonstrates that people are influenced also by subtle features, such as the cut of a suit, which has a powerful impact on judgements of personality and professional status.

The woman in the study was perceived more positively in a skirt suit than in a trouser suit, although this effect was limited to fewer dimensions. Women generally have a wider choice of dress style for work than men, but still have to maintain an identity that balances professionalism with attractiveness and the skirt suit may achieve that balance without appearing provocative.

This study is the first to use images that were devoid of any facial features or expressions, therefore it can be concluded with confidence that the impressions arose from the clothing alone and were not confounded by the physical appearance of the model. The report’s authors further conclude that even apparently minor adjustments to clothing style will have a major impact on first impressions.

People are judged on their overall head-to-toe appearance and the fundamental role that dress style plays in creating a positive first impression cannot be underestimated.

Sharks without sharp teeth

If sharks can be made to look less menacing without sharp teeth, what does that mean for us humans?

As I’ve blogged before, you can’t afford to be ugly, especially when there are cosmetic dentists like Dr Cary Fraser who can provide dental solutions like Invisalign!
Sharks Without Sharp Teeth