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What We Wear and How We Feel

What is the phycology of "Enclothed Cognition"?
July 30, 2020
By Oliver Charles
This morning we talked with one of our good friends, Rob.

Rob joined our Customer Advisory Board this month, lending us a hand by letting us know about the sweaters he loves.

As part of joining the customer advisory board, we send out an offer to jump on a Zoom call so we can learn what people care about when it comes to their personal uniforms. These zoom calls have become a highlight of our week as we meet people from all over the country.
Before our Zoom call with Rob, we asked him to bring along his favorite sweater, which is something we always ask because... we’re in the business of “favorite sweaters”.

For all of our Zoom calls, we set up our phone on a tripod right beside our trusty loom, dial in, and ask about the sweater they brought with them, exploring why it’s their favorite.

We get all types of answers like, “it’s the only sweater that fits my body”, “I love how it feels”, “it’s the right weight for layering”, “it’s simple”, “I look damn good in it”, “we’ve been through a lot together”. 

The last quote above floors us, and as such is where we return back to our call with Rob…

Rob told us a story, not about a sweater, but about a hat he’s kept with him for 15 years. His story takes him back to when he and his brother sat in their kitchen catching up over a beer, reminiscing on the places they’d adventured. Thinking back, Rob pictured the Everglades in Florida, the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina, Kesugi Ridge in Alaska, Yosemite in California (his favorite place to hike).

 Throughout 49 states of adventures, Rob told us his hat traveled with him and became ingrained in his outdoor-loving identity… as you may have picked up on, Rob and his brother certainly did, the hat had yet to visit 1 last state to complete all 50, the Bluegrass State. They devised a plan where Rob’s brother would take the hat with him a few months later when he coincidently planned to visit Kentucky. Today, the hat has made it to all 50 states... Go Rob 🎉!
Whether it's tied to nostalgia, aspiration, or introspection the clothes we wear have a profound impact on our wellbeing.

Just as Rob had felt a strong connection with his hat, people everywhere connect with their clothes in a unique way. There’s a term for this called enclothed cognition, which is the study of how the clothes we wear influence the way we feel.

There are stories of people wearing a superhero T-shirt and feeling stronger, happier wearing brighter colors, more attentive wearing a doctor’s coat, or more creative wearing a painter's smock. Some younger teachers on college campuses compensate by dressing up to distinguish themselves from their students. Even Calm Clinic wrote a piece called How What You're Wearing Can Affect Your Anxiety to draw a connection between what we wear and how we feel. 
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
The impact of our clothes on our well-being and success can be especially true in our professional lives...

This is because, if you're like us, you spend the majority of the day working, cycling between zoom calls, getting blindsided by fire drills, or stressing over an afternoon presentation. It all adds up, and it's exhausting. Feeling creative, proactive, and happy throughout the day depends on tons of things, including how comfortable and confident we feel about what we're wearing
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
Your relationship with your clothes is personal. What you wear can impact how you feel.

We believe in finding the styles you love, upgrading, and then repeating, AKA your personal uniform. That’s why we're designing a go-to item for any personal uniform.
If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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