Updated: Nov 23
The Bible says, "therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?" Fashion fades, self-control lasts forever. As it relates to fashion, a Vogue magazine study reported, cultural associations can be formed through our interactions with clothing. Wearing certain garments can effect our cognitive processes, a theory known as: enclothed cognition. The term introduced by psychologists Hajo Adam & Adam D. Galinsky refers to the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer's psychological processes. The phenomenon comprised of the symbolic meaning of clothing and the physical experience of wearing them, closely align with the systematic change theories in applied behavior analysis. A science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior.
Classical conditioning, also known as respondent conditioning is the theory of learning by association. B.F. Skinner's, theory on operant conditioning says that behaviors followed by positive consequences are more likely to occur in the future than behaviors followed by negative consequences. Paired together, operant and respondent conditioning allow us to form learning histories; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Refashioning or changing your wardrobe can be a great way to create positive learning histories in your personal life. You know the... oversleeping, overeating, and procrastination habits. These unwanted behaviors make it vital to develop appropriate self management practices. Starting with decluttering your wardrobe, you can increase the likelihood of getting dressed in the morning. Once you're dressed reward yourself with some extra time on Instagram!
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, wears the same outfit everyday in order to decrease the opportunity for anxiety elicited by the feeling of not knowing what to wear, and not having to think about it. He says when asked about the same gray t-shirt he is seen wearing daily, "I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community."
Tech pioneer Steve Jobs (pictured above right) and former president Barack Obama, engage in the same behavior, the ferocious leaders found that spending time on choosing an outfit in the morning, limits their ability to focus on more important things. Whether you choose to "lead with style," in our unique spectrum t-shirt and some blue jeans or love switching it up with the latest trends, fashion can be a great tool for manipulating consequences. If wearing the same outfit every day can help Mark Zuckerberg reduce behaviors associated with anxiety, then you could easily wear a Swarthy Lion t-shirt every day to increase behaviors you associate with feeling more confident.
Appearing in tuxedo pants, a white statement collar shirt, and black top hat, the Neo-soul artist repeatedly wore the same outfit colors [black & white] to express a dedication to uniformity and traditional family values. In a fashionable demonstration of discipline, Janelle Monae represents a class of leaders who forsake selfish vanity for the greater good. By refining the number of items you maintain in your wardrobe, and organizing your outfits for the week, you can bring an element of control into your daily environment. This will help you make room for more important things, like your purpose to serve the community.