According to the 2012 study from Northwestern the clothing we wear does affect the way we act. They have coined the term “enclothed cognition” to describe the mental changes we undergo when we wear certain types of clothing. “It’s all about the symbolic meaning that you associate with a particular item of clothing,” according to one of the researchers. So, when you wear fitness clothing you are, therefore, more likely to jump, run or do some squats.
So, should you go and buy a whole new workout wardrobe to jump start your fitness routine? Not exactly. Too much too soon can be a impediment to many changes in life. The transtheoretical model of behavioral change, developed in the mid-’70s by University of Rhode Island researcher James O. Prochaska, outlines five stages to making successful changes in your life: Precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Buying new workout clothes puts you squarely in the “preparation” phase, just beyond thinking about the change and planning for it. Which is only one step from the “action” phase, that’s where the real change occurs.
I have always been a big believer of not waiting to lose weight before you buy new clothes. When you look good, you feel good. Looking great for your workout is likely to provide you some confidence and encourage you to get out there and kick some butt. So start slow, maybe some new tennis shoes or compression leggings and a tank top. The more confident you feel the more apt you are to get to the gym to achieve the results you’re looking for!
You can read the full article on enclothed cognition, titled “The Psychology of Lululemon” here.