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.
- T-Shirts, 3 in neutral tones. I like to find ones that have different silhouettes to mix it up a bit. Here I have a standard scoop neck, a slightly cropped boxy one and a drapey, off the shoulder style.
- Button-down shirts, 2. While white is a classic that most people recommend, I hate white shirts. I always get them dirty. So, I chose an absolute must, the denim shirt and since a sleeveless option is always good to have on hand, I picked this really vibrant magenta blouse for a pop of color.
- Sweaters, 3 in neutrals. There are three basic types of sweaters but they don’t have ‘basic’ at all. Provided you are coordinating with your other capsule items, just choose a pullover, a turtleneck and a cardigan. This cardigan I chose is an awesome boucle fabric with silk sleeves so its warm, but not too warm for spring or fall.
- Tank tops, 2. Now, I say tank tops, but I don’t mean your average, run of the mill cotton tank. Those should be considered disposable items and be replaced every year. These nice tank styles I have picked are sophisticated enough for the office or going to dinner, but still easily dressed down.
- Dresses, 2. This is pretty basic for dresses, but having an LBD (little black dress) that is versatile enough to wear during the day and in the evening is one item EVERY girl should have. Also, a maxi dress is pretty handy on a day when pants just won’t do.
- Jackets, 2. I really like this blazer and leather jacket combo here. The white blazer is super versatile and will add a little office polish to whatever you’re wearing. The black leather jacket is light enough for spring or fall, but can be worn as a blazer in winter.
- Purses, 3. Ladies, listen up. If you are over 30 and don’t have an investment bag yet, start saving. Look for a timeless style (like this tote below) in a quality material – it will last you a lifetime! I won’t say you need to spend thousands, but a quality leather bag is, indeed, a necessity. Also, a cross body bag for errands, concerts and casual days as well as a clutch for your more dressy affairs.
- Accessories, varies. I chose some basic gold jewelry here that mixes well with all my clothing items. A pair of drop earrings, a chain necklace, a watch and a statement necklace can be enough. Add some Spanx, a pair of footless tights, a scarf, a belt and a couple pair of sunnies and you are good to go.
- Bottoms, 4. Every woman should have a quality pair of boot cut jeans that fit like a glove. If you haven’t found them yet, seek out some expert advice. And invest some money in a good pair. One pair of $300 jeans that look amazing and last for years, are a lot cheaper than buying 2-3 pairs of $50 jeans every single year. Welcome to the Finance of Fashion. Also a pair of skinny jeans (less expensive!) an ankle skimming pair of black pants and a neutral toned maxi skirt will round out your intermixing possibilities.
- Shoes, 6. Finally! Some you should consider buying on the high end, like pumps and boots, others like sandals and flats you can pick up for less. I, personally need to replace my sandals every year, as summer lasts like 8 months here! So look for the following for your collection: Pumps in a neutral tone, knee-high boots, a pair of booties, some sandals, flats you can walk miles in and a pair of comfy shoes, like these TOMS.