Dressing for a promotion?

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More than 50% of employees said what their managers and colleagues wore to work had an effect on them, while 61% said dressing like their colleagues made for a better and more productive office.

The survey by UK departmental giant, Debenhams, interviewed 2,000 people about their attitude to dressing in the workplace, and found 32% of workers unintentionally dress like their colleagues around two to three days a week – a subconscious action by spending so much time together.

Managers were also inclined to the flattery of workers copying their clothing styles, with 68% of them admitting that staff looking similar to them had gained more favour and attention.

Dr Karen Pine, a psychologist from the University of Hertfordshire, said that humans tend attract those of similar qualities, as difference can be perceived as threatening.

"They are signalling their need to belong to the group. A team that chooses the same style of dress for work is indicating their cohesiveness. This may reflect a wider collaborative culture within the organisation or a high need for conformity,” Dr Pine added.

“Clothes are shorthand for who we are and what we are like, but research shows they can also change the wearer's personality.”

She also said that a person’s dressing could also influence other people’s opinions of them, for instance to view them as ‘leadership material.’

 

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