There’s a practice in therapeutic psychology to use alternative activities and thoughts to help heal and correct negative behaviors. More popularly, this is the well-known saying, “Fake it until you make it.” This is a somewhat simple way of saying take on the principles and activities you wish to be perceived for to make them happen.
In other words, dress and act the part of what you want to become. An alternative way to say this is the better known saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” The idea of treating every day as a job interview (or a first date) is part of putting perception of you out to others.
Looking Your Best, Even When Away From Home
However, dressing the part becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy to an extent. You dress well, you feel better about yourself, the perception others have of you improves, and your confidence grows as a result. In a study published in 2015, the perception of individuals dressed in suits, for example, is considered to have stronger leadership skills than those in professional dress.
As it turns out, how people perceive us is a predictor of how they will react to us. And this perception extends beyond the workplace. Think about when you went out and met a cute guy or girl. What was the thing that attracted you to them? Their outfit probably played at least some small part of why you thought they were attractive, so dressing to impress is an important part of how you want to be perceived.
Traveling Lightly (And Still Looking Great!)
Fashion is cyclical and can be costly. Style is what you make on an individual basis with what you have, so rather than trying to be fashionable, focus on your style. Fashions come and go, and style is all yours. Besides, chasing fashions that change can be costly, while style can be anything you want.
You can mix and match clothes you already have to make different outfits, or you can shop for one item at a time and mix it into your repertoire. So if you’re looking to dress to impress on a casual basis, mix and match, or get one new item that accentuates one thing about you that you’re proud of, whether it is your body, eyes, hair, whatever.
For example, you can get a new pair of jeans and match it with cute plus size tops from a small boutique, or wear a sweater and have an instant outfit for almost any casual event. This idea of mixing and matching is even more important when you travel. There’s so much positive that comes from traveling, but there are some things to be aware of as well.
Maximizing Your Luggage Space
When you travel, the one thing that is an absolute premium is space, whether flying or driving. When you fly, there is a limit on the size, weight, and number of allowable bags without having to pay exorbitant fees or penalties. But, of course, this only makes sense as the plane only has so much cargo room and weight capacity for take-off, so learning to pack for flying while also looking good, is a skill in itself.
When flying, pack your bags with the idea that you’ll double up outfits, choose neutral and complementary colors so that you can switch tops with various pants to create a different outfit every day. Driving allows for a little more control of the amount of bags you bring along, but keep in mind that your car is also limited to space.
So the biggest mistake people make is that they overpack because of the convenience that driving provides and end up being uncomfortable and cramped for the duration of the trip. Instead, pack your bags first, then unpack them. Eliminate at least 10% of your clothes and repack your bags. Seriously, do you need that fourth sweater for a three-day weekend? (No, you don’t.)
Are You Dressing For the Life You Want To Live?
Regardless of whether you’re planning your travel to a party vacation or for work, knowing how to pack is a crucial skill to keep you looking great. So much of our self-perception is what we tell ourselves and how we think about perceiving.
The concepts behind “fake it until you make it” and “dress for the job you want, not the one you have” are both based on self-perception and projecting an image that is desired. However, by taking a little time to dress the part — especially while traveling — you will reinforce the idea that you want people to think about you. And in turn, this can lead to a happier and more successful version of yourself overall!