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I’m certain you’ve heard the phrase “dress for success.” Adults do it all the time. When I have an interview, I dress up. If I’m meeting someone new, I carefully assemble an outfit. When I’m heading out on a date with my husband or to an event with friends, I put extra effort into what I wear. Often it’s because I want to make an impression, feel confident, or just express myself creatively.
Although, did you ever think this idea–the psychology behind clothes–could be applied to kids, too? After all, our clothes are sometimes an extension of who we are and how we feel about ourselves. As a mom, I decided to dig a little and use this theory to my advantage to find out how I can dress my son for success, foster confidence, and encourage creativity.
So whether you’re minimalist, gender-neutral, or just want to buy some freakin’ back-to-school boys clothes, here are three simple tricks for helping your boys dress for success, along with the science behind them.
The Psychology of Color
Colors affect how people perceive their surroundings. Although the color theory isn’t an exact science, different colors of clothing can directly contribute to others’ perceptions of a person. Even though my toddler won’t be going for an interview anytime soon, and I don’t care a whole lot about how others perceive him just yet, the color of his clothes may also affect his own mood. And that’s a parenting hack I can get on board with.
Each color has a different effect on people. For example, red generally means stop–it’s often associated with anxiety, excitement, or fear. One study suggests it might even increase reactive speed and strength. Darker shades and colors supposedly exude power, and so on. So, how does this help you as a parent? I have a trick. Shades of blue are typically associated with a calming effect, and they may also have a positive influence on creativity. So whether you’re dressing your high schooler authoritatively for his interview or trying anything you can to wrangle your high-energy teenager, clothing colors can be your best friend.
The Confidence of an Outfit
Whether we realize it or not, many times what we wear can affect our demeanor. When I’m working from home, if I don’t make a point to get dressed for the day, I notice my mood slipping over time. When I dress well or feel good in what I’m wearing, I’m more confident and energized. The same goes for our kids.
Studies show clothing can affect your mood and boost confidence, and one expert goes as far as saying that certain clothes–including superhero shirts– can create more confidence in numerous situations. As a parent, if you’re looking for fun ways to help create confidence as your kid heads back to school or participates in an upcoming event, let them pick out new clothes or help them put together an outfit they feel good in. It could make all the difference.
Style Choice Leads to Creativity
For daughters and sons alike, it can be difficult to let your kids dress themselves, but it can also be a positive lesson for them. Letting boys pick and pair what they wear may help them express their creative side in other areas.
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It’s a major priority for so many parents to foster creativity, encourage independence, and make sure kids feel like they can express themselves freely. Although letting your kids pick out their own clothes may be slightly embarrassing for mom and dad, it’s actually a really simple and fun way to encourage thought process, autonomy, personal style, and of course, creativity.
What are your kid’s clothing tips and tricks?