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There are many different kinds of suits out there for both men and women. Different in terms of colors and fabric, but also in terms of cuts. But what type of suit impresses the most? Is it a skirt suit or a trouser suit? And does a tailor-made suit for men affect the way others see us? It’s been researched…
The way people are being judged based on their suit was studied in England. In this study, people were shown photos of both men and women in suits. Afterwards, they were asked how these people scored on various personality traits. The respondents had to score each trait for each person. To make sure the scores were only based on the clothing, all faces were concealed. Just so the rating process would not be affected by the facial expressions. The photos were all presented separately, so that people would not compare suits by placing the photos next to one another.
The results of this study show that women with skirt suits are rated differently than when they wear trouser suits. The women in skirt suits are seen as more confident and people tend to think they have a higher salary. People also assume they have a more flexible attitude than those wearing a trouser suit.
For men, it seems that tailor-made suits have a big impact on the scores they received. According to the respondents, men in tailor-made suits came across as pleasant with nice personality traits. Better traits than men wearing a ready-made suit from a high-end brand. This also seemed to be the case when both suits were made from the same fabric. Men in a tailor-made suits were also rated as more flexible, more successful, more confident and richer as men in ready-made suits.
Professor Karen Pine was one of the leaders of this study that was conducted in the Psychology department of the University of Hertfordshire. She understands why men in tailor-made suits score better than men in ready-made suits.“People rate others quickly and instinctively” she explains.
She states that people are affected by subtle features, like the cut of the suit. The fact that for women the skirt suit scores better than a trouser suit, surprises her. Especially because nowadays more and more powerful women like Angela Merkel wear trouser suits. Previous studies she has read also show that women with a more masculine fashion style are seen as more professional.
According to Pine, these results suggest that nowadays women can be feminine and look successful at the same time. Personally, I think that this also has to do with the increasing number of women in high positions. People have gotten used to women being successful. Even when they present themselves more feminine. As for the tailor-made suits, I understand these results perfectly. People know that a beautiful, tailor-made suit costs money. So, a tailor-made suit symbolizing success seems more than logical to me.
I’m curious to hear your perspective. Do the results of this study surprise you, or did you see this coming? Leave your comment in the comment section below.