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Who is excited for Haute Couture?… Meee! I’m sure I can speak for us all when I say the last Haute Couture week filled me with fashion excitement in a way that has been long overdue. Of course, I am talking about Galliano for Margiela. Featuring porcelain skin, merkin’s, nipped-waist silhouettes (you know, you’ve seen), it was quite something. 

But have you ever paid much thought to the team behind these draw-dropping clothes? After all, Ateliers are really the basis of couture. But not only this, have you ever thought about what the Atelier team wear themselves? Or better still, do you think about how your clothes can improve your performance at work?

The Bread and Butter of Fashion Psychology

Research found that our clothes can impact how we think and act this concept is known as ‘enclothed cognition’. Let me walk you through the study… So, each participant wore a white coat and completed an attention test, but as you might expect they were split into two groups. 

Group One: Told the white coats were painter’s smocks. 

Group Two: Told the white coats were a lab coat.

The findings showed that participants who believed they were wearing doctor’s coats performed significantly better in the tests.

This can be explained by the fact that we may think of doctors as having precision and being attentive. When we put on clothes that evoke these psychological schemas we embody them and it comes out in the way we think and act. – So fascinating right?

Atelier Attire

So, back to Haute Couture. To pass as a haute couture collection, members must create made-to-order garments in an Parisian atelier of at least 15 full-time staff and 20 full-time technical workers in one of their ateliers. It can take around 6,000 hours to create an elaborately embroidered couture gown. 

And… all Atelier members wear a pristine uniform to meticulously construct these pieces. Can you guess what the uniform is?.. A white coat!! 

These are very similar to those of lab technicians and doctors (yes! like the study). The smocks are usually knee-length, made of cotton and have pockets to store equipment such as measuring tape and pins. This workwear demonstrates the scientific precision of their craft.

“To this day, all Margiela employees, from the head designers to the interns, wear these so-called “blousons blanche”, establishing a sense of collective identity, unity and mystery.” – Daisy Woodward

What should you wear to work?

The mimicry effect suggests that we favour those who are similar to us. It may do us a favour to feel close to our colleagues through clothes and connect ourselves to the environment we are in. 

Although, don’t forget to add a personal touch too. Research suggests that dressing outside of the box can lead to an increase in approval and charisma ratings whilst at work! Perhaps try a fun tie or colourful hair accessory.

Mind- Clothes Connection

If you’ve read this far, we’ve both got to agree that there is a connection between our mind and what we wear. If you haven’t thought about this before, I am SURE it has affected you in some way. 

Think about what traits you want to embody or what traits will help you to navigate the situation you are going into. If you want to feel confident for a date, wear an outfit you associate with confidence and let the magic happen. 

So to end, please babe, you must use your clothes as a tool to transform yourself into the person you need to be! Who knows maybe then you’ll be able to create an avant-garde gown with many many beautiful crystals. 

Anyway, let’s relax and get back to Vogue runway.

Maisie Allum

Author Maisie Allum

Maisie is a passionate Psychology of Fashion undergraduate at London College of Fashion, she applies her analytical and inquisitive skills to fashion business with the aim to positively enhance wellbeing.

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