Psychology of Athletic Clothing: How Does Exciting Apparel Influence Performance?
September 19, 20223 min read
Picture this:It’s a Tuesday night and you just ordered a leg sleeve and a pair of the new Limited Edition: Marathon Cities Designs. You get that dopamine boost that makes you feel happy and excited for your training. The long- awaited products arrive 2 days later, and again you feel that excitement and motivation to get them on and go for a long run….but, is this really true…Can fun running socks make a difference on motivation? Read on to know how the symbolic meaning of apparel, like happy running socks, can influence your motivation and performance.
The science behind it:
Let’s picture another scenario: It’s a Monday, and your training session on Mondays isn't until lunch time, but as you work from home…you’re free to wear anything you want from the hip down. So, you slip on that pair of your favorite Seamless Bike Shorts and the fun running socks you love: the Fluid Art Mini Crew. Why? For two reasons, practicality for when time comes, and because you do not love training past 12pm, so having the right clothes already on it’s like a trick to keep you committed. But how does this trick of “you’re wearing; therefore, you’re going,” work? We present to you the term:enclothed cognition, used to explain how the clothes we wear can affect how we think and how we act. Researchers Adam Galinsky and Adam Hajo performed a study to measure how physically wearing a described “doctor” lab coat affected selective attention. Those who wore the lab coat proved to be more attentive and organized than those who didn’t, backing up the effect of clothing in how we act and think.
How does this experiment relate to workout clothes?
It’s about thesymbolic meaning of the clothing, so as the lab coat symbolized characteristics of a doctor, it was almost as if the volunteers were vesting those characteristics when using them. This means that when you wear Zensah, besides the amazing seamless design and comfort, it’s beyond looking limitless… it is about feeling limitless. So, as you wear the "happy running socks," it reflects on how you feel when you wear them. Same can be applied to other brands, Lululemon forexample. Psychologist and personal trainer, Susan Rudinicki, says when she sees girls wearing Lululemon clothes, she associates them with “having their life together, and being really good at yoga.”
I wear it; therefore, I am: There is always a reason behind wearing a certain apparel, and it goes beyond how it looks, it is related to how it makes you feel, and how you’re seen by others. It is about who you are, intrinsically and extrinsically. According to Galinsky’s and Hajo’s theory, “dress like a doctor, and you’ll pay attention like one…dress like a runner, and you’ll be more inclined to be one.” The bold Limited Edition designs are a great example of how they can play a part in looking and feeling. For instance, in our recent talk with Gwen Riley (check it out if you still haven’t), she says how the mini crew Limited Edition designs socks make her feel “bad ass!”
From motivation to performance: Of course, wearing awesome apparelsdoes not substitute intrinsic motivation. As you probably know, consistency is the biggest ally of performance…but consistency with motivation is a game changer. Being consistent is key, especially because it’s normal not to be motivated everyday. However, you can and should use accessories around you asmotivation tools, like great workout apparels. As Deborah Brooks, blogger and author from Confessions of a Mother Runner, “dress for that job you want” can also be applied to the running world, as “dress to perform.”
How to use colorful running socks in your favor? We got you!
Going along Brooks’ lines,“dress to perform,” we’re here to help you boost motivation with matching designs to different workout and training sessions. Check it out!