Success Outside the Dress Code

The Wall Street Journal:

Anyone who has felt like the odd duck of the group can take heart from new research from Harvard Business School that says sticking out in distinct ways can lend you an air of presence or influence.

Standing out in certain circumstances, like wearing sweats in a luxury store, also appears to boost an individual’s standing.

One obvious way people signal what the researchers called “status” is through visible markers, like what they wear and what they buy. Previous research has largely examined why people buy or wear branded items.

People who tend toward the offbeat themselves show extra fondness for freethinking behavior in others. Francesca Gino, an associate business administration professor at Harvard Business School and an author on the paper, decided to test the theory outside the lab as well. She wore red Converse sneakers to teach a one-day event on small business management education. Dr. Gino found that those who identified themselves on a questionnaire as having a higher need to be unique were more likely to give her higher ratings than those who didn’t.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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