To suit the Action to the Word, the Word to the Action

Dressing for the part

It occurred to me today that the custom of earlier times to change one’s dress throughout the day, with outfits specific to what you are doing, probably has sound psychological sense in our times and can be put to good use. Certainly we still fit clothes to purpose, and so this is something that can be used to feel purposeful.

Not having regular 9 to 5 work, I tend to dress in a casual style unless for something specific. Yet the difference made to my attitude by wearing different types of clothes is really noticeable. If I am going to be exercising in the morning, I had better put those clothes on first – and then change immediately into something else, so that breakfasting / lounging about afterwards does not become associated with those clothes!

So, it actually makes sense to wear more formal or business style clothes when setting to work on the admin and other business aspects of this performing career – even for sitting at home in front of the computer. When working in an office, or a bar, or anywhere where some form of ‘uniform’ is expected, the difference that a change of clothes makes to relaxing once you are home is enormous. So, turn it the other way…

When not in a regulated job, use changes of clothing to help you focus on what you plan to do and to make sure you actually follow through. Staying in home-only clothes while working at home is known to be a drain on drive, attention and productivity:

Why should you get dressed properly to work at home?

Do you already do this or think it might help? Comment below to say how things work for you…

Or were you expecting something about costume for castings? There’s plenty out there about this, so here’s a search you can explore:

What to wear to castings / auditions

Basically, what makes sense to me is that, if you want to have a hint of costume, or accessory that would be fitting, go ahead as long as it won’t be any kind of distraction.

Of course, you’ll find stories about those who dressed crazily or totally for a specific role and got the job – but those are rather like the occasions when someone was spotted on the street and made into a star: seems these things do happen, but the odds are not in anyone’s favour.

How much difference does what you wear make to how you feel / perform?


Comments on: "Dressing for the part" (2)

  1. With my depression I find getting out of my dressing gown can be difficult at times, but the change in my attitude and behaviour is noticable, I seem more focused on doing a task if I’m properly dressed. whilst I’m in my dressing gown it’s still technically “just got out of bed, don’t need to do much other than drink tea and lounge around on the internet”. Intersting, I never really thought of different clothes as changing your purpose or mood, but thinking about it that’s very much the case.

    To that end, I’m going to go and put trousers on and see if it motivates me to get on with this lecture for Thursday!


    • Go for it! And perhaps you can consider what type of trousers too, just to get in the mood. 🙂

      We try to imagine that will-power alone should suffice, but helping will-power along with the little things that we know affect us can be very useful.

      Guess there’s power-dressing and productivity-dressing!


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