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The purpose of this study was to examine individual differences in beliefs and attitudes regarding workplace attire including: the value placed on clothing, the impact of attire on workplace outcomes (e.g., promotions, raises), the effort and planning involved in dressing appropriately for work, how their clothing made them feel, and whether they used their attire to manage the impression of others in the workplace. Results from a sample of MBA students indicate that those who valued workplace attire used it to manage the impressions of others and believed that it positively impacts the way they feel about themselves and their workplace outcomes. Dressing to impress appeared to have particular utility for high self-monitors and those in management/executive positions. Women were found to be more interested in clothing and experienced more “appearance labor” when compared to men. Suggestions for future research are proposed.

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Author information

Correspondence to Joy V. Peluchette.

Additional information

The authors wish to thank the University of Southern Indiana for its sponsorship of this research through a 2004 Faculty Research and Creative Work Award grant.

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Peluchette, J.V., Karl, K. & Rust, K. DRESSING TO IMPRESS: BELIEFS AND ATTITUDES REGARDING WORKPLACE ATTIRE. J Bus Psychol 21, 45–63 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-005-9022-1

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  • workplace attire
  • clothing
  • impression management
  • dress