Comments 6

Does Dressing Up Make You Smarter?

In May 2015, an official vote was held by the Oxford University Student Union about clothing policy. It was over whether to keep “subfusc,” a traditional uniform dating back to the mid-seventeenth century—comprised of a dark suit or skirt, black shoes, white shirt, and a white or black bow tie or ribbon—mandatory for exams. The vote was overwhelming: Over seventy-five percent of Oxford students wanted to maintain it.


Read the full article on Nautilus.


  1. I’d heard this before, and found it very interesting. I think being ‘smartly dressed’ does raise your energy a bit. Unfortunately, I’m feeling a little caught out here–I’m sitting here in a ratty old sweatshirt . . . think I’ll change before I leave the house.

  2. Interesting. For many years I wore a uniform to school. Wearing that uniform affected the way I think about clothing and to this day I have a very defined way of dressing. Honestly, dressing in a uniformed way is my comfort zone! I would have voted to keep the subfusc as well.

  3. Thought provoking post, thanks. I wonder if people dressing out of their comfort zone (ie people who usually dress more casually having to wear more formal attire and the opposite) will affect the results? I remember reading about a study where people were asked to take a test in a swim suit and performed more poorly than they did in normal clothes, the difference being attributed to self consciousness.

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