Opinion: Dress well, test well mantra gives confidence, results on exam day

March 18, 2014
A group of men have vowed to make it the ‘Summer of Dapper,’ by using the Web to promote stylish summer dressing.

A group of men have vowed to make it the ‘Summer of Dapper,’ by using the Web to promote stylish summer dressing. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

When test day came along in high school, it meant one thing: sweatpants, hair tied, (not so) chilling with no makeup on. After cramming all night memorizing verb tenses for Spanish or physics equations, there was no way I was going to even think about putting on jeans at 7 a.m.

I dressed “nicely” most days in high school, just not test days. I usually threw on a pair of jeans and that super cute sweater you saw at American Eagle with some Sperrys and called it a day. Test days though? I was lucky to match my T-shirt to my sweatpants.

However, that mindset quickly changed for me when I entered college in fall 2011. Now in my junior year at Ohio State, I have come to the firm conclusion that looking good makes you feel good and dressing well makes you test well.

Although a direct correlation between clothing and test results hasn’t been proven, there is some truth to the idea that a person who dresses like they have confidence will in fact, have confidence. The clothes I pick out in the morning can have an effect on my attitude and self-confidence for the entire day.

Carly Heitlinger, author of the book “The Freshman 50” and writer of the blog The College Prepster agrees with me. She praises the “dress well, test well” theory and believes dressing well can instill self-confidence, which is necessary for test taking.

Heitlinger discusses the idea of a “power outfit,” which is essentially a go-to outfit composed of comfortable, yet flattering pieces. She says that wearing a great outfit can ease test or presentation nerves because it boosts your confidence.

I, myself, usually stick with a typical style on test days, like Heitlinger suggests. Usually I try to stray away from leggings and opt for jeans instead. Depending on the weather, I will pair my jeans with a cute sweater or flowy top and obviously top it off with adorable accessories.

Comfortable and flattering.

Putting effort into my outfits in the morning makes me more self-aware and focused to take on the day. I feel that I can conquer anything with the right outfit.

Marilyn Monroe was right when she said, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.”

Or at least that international studies exam.

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