I’m Asking for a Raise Soon. What Should I Wear? (We Consulted Science.)

October 15, 2017

Thinking of asking for a raise soon? We’ve got an outfit tip that will help swing things in your favor. And there’s science to back it up.

When dressing for your big meeting with your manager, science suggests you wear red to grab and maintain attention, project power and assert dominance. Scientists have been studying the color for years, mainly how it’s related to competitive advantage.

In one study reported on by Scientific American, evolutionary anthropologists Russell A. Hill and Robert A. Barton, of Durham University in England, analyzed outcomes among contestants of four combat sports in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games: boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling. Red and blue outfits were assigned randomly to the athletes. What they found?  In all four sports, the contestants wearing red won more fights than those in blue. “A few possible explanations for this result,” according to the article, “are that the referees favored red fighters, that crimson-clad combatants felt more powerful or that the color made opponents cower. Whatever the reason, the red athletes had a critical advantage over rivals—even if the edge was illusory.”

What does this mean exactly? Wearing red could give you an advantage in stressful, highly intense situations. It projects authority, strength and power. Sounds pretty sweet, right?

Of course, the look isn’t everything. What will really seal the deal is radiating confidence on the big day. But hey, if a crimson colored outfit helps you make this happen, why not go for it?

HERO IMAGE – DRESS: DIANE VON FURSTENBERG