02/07/2014 09:44 BST | Updated 31/08/2014 06:59 BST

Style Confidence

Without doubt, the power of fashion lies in its strength to communicate. We can use this power to promote our identity and to reinvent ourselves as well as give us more confidence. Our appearance is the primary basis for others' opinions of us and what we wear can impact our cognitive abilities.

For many people achieving confidence through fashion is easier said than done.

Style confidence refers to how confident we feel about our clothed appearance. According to research, when we feel good in what we're wearing we show it in our body language: our posture changes and this communicates positive signals to others. Posture and clothing instantly communicate information about the wearer to others. Opinions based on our appearance are formed in less than one second, and these judgements are not just about how attractive (or not) we are. First impressions, based on appearance, extend to character judgements. A good deal of evidence has shown that attractive people are perceived as kinder, more honest and more intelligent. The reverse is also true. Interestingly, clothing doesn't only communicate to observers, it can also affect our mood and impact our cognitive processes. A recent study found that participants' attention span increased significantly when wearing a white lab coat that was described as a doctor's coat as opposed to a painter's coat. This is also demonstrated in performance when wearing a costume helps the performer take on the character of the role and suggests that we should dress more for how we want to feel than how we do feel.

If we want our clothes to show our uniqueness, we should try to find the styles that work for us as individuals; the clothes that make us feel more 'style confident' rather than those simply follow fashion trends. Of course, the styles that work for us will vary according to many factors including the specific occasion and what we hope to achieve in that situation and beyond. However, when we find the styles that work for us, we are being authentic and showing our uniqueness. Others find authentic people more attractive and in turn this builds our confidence. It allows us to reinvent ourselves, promote our unique identity and authenticity.

Tk Maxx's Me. By Me. campaign aims to promote individuality and unique style, championing a more realistic ideal in fashion by using real shoppers of all ages, rather than professional models to promote their campaign. For style inspiration and to join the conversation visit

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