Well, this is very good news for casual clothing wearers. And with the U.S. workers averaging 5.8 remote workdays (an increase from 2.4 days pre-pandemic) that means a lot of us are not putting on suits, tailored pants, pencil skirts, or even shoes. But does wearing more casual clothing impact your health at all?
A classic study found that, yes, more relaxed clothing can actually be very beneficial for your health but it is a type of clothing in particular that could actually help you shed pounds.
Though athleisure dominated during the high lockdown and quarantine days as well as luxe pajamas, it turns out you should have just been wearing your good old jeans the whole time. Turns out those old Levi’s may make you more motivated to move around than those expensive performancewear leggings you bought.
Though it is an older ACE-commissioned study by researchers Katie Zahour, M.A., and John Porcari, Ph.D., from the University of Wisconsin, it was found that jeans get the body in more motion. Sorry, Nike.
They conducted the study by looking at 53 healthy men and women with an average age of 42 and had them wear a pedometer two days a week. One day they were dressed in professional work attire and on the other they wore jeans. They did this for two weeks.
Can you guess what they found? On the jean days, the subjects were more active. They burned an average of 25 additional calories on casual days as they walked 8% more steps on average compared to the professional attire days.
Work clothes can be constrictive and you don’t always want to sweat in them so casual clothes do offer more freedom in that sense. But why jeans over a workout pant? Perhaps because jeans are a fitted pant you are more aware of your weight if you have put on a few pounds recently (which many of us did during the pandemic.)
Even while eating a meal you may feel fuller while wearing jeans unlike leggings or sweatpants. So not only will you be moving more but you also be eating less.
Even if you are back in an office with a professional dress code (though those are a dying breed especially now) consider wearing jeans more.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for dressing up in this ever-growing casual world. A 2015 study that looked at the impact of formal clothing on cognitive performance found that wearing more formal clothing was associated with higher action identification levels and gave the subjects a global processing advantage. More formal clothing also made the person feel more powerful. All of this means clothing can influence how you think.
Plus if you have been wearing loungewear or even more low on the sartorial totem pole, pajamas, you are literally working against yourself. Dr. Jennifer Dragonette, PsyD, Executive Director, Northern California at Newport Institute, told PureWow on the subject of people who work in their pajamas all day, “Just as it is ideal to have a designated workspace, it is also important not to let work pervade all of your home life,” she says. “Changing into and out of clothing for your workday can help to set a psychological marker between private time and work time.” Clothing, like a designated work area, can act as a boundary for work-life balance.
But if you are just trying to lose weight consider wearing jeans tomorrow.