Dress for Test: How Clothing Influences Testosterone Production in Men

What you wear as a man not only influences your self-esteem and how others’ perceive you, but can actually influence the production of testosterone in your body. Take note of these scientific findings, and consider them when making future clothing choices.

Sharper Clothing, Better Performance, More Testosterone

What we put on in the morning might make a big difference in how our day plays out.

In this study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers found that what men wore not only changed how they were perceived as to social status, but also improved their abilities to perform a task, and boosted their testosterone production.

128 male participants between the ages of 18 and 32 – from diverse backgrounds and income levels – wore either business suits or casual clothing (sweatpants, t-shirt and flip flops) while engaging in a two-hour long negotiation with other participants unaware of the clothing manipulation.

The men entered the negotiations under the pretense of being CEOs of a company, and were informed that the clothing contained state-of-the-art physiology monitors, with the study being conducted to test this equipment.

The men in the business attire displayed more dominance in their negotiations, ending up with more than $2 million in profits while the casually dressed men, on the other hand, lost $1.2 million! And this was not the only loss – men in the underdressed group experienced 20% lower testosterone levels than their more successful “dapper dan” rivals.

As to the effect on testosterone, David Carreras, author and researcher on natural ways men can improve their sexual performance and testosterone production, adds, “Men who lose in competitive events generally experience a loss in testosterone levels, while the victors experience a boost, as studies have shown. This can also play a role in the testosterone differences”.

Besides these financial and hormonal victories, the men donning suits also experienced an improved cardiac response to the situation, and strangely enough, the observers’ physiological responses mimicked those of the better dressed individuals… talk about dressing to impress!

Overall, wearing a suit induced dominance, even on the hormonal level.

Extra Tip: Beware of Polyester

When it comes to what you choose to wear under the suits, polyester is not a man’s best friend. Polyester, which is used in many athletic-type briefs, has been shown to reduce sperm quality and count, as well as other markers of masculinity. The heat from wearing non-breathable polyester underwear is also not conducive to a healthy testosterone production. Go with something cotton and breathable, if possible.

How Clothing Makes the Man

While there is not a whole lot of research on how clothing affects testosterone and production, these findings show ways in which the clothing we wear can influence how we perform at both a behavioral and biological level as men.

What we wear can help us to strategically drive our behavior in one direction or another, all the while feeling our best.

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