Information sourced from ‘The Red Sneakers Effect: Inferring Status and Competence from Signals of Nonconformity’ — an article appearing in the June 2014 Journal of Consumer Research.


A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research identified that individuals who were non-confirming with their fashion choices were often viewed by others as having a heightened status and more competence.

By wearing something out of the ordinary, this demonstrated that the person was autonomous; confident enough to act independently and create his or her own rules.

“It could just be wearing a colourful tie, or colourful socks or, you know, different shoes. It has to be very clear that it’s deliberate,” study author Anat Keinan explained in an interview.

And research shows that what you wear doesn’t only influence how others see you. It is likely to make you feel more confident and influence your performance. If you have a pair of lucky socks, research published in Psychological Science suggests you may want to wear them for your next big presentation or job interview.

Ryan Palmer of the London Sock Company explains, “That confidence is [sic] translated through everything they do. When our customer pulls up his socks in the morning, he feels that, whatever he’s approaching that day, he’s going to smash it.”

And figures of prominence are also catching onto this theory! Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has a penchant for wearing eye-catching socks — leading to a new era of sock diplomacy. From a pair of Star Wars socks he wore on ‘May the Fourth’, to a NATO pair sported for a meeting in Brussels and the rainbow-striped numbers he marched in at Toronto’s Gay Pride Parade, Mr Trudeau is always making a statement — and it seems to be catching on. Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, welcomed Mr Trudeau to Dublin earlier this year in a pair of Canada-themed socks.

So it’s possible that wearing a colourful pair of socks might just give you the confidence to achieve something great (or at the very least, convince others of your greatness!)

Subscribe here for your first pair today!

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