Words by Nicole Thomsen
September 11th, 2019
Continuing our latest series in association with Comfort, where we delve behind the seams of four Irish trailblazers and their unique wardrobes, we are thrilled to bring you part two with amateur boxer Mary-Kate Slattery, who shows us the psychological power of sportswear. More than just an outfit we put on to help us look the part, Mary-Kate explains how the clothes we wear to work out in can have an impact on how we perform.
In fact, according to Comfort, what we wear can change how we think and feel, so it’s important we wear what makes us feel good—both inside and out. Clothes can influence our behaviour, our productivity and even our success. In Mary-Kate’s case, activewear provides a form of inner strength when she steps in the ring, giving her the winning mindset that is needed to compete with confidence.
The accomplished sportswoman has, in a short period of time, propelled herself into the Irish boxing scene, winning her first Irish title just three months after she began training. While we’ve all heard the phrase ‘dress for success’, it turns out there really is some truth behind it.
Studies in the field of cognition have shown the positive impact of wearing the right clothes for your workplace. Termed ‘enclothed cognition’, this psychological phenomenon extends to sports and fitness too. Clothing can positively influence everyday life, and when it comes to sports, whether you’re a professional athlete or you simply enjoy keeping fit, what you wear contributes to your confidence level and can even raise your self-esteem.
We caught up with Mary-Kate to uncover more about this psychological power behind the clothing she wears and discuss how, when it comes to sport, clothes are more than just functional, they can be empowering too. Long live clothes!
Want to know more? We spoke to Mary-Kate to find out about the outfit she feels most powerful in and why her first pair of boxing gloves are so important…
Do you think what you wear has an impact on how you perform in the ring?
It’s important to have the freedom to be fluid in your movement, so in a way, clothes need to support this in the ring.
Do you have a ‘lucky’ boxing outfit or pair of gloves, and why do you consider them lucky?
My first pair of boxing gloves are very dear to me. I then gave them to someone dear to me when they started boxing, and I know that they are getting good use out of them — they, to me, are lucky.
What’s your go-to outfit when you need a confidence boost?
I love my Dr Martens and a comfy jumpsuit — I like to feel comfortable in what I wear but also have a little bit of an edge!
Do you feel differently when you put on your boxing gear in comparison to when you’re dressed in a pair of jeans and a top, for example?
I definitely feel more like myself in my boxing gear, but I do love to dress up from time to time, of course — who doesn’t?
What do clothes mean to you?
Clothes are a way of expressing yourself and also a way of blending in, they have the power to enhance but also a power to restrict. I think everyone should be free to dress exactly as they feel and like, without any boundaries or limitations!
Clothes are more than just clothes. They have power; they tell stories; they carry memories. Comfort knows just how important it is to care for our beloved clothes and make them last. Together, we’re celebrating how extraordinary clothes really are as we delve into their psychological power and the stories behind them.
Long live clothes!
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