It has long been known that how you dress affects how others perceive you. Studies have shown that women who dress in masculine fashion for a job interview are more likely to be hired. A teaching assistant who wears formal clothes is perceived as more intelligent than one who dresses more casually.

But  the next big question is: Can your outfit really affect how you approach and interact with the world?

Quite possibly, it seems. In fact, donning the magical “power suit” may actually help up your ante and improve your work abilities significantly, says new study.

In an experiment by the Northwestern University, research subjects who were told that the white coat they wore was a medical doctor’s (a profession typically associated with care and attentiveness) performed nearly 30 percent better in tests of attention as compared to the subjects who wore an identical “painter’s” white coat. Researchers termed this “enclothed cognition”.

Clothes really do more than just cover our skin, and the power of the mind is truly a force to be reckoned with. More than merely a “white coat effect”, what you slip into invades your body and brain, putting you into a different psychological state and influences your physical performance.

In another study on embodied cognition by the Columbia University, power poses (such as standing tall and leaning over a table or puffing out your chest) not only made people act more confident, it even raised their testosterone levels – an internal bodily reflection of dominance and power.

So before dismissing the smart-looking girl or dude in the trendy suit as being vain or poseur, think again. Perhaps they are tapping into their powerful inner psyche to unleash their full potential with fashion.