Dressing up posture: The interactive effects of posture and clothing on competency judgements

Daniel Gurney, Neil Howlett, Karen Pine, Megan Tracey, Rachel Moggridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


Individuals often receive judgements from others based on their clothing and their posture. While both of these factors have been found to influence judgements of competency independently, their relative importance in impression formation are yet to be investigated. We address this by examining interactive effects of posture and clothing on four competency measures; confidence, professionalism, approachability, and likeliness of a high salary. Participants rated photographs of both male and female models pictured in different postures (strong, neutral, weak) in smart clothing (a suit for males; both a trouser suit and skirt suit for females) and casual clothing. We confirm that posture manipulations affected judgements of individuals differently according to the clothing they were pictured in. The nature of these interactions varied by gender and, for women, competency judgements differed according to attire type (trouser or skirt suit). The implications of these findings in relation to impression formation are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436–451
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date6 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • nonverbal
  • clothing
  • posture
  • impression formation


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