Should You Dress Up while You're Taking Online Classes?

Barry Lenson

Should You Dress Up while You're Taking Online Classes?

Should You Dress Up while You're Taking Online Classes?The idea of putting on nice clothes to take an online class might seem odd. After all, nobody can see you while you are studying online, right? What difference does it make? Why not wear sweatpants, the t shirt you slept in, and shower later on, after your coursework is done for the day?

But over the years, I have heard advice from a lot of people that supports the idea that you are never really invisible – that the way you look really does make a difference in a lot of ways. This morning, I’d like to share some of that advice with you as a way of getting you to make your own decision about whether or not it makes any difference if you wear nice clothes while engaged in distance learning.

Piece of advice one: Dress nicely while you are writing your resume, calling potential employers, and doing other work to find a job. I have heard this advice from several career experts over the years. They have told me that dressing nicely increases your odds of finding a job, even if you are working at home where no one can see you.  They say that if you dress like a professional, people are more apt to see you as one. You will get a job faster.

Piece of advice two: If you want to end a phone call, stand up. I first got this piece of advice from a communications expert I was interviewing many years ago.  “If you want to get someone on the phone to stop talking, you should stand up,” she told me. It is really weird but if you try it, you will discover that it usually works. Perhaps the person on the other end of the call can feel the increased urgency in your voice if you stand up, and senses that the call is coming to an end. So maybe you are really never invisible.

Piece of advice three: Nice clothes make you feel energized and confident. Several career experts have told me this over the years, including D.A. Benton, a top executive coach. And when you are energized and confident, you are going to be a better student. Then there’s the fact that before you put on nice clothes, you are first going to shower, wash your hair, and engage in other start-of-day routines. That assures that you will wake up and bring more energy to doing coursework online.

And for More Motivation to Dress Well while Studying

I just found a nifty older blog post, “25 Reasons Why You Should Dress Up Every Day,” on the College Fashion blog. Its 25 reasons make a lot of sense, and many of them apply to online learners.

One piece of advice from the blog? “Because Carrie Bradshaw would not approve of your sweatpants and UGG boots. You can do better than that. And deep down, you know I’m right.”

The blogger probably is right. So why not dress well while studying online, as an experiment? And please take a moment to respond to this post to let us know if it worked.

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