Want to Look Rich? Wear Sweatpants, Harvard Researchers Find

Gym clothes on luxury shoppers found to instill more confidence than jewels and furs

Forget piling on your fanciest pearls, donning that expensive, yet slightly too-tight dress or pulling our those designer heels that set you back a week’s pay in hopes of showing your affluence.

Turns out, all you really need is a comfy pair of sweats.

A recent study out of Harvard Business School finds that while passers-by on the street equate a well-dressed person with money, luxury store employees thought those shoppers wearing sweatpants or other gym clothes were more likely to buy, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Students, meanwhile, were more apt to respect a professor wearing a T-shirt and rocking a beard than one in a tie with no stubble, according to the newspaper.

The key, the researchers find, is to look casual on purpose and exude confidence with your choice of nontraditional clothing, the newspaper reports. So, for example, had Julia Roberts walked into that Beverly Hills boutique wearing a hoodie and sweats with some serious wagger, she may have seen a much different reaction from those snotty salespeople.

Of course, if you really want to show how important — or rich — you are, don’t only wear sweats, but also give store clerks the silent treatment.

"Don't talk a lot if you have high status,” Marshall Scott Poole, a communications professor at the University of Illinois, tells the Journal. “People will assume you're competent and when you talk, they will listen to you."

Yep, it’s time to (very quietly) buy more sweatpants.

Lesley Kennedy writes for ShopAtHome.com. Follow ShopAtHome on Instagram @shopathome and Lesley on Google+.

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