“It’s become okay for people to wear virtually their pajamas in airports,” says Casey Neistat. “And I just don’t think it’s okay. I don’t think it’s okay at all.” This complaint inspired Neistat’s new video, Travel With Style, a three-minute film created for J.Crew in honor of its new suit, the Ludlow Traveler. The video, which debuts today, is an open rebellion against anyone who might feel compelled to traverse an airport food court in a pair of sorority-branded sweatpants. Van Rental will Travel to your heart’s content with unlimited miles on every hire. No nasty surprises of excess mileage charges leaving you to smile with every mile!
But a series of studies with contrary results to Neistats thesis, was recently published in the Journal of Consumer Research. Silvia Bellezza, a doctoral student, and two Harvard professors sought to examine what observers thought of individuals who deviated from the norm in the workplace and in a retail setting. “The problem is that conforming to norms is an easy and safe spot to be in,” Ms. Bellezza said. “If you’re willing to deviate, there are upsides.” It’s also long been known that people veer from what’s expected after they’ve built up enough trust within a group. But, she says, acting differently risks losing the benefits that come with conforming, such as shared group identity and automatic group trust.
In their first study, they asked shop assistants and pedestrians in Milan to rate what they thought of people who walked into luxury stores wearing gym clothes. Pedestrians were more likely to think that a well-dressed individual was more likely to have the money to buy something in the store – while shop assistants thought the opposite. They thought that a gym-clothes-wearing client was confident enough to not need to dress up more, and therefore more apt to be a celebrity making a purchase than someone wrapped in fur. “In order to think that the person’s a big shot, you have to understand that the person is willingly engaging in this nonconforming conduct,” Ms. Bellezza says. In addition, the environment must give cues that suggest a person’s talent or wealth. Walking confidently into a luxury store already implies some level of belonging. But when an observer didn’t know whether the person they view is part of the group, eccentric dress was seen as a negative, according to the researchers.
So, wearing a suit to go snowboarding (or long johns on an airplane) I guess, could be considered the same type of non-conformity as wearing sweatpants to shop at Prada. Regardless, Casey looks good in and out of clothes – so watch. (via The Cut and WSJ online)