What socks do you choose to wear every day?

At first glance, this seems like an insignificant decision. You pick black or gray or tan socks because they go with your pants, or you find the only clean pair in your dresser. What does it matter – they’re just socks, right?

But the socks you put on each morning actually do matter. They change your outlook, your attitudes, and your interactions with others.

Years ago, the York Solutions team began wearing loud, quirky socks to work as a way to have a little fun at the office. By donning socks decked out with stripes, polka dots, or bright colors, we could express our creativity and individuality (and even where we’re from or which teams we root for). These crazy socks captured the spirit of our culture: We take our work seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously!

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But we’re not the only ones who have seen the truth in this philosophy. Other professionals – from Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs to academic researchers – have shown us evidence that vibrant socks really do help you put your best foot forward. Here are three ways your socks make a difference in your life.

  1. You give a good first impression.

What you wear influences how others perceive you – in large and small ways. By making a bold statement with your socks, you communicate that you have a strong sense of self. One study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that nonconformity can be beneficial in certain circumstances; in short, when someone deliberately tries to stand out (like by wearing wild socks), they can be viewed as being more competent and having a higher status.

  1. You look confident but approachable.

When you show off your own personal style, you feel good about yourself and convey that self-assurance to colleagues and clients. And when you wear eye-catching, nontraditional socks, you also bring a little playfulness and silliness into your work day. Those kooky socks can easily break the ice in a meeting with a new client or start an interesting conversation around the break room table.

  1. You take more chances.

Your showy socks not only make you feel confident; they may actually help you act that way as well. A Northwestern University study found that our clothing choices influence how we think and behave, perhaps making us more willing to take on new tasks and challenges. So if you dress like you’re a creative, confident, and successful professional, you’re already on your way to becoming that person.

Want to know more about what makes York Solutions tick? Read about our company culture.