People like to fit in, and that’s only natural! Humans are social animals, we usually live in groups and like to be accepted by the people around us. Being the odd one out can make us feel exposed, but did you know that by not conforming you are actually impressing people more than by blending in?

Listen up, and we’ll tell you why…

The Red Sneaker Effect

Part of fitting in often means dressing to not stand out. If we know people will be dressed a certain way, usually we will wear something similar. Think about high school students, it’s sometimes hard to tell one of them from the next as they are all trying so hard to “fit in”.

And it goes both ways. People also want others to match their expectations. We like to see doctors in white coats, and politicians wearing suits. It makes us feel like they know what they’re doing and have a professional approach. It makes us feel safe.

BUT, here’s the really interesting thing. There is an exception, and it’s something all of us can do that makes us instantly more impressive to everyone. It’s backed up by research and everything!

In 2014, Professor Francis Gino wrote a paper for the Journal of Consumer Research looking into people’s reactions to other people doing something that ever-so-slightly broke the norm, and the findings were surprising.

In one of the experiments, a man went to a black tie event wearing a red bow tie. Instead of people thinking he wasn’t dressed for the occasion, or being suspicious of him, they saw him as more unique and also assumed he was powerful enough to make a risky move.

In another experiment, Gino herself wore a business suit with either a pair of red sneakers or more traditional shoes to give a series of lectures. When she wore the red sneakers, people were more likely to think she charged higher fees than when she wore a less eye-catching pair.

So there you have it! Wearing a small item that makes you stand out can instantly make people think more of you. Showing that you are brave enough to be different, even in a small way, says you are successful, brave and unique. Who would have thought that something so simple could help you to give such a great first impression?

If you don’t have a pair of red sneakers, don’t worry! We have HUNDREDS of pairs of colorful socks on our website that have exactly the same effect. The best thing about them is you can style them however you want, whether that’s using them to stand out or wearing them peeking out below cuffed jeans. It’s really all about how you feel when you wear them, and they’re sure to give you a confident boost both inside and out!