The Non-Existent Correlation Between Your Style and Your Intelligence

There is absolutely no correlation between how you dress and your intelligence, none at all!

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking we have to conform in order to be successful.

Even though it’s easier said than done, we have to make a conscious effort to be confident and push the boundaries of what the existing societal norms are.


Remember: we are going to shine and excel in what we do regardless of what we decide to wear or our personal style.



clothing rack with neutral toned clothes hanging

My Experience

It’s the first day of the job of my dreams. I woke up super early, did a natural beat(natural makeup look), picked out the cutest dress that I felt gave off Olivia Pope from Scandal vibes, and drove my happy self to work. When I got to work, I remember the excitement that I felt bubbling up inside of me slowly turning into another e word…embarrassment. Yes, embarrassment.


I was embarrassed because with my full face of makeup and my super cute dress that I had felt extremely confident in when I left my house, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I stuck out like a sore thumb because while I was in my dress, everyone else wore jeans, as though there was a uniform we were supposed to adhere to and I just didn’t get the memo. It may have been all in my head, but I felt as though everyone was staring at me!


Getting through the first day at a new job, feeling extremely uncomfortable with how I looked was brutal and I was so happy to leave at the end of the day. The next day, in order to save myself from the feeling I felt on my first day, I too wore jeans because I felt that in order to fit in at my job I had to give up my own personal style and be like everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing jeans if that's what you like to wear, however the point I am trying to make is that you shouldn’t feel compelled to change how you look in order to fit in.


It’s no secret that so many other women experience this same problem. According to the research, people form impressions of others based on clothing cues (Buckley & Roach, 1974; Workman, 1988). It is a fact that people judge others based on what they wear, which is probably why we sometimes feel self conscious about how we appear to other people.


After my experience, I really had to sit myself down for a pep talk and ask myself, “who even said that a woman in STEM is supposed to dress a certain way anyway?” After a couple minutes of deep introspection and realizing that I couldn’t answer my own question, I promised myself that from now on I will no longer care about what others might think and I am going to wear what makes me feel confident and happy . PERIOD.



Personal style is important

It is no secret that your personal style is part of what makes you uniquely you! Instead of hiding and toning down our personal style, we should start to embrace it!

Not only is it important for us to feel comfortable expressing ourselves through our appearance, but it is also important because it will encourage others to embrace their own personal style as well.



So where is the correlation between how you look and your intelligence?

It is non-existent! No matter what your personal style is, it has nothing to do with your ability to excel in whatever you choose to do. The way people perceive you from what you wear has nothing to do with you and quite frankly is not your problem. So from now on, let’s ignore stereotypes and supposed norms of how things should be and let's just be ourselves and embrace our own personal style no matter where we go.



Here are 5 final tips

  • Once you find your personal style, embrace it and own it

  • Women in STEM can sometimes feel like if we don’t conform to the stereotypes, then we won't be taken seriously, but that is far from the truth

  • Don’t be afraid to not fit in

  • If you like to dress up keep it up, if you like to dress down keep it up. Dress however makes you feel cute and confident

  • Always be able to be yourself in every situation and environment