The expensive coat was the best investment I ever made

When Barbara Corcoran started her real estate company at the age of 23, she quickly noticed a difference between herself and her competitors.

“I realized that every successful person seemed to have their turn,” Corcoran, a 74-year-old millionaire investor, said in a recent report. Tik Tok video. “At the time, I was still wearing my old navy blue coat from New Jersey, and I knew it would be a while before I could afford a new one.”

When she managed to rent an apartment to someone during her “first week on the job,” she knew exactly what to do with the money, she added, “I put the $340 commission check in my pocket. I ran straight to Bergdorf Goodman buying the most luxurious coat in the store.”

Corcoran said she bought a brown and white printed turtleneck wool coat for $320 before tax. Adjusted for inflation, it would cost about $2,235 today. Despite its steep price tag, Corcoran says the coat gave her the one thing she needed most at the time: confidence.

“My new coat made me feel like I wish I was a big deal,” she said. “I wore my coat for the next four years, and it was the best investment I ever made. In my coat, I worked like crazy to become as successful as I already looked.”

Corcoran’s increased self-esteem points to a greater psychological effect clothing can have on a person called “closed cognition,” a term coined by psychologists Adam Galinsky and Hajo Adam.

they 2012 study Among the 58 students found, subjects were more attentive and completed tasks with fewer errors when they were given a lab coat to wear, which, for most people, “indicates a scientific focus and an emphasis on being careful and attentive,” the pair wrote.

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It’s always worth considering whether or not you’ll wear something frequently enough to justify its price before buying an expensive outfit, rather than renting it. In the case of the Corcoran, it appears she gained good value from the expensive purchase by wearing it regularly for several years.

Obviously, the confidence boost was good for her, too. Nearly three decades after founding her firm, Corcoran sold it to brokerage firm NRT for $66 million.

“The lesson I learned, and never forgot,” she said, “is that perception creates reality.” “Not the other way around. You have to look at the part you want to become.”

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank,” which features Barbara Corcoran as a panelist.

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