Silvia Bellezza, a doctoral candidate at Harvard Business School, and Francesca Gino and Anat Keinan, two professors there, first studied the link between accomplishment and informality. They found that scholars who dressed down at an academic conference, eschewing blazers for T-shirts, had stronger research records, even controlling for age and gender. Then, they explored why and when this sartorial tactic for announcing status—if that’s what it is—succeeds.
This is a brilliant piece in The New Yorker by Matthew Huston on how status affects how people treat social norms and how the rest of us look at status and norms. Very worthwhile read.