Fashion + Psychology

Dressing Psychology: What Your Clothes are Saying about You?

An outstanding contemporary Chinese literary giant named Guo Moruo once said,

“Clothes are the symbol of culture, and clothes are the image of thought.”

In other words, people can show themselves to the outside world by dressing up.

Why is clothing important?

You don’t have to be a fashionista or even a frequent visitor to Paris Fashion Week, but you need to realise, in the 21st century, how our dressing can make an impression on others! Our clothing will send a powerful signal to friends and strangers, and project the self-image we want to show.

In the past, clothing was not as influential as it is today. The main purpose of dressing was to keep out the cold and prevent damage in the early civilizations. However, after centuries of technological progress, warm items are emerging one after another. People don’t wear clothes to survive. It has a richer meaning. Clothing transition from practicality to social iconicity.

Clothing reflects personal wealth and taste. The US Economist George Taylor vividly demonstrated this with the “hemline index“. Taylor pointed out that when a country is in economic recession and adopts frugal consumption habits, women are more inclined to wear long skirts; while in economic booms, women are more inclined to wear short skirts.

A large number of psychological investigations reveal the actual effect of clothing on people’s mutual perception and judgment. They even reveal how subtle changes in dressing tastes affect our attractiveness in dating.

It is interesting to note, that in the stereotype of women’s gender, females should be more fashion-conscious than males and pay more attention to dress. However, contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that men usually have more self-awareness in dressing tastes than women and pay more attention to their image in public.

Therefore, we all need to understand the importance of clothing, regardless of gender. Whether you are a man or a woman, the way you dress first affects your self-image and the impression you convey to others, which in turn will affect the way people treat you.

Signal of a peacock showing its tail

According to natural phenomenon, male peacocks display their colourful feathers and attract female peacocks to mate with them, like a ceremony. Such rituals vary from species to species. For humans, our ability to make and dress gives us the same advantage when choosing a spouse, allowing us to distinguish ourselves from the crowd and show our individuality. Conversely, we can also integrate into the crowd by dressing up, such as wearing uniforms to hide our personality.

Correlation between clothing and personality

In general, people who like to wear simple and plain clothes have a calm, steady personality, and tend to be sincere and enthusiastic. This kind of person is relatively honest and hard-working in everything in work, study and life, and can also be objective and rational. But if one’s dressing is too simple; it might be counterproductive. This situation shows that people lack subjective consciousness, are weak and easily succumb to others.

People who like to wear monochromatic clothing tend to be upright and strong. Their rational thinking is better than perceptual thinking. Relatively speaking, those who prefer complicated, colorful and fancy clothes are mostly people with strong vanity, love to show off, and some of them are even self-willed.

Most people who like to wear light-colored casual clothes are more lively, talkative, and are pleased to make friends. On the contrary, individuals with dark garment have a restrained personality, sometimes are calculating and sophisticated. They are generally silent and far-sighted in everything so that there are often unexpected things that make others unpredictable. People who always wear gorgeous clothes are mostly individuals with strong vanity, self-expression, and money desire.

In addition, the biggest feature of people who like to follow popular fashion is that they don’t have their own ideas, they don’t know what kind of aesthetics they have, they are often emotionally unstable and can’t keep themselves safe; while people who like to choose clothing according to their hobbies instead of following the trend are generally people with strong independence and decisive decision-making power.

As a result, the choice of clothing is also a knowledge. If you are interested, you can match your clothes according to your own interest and personality to be the master of self-fashion; when you are familiar with various dress styles, maybe you will be more quickly know one’s personality or characteristics.

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