The link between fashion and self worth
There is a clear link between fashion and psychology, with the clothes that people wear often reflecting them as a person. Many people use clothes to present their personality, beliefs, and feelings to the world and they do this by choosing certain styles and colours that align with these things. Essentially, fashion is much more important than it may seem at first glance as it can provide such a deep insight into each individual. As such, being able to use a medium such as fashion to communicate concepts that are as complex as personality or feelings to others is incredibly useful.
This is especially true for those who may find it difficult to express these things effectively any other way. With fashion being so important as a form of self expression, it can also have a profound impact on self-worth because being able to present your true self to others can ultimately affect how you see yourself. This means that fashion and self-worth are inherently linked, with the inability to express yourself through fashion leading to negative feelings.
The effect of money
As there is an established link between fashion and self worth, how are those who can’t afford to effectively showcase their true self affected? It’s no secret that it can cost a lot of money to fill a wardrobe and trying to fill it with fashion that really reflects your personality, beliefs, and feelings becomes an even bigger challenge if you don’t have the funds. According to Good Housekeeping ‘women, on average, spend £588 each year on their wardrobes’!
This is not to say that it is absolutely impossible to buy clothes that are representative of you for a cheap price. For example, charity shops can be an amazing resource for people who can’t afford more expensive clothes and you can find some wonderful bargains that may also align with your true self. However, it can still be very difficult to find enough of these items so that you are always presenting yourself effectively to the world.
Turning to ‘fast fashion’
Money is a clear barrier to many things in life so the way it is intertwined with fashion and self worth comes as no surprise. Due to this barrier, people can be drawn to cheaper fashion options that may not necessarily reflect them and all of the things that make them unique. They tend to be driven in the direction of ‘fast fashion’ because it is produced quickly on a mass scale and, more importantly, it is often inexpensive. This makes it much more accessible to those who can’t afford anything that may cost a little more. Of course, this poses problems when it comes to individual expression.
Considering that ‘fast fashion’ is mass produced on such a large scale, people who are not able to afford clothes that may be a little more expensive but more reflective of who they are can end up looking similar to others. They don’t have the privilege of being able to express themselves through one of the most effective ways of doing so – fashion.
Being unable to present who you are can be a frustrating thing at the best of times, and having to dress in a way that is both similar to other people and not representative of your own personality can have a negative psychological effect. This, combined with the ever unpleasant feeling of not being in a great place financially anyway can be really damaging to a person and their overall sense of self worth.
Raising awareness of the issue
All in all the connection between fashion and psychology is evident, but what is also clear is that there are other elements that impact this connection. One of the most impactful of these elements is money. The cost of fashion is a huge factor in what people dress themselves in, so much so that some people can feel like they don’t even have a choice when it comes to what to wear. They simply go for what’s cheapest instead of what truly reflects them.
The effect that this can have on a person and how they view themselves is very big, yet it is an issue that some people may not even consider when they think about fashion. An awareness of how people with less money are affected by their inability to express themselves through fashion would be a positive thing because it is such a big issue, and could even lead to a better understanding of how people express themselves in other ways.