The Psychology of Clothing – How Clothes Affect Your Self Image3 min read
Working in the fashion industry as an international fashion model for many years has exposed me to the world of clothing and its profound effects it can have on people. I have seen how clothing can transform someone from ordinary to extraordinary simply by them wearing an article of clothing that makes him or her feel somehow different in an uplifted way.
Certain pieces of clothing can trigger memories of something once liked or admired long ago. Women who used to play dress up as little girls can feel like an elegant princess once again simply by slipping into a long gown. Men can feel empowered and dashing wearing the right belt buckle, vest or boots. They feel like nothing in the world can stop them or get in their way, much like they believed when they were children acting as cowboys. Playing dress up as children and dressing up as adults, without a doubt, alter your very personae because you carry yourselves differently depending on what outfit you choose to put on and what character you choose to portray.
The quality of clothing you wear has a deep psychological effect on you and those around you. Labels and brand name items represent wealth, high quality of living, accomplishment, privilege, and sometimes, self-respect. Quality items can symbolize personal achievement such as rewarding yourselves with a luxury piece after having reached a goal, or buying something of quality to mark a special occasion. When you cloak yourselves with quality you feel a certain amount of self-respect, or at least self-fulfillment. Others take notice of how you carry yourselves and of the quality you have draped yourselves in and can’t help but shift their approach and reaction by giving you respect. The two go hand in hand: treat yourself with respect (wearing the highest quality you can afford) and others treat you with respect.
Consider the effects of colors in the clothing you wear. Each color under the rainbow has a positive and negative trait. It is scientifically proven that color can influence thought, social behavior, health and relationships. Wearing certain colors can subtly, and sometimes strongly, evoke certain reactions from others. For example, the color red can help build confidence or it can make you appear domineering and aggressive. The color grey can gain you respect and has a neutral effect yet it can make you appear drab or a bit boring if over used. Wear blue if you want to give off the air of authority. Avoid purple if you are depressed.
Please consider before you dress, how you feel, who you will be seeing, what you will be doing. All of these together will determine how you carry yourself in the world and how others react to you. Do you need to make a statement? Do you need to be noticed? Do you feel quite and want some peace? Your choice of clothing will aid you and those around to you to create the environment and reaction you want. I have seen it time and time again in the fashion industry as a model. Whenever I was dressed up, I felt more confident, gained respect and had doors of opportunity open for me. You will too if you try it!