Tuesday, 15 July 2014

You are what you wear

Playing dress-up is something I never grew out of. Mommy’s high heels or her string of beads said something as I imagined myself at an older age. It challenged an aspiration of how I saw myself. The high heel physically extended only my legs. Mentally, however, it gave me a sense of stability and confidence.

Clothing is much more a part of who we are than just an article we conveniently put on display. We are what we wear.

vogue.co.uk
Clothing plays a major role in society. For a while now, clothes have no longer solely been an absent body that hangs in a closet. It’s a way of self-expression. It conveys our emotions. Clothes are there to create a certain first impression of ourselves, other than our attitude. By what we wear, we can influence other’s impressions of who we truly are. Be it positive or negative. 

First impressions can make or break a lot – most prominently, work opportunities. People immediately make judgments on first impressions. If you walk into a corporate interview with messy hair, untidy clothes and just a scruffy overall look, the chances may be dim that you’ll land that pristinely polished position. That goes for accessories as well. According to careerbuilder.com, attributes such as piercings and tattoos may limit an employee’s career potential. Then again, other fields freely accept tattoos.

myfriendned.co.za

Clothes are able to manipulate who you truly are as well. A study published by psychologytoday.com, concluded that clothing can create a false impression. The study was carried out with 300 adults. Images were shown of a man in a well-tailored suit and a man in a very similar off-the-peg suit – the differences were minor. After just three seconds of exposure, they were judged by the candidates. The man, in the bespoke suit, was more favourable, and described as confident and more successful – all by judging the model on his clothes. Fake it till you make it, right?

Dressing incorrectly influences our emotional well-being and mood. If you wear too-tight clothing, it can make you feel bigger than what you really are. You’ll end up feeling uncomfortable and unhappy. Dressing influences our mind sets and attitudes. For example, a dirty appearance sends a negative message and this may affect your confidence as well as other’s confidence in you.


Stereotypically, we can easily identify people from sub-cultural groups, all based on the way that they dress. People also tend to biasedly judge others by distinguishing them to these sub-cultures.  To this day, we call these groups by its different names – Punk, Grunge, Emo, Hipster, Bohemian, Hippie, etc. The graphic designer with his flannel jersey and SLR camera has to be a Hipster. The girl with a flower crown and a tie-dye shirt – she’s probably a Hippie. Jean Paul Gaultier opted that Grunge is “nothing more than the way we dress when we have no money.” Clothing is such an incredibly huge part of our being that it created its own genres!

Let’s face it – fashion is a vital part of who we are. Whether you’re its biggest fan or worst enemy, a fact stays a fact. We subconsciously express our most inner selves through our choices of clothing. It’s grand, really. Where else do we get the chance to speak so loudly without uttering a word?


Imagery Source: weheartit.com

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