The way we dress has an impact on how we are viewed upon or categorized in society. Whether we are at work, school, the mall, or simply taking a stroll in the park, we are judged just because of our clothing. We are a society quick to judge because of the “outside” which denies us the opportunity to really know a person at times from the “inside.” The fact of the matter is, clothing plays a key role in how we live our lives in many ways and in how we will be portrayed or even treated. From being judged on how we dress on certain occasions or in an atmosphere that is prim and proper to being judged by the colors we wear. Clothing could even effect a person emotionally, in which the statement “you are what you wear” could definitely hold true. Whatever the case may be, clothing is important in our society and we are soon to find out why.
If a person attends a wedding in sweatpants and a torn t-shirt, how would this person be judged? While many would have their own opinions, most likely this person would be portrayed as cheap, poor, dirty, disrespectful and having no class whatsoever. A young lady attending a wedding in an extremely revealing outfit might be portrayed as promiscuous, disrespectful, sluttish, or even distasteful, others might see her as beautiful, sexy, or “easy.” The person who walks into a classroom wearing name brand clothing might be judged as a person of wealth when those clothes are not even his. A young man attending a job interview for a major law firm in ripped jeans and a shirt will not be taken seriously even though he does qualify.
In our society we have to try to present ourselves in a manner in which we are ready for other people to judge us because we ourselves judge others. Going into a big law firm in ripped jeans and a shirt should not make a person wonder why they did not get the job. Same as a beggar on a street corner should not wonder why nobody is giving him money if he’s dressed in nice khaki pants and neat shirt. You have to dress the part if you want to get what you want in our society.
Not only are we judged by what we wear but also by the color of our clothing. Wearing certain colors could categorize a group or an individual as a certain way. For instance, a person who is under no circumstances involved in a gang could be easily shot at because of their choice of colors. Going on a certain street corner with certain colors could cause an uproar in the area. Those colors could make the gang or group assume the person wearing these colors wants to “start something.” Even though their choice of colors was sporadically chosen that day, he pays the price because he either “stole the gang member’s colors” or they are against a certain group that represents those colors.
However, not only are colors viewed as an affiliation with gangs, but purity as well. A lady getting married who wears any color but white could be seen as impure. Because the color white symbolizes purity, her gown of color leads many to believe she is impure. Wearing all black portrays a person as being sad or someone died. Wearing all yellow could be seen as a very happy person. It goes to show that even by the color of clothing a person wears, you are judged either as an individual or group. Whether the judgment is true or not may or may not be known.
There are definitely days where the statement “you are what you wear” holds true for many people. If a person wears certain clothes that bring out their features or fits them correctly, they feel good about themselves. Because the person is confident in himself or herself it portrays them as a confident person. If wearing a big ugly jacket makes one feel uncomfortable and insecure, the personality becomes just as bad as the jacket. If you spot a person wearing sweat pants and a sweatshirt, you know they are comfortable and want to relax. Just by what you wear and how you carry yourself, it’s amazing how people make their assumptions on how a person is feeling.
Clothes should not make the person, but in many cases it does. Being uncomfortable about problem areas like thighs, hips, buttocks, and arms could be covered by the clothing you wear. In turn, these areas are hidden and make a person more confidant that “their jeans make their but look smaller.” However, clothes not only cover a person’s problem areas, but also create problems as well. While some people might not have the money to buy the clothes, they might be denied opportunities in their lives because of the clothes they lack. Sometimes the way a person dresses could inhibit a person from having friends, relationships, and even a well-rounded job. Clothes place judgments upon people in many different ways, but as long as every person knows their “true self” only their personal judgment is the one that matters!