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Psychology of Dress

Categories: Psychology

The spending habits, ambitions, emotions, and the type of employment can easily be known by a passerby gauging from what you wear. Furthermore, there has even been a whole new set of psychology governing the above perspective. According to Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner’s book, “Psychology of Dress,” the above topic was covered extensively whereby he explains how to overcome critical psychological issues within your wardrobe and how psychology determines the choice of clothing in the work-life balance and everyday co-existence (LearnVest, 2012).

Dr. Baumgartner further claims that the act of spending and shopping traits often arise from internal motivations that include experiences, culture, and emotions. He also asserts that people look at the storing and shopping characteristics and thus put on different outfits whereby some of them think it is fluffy.

However, every single clothing trait is intertwined to something more profound, and thus, every perspective of dressing should be looked into just like conducting a therapy session. Therefore, the paper will point out the reason why clothes reveal our personalities, the message they send and how one can use his or her wardrobe to alter how other individuals perceive you which could further to changing how one thinks or perceives themselves.

According to studies conducted by Dr. Baumgartner most of the Americans rely upon clothing as the economic or social indication since they are not the official markers of certain ranks within either the aristocracy or castle system (LearnVest, 2012). One study pointed out that when one does not have a specific method, he or she tends to come up with their own, and this is what assists in figuring out where one completely fits in.

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This has been observed, especially when maintaining the sense of belonging with these economic changes and people losing status. The choice and type of clothing assists individuals to gauge or offer a perception of where people think they should be. A clear example is observed in the drama series Real Housewives TV program, which shows their focus on money. The logos and designers are used in putting them down when they engage in fights, and according to studies conducted, they are utilizing clothing and accessories as both tools and weapons. These clothes and accessories are being used as weapons against each other and also as a tool in gauging where they fit in or are accommodated.

Certain types of clothing portray an either good or bad image as much as it is difficult to ultimately come to conclusions when judging someone’s dressing behavior (Wenger, 1998). When trying to project a positive image, one is recommended to consider the basics since no one piece or style can make a person look successful. People already know what works for them since history and the classics have done most of the task for an individual in shaping the way people dress. People can design their clothing following the parameters guided by the classics, ages, and body types (Solomon, 1985). The process has been deemed to work no matter the individual since every single person a specific style that they can create or emulate.

On the other hand, a person cannot be deemed unsuccessful by a particular piece or style. According to studies conducted suppose an effort is not made when dressing, then it ends up coming across badly. Therefore, leading one to feel the need of changing their clothing, ignore or hide who they are the type of people that they perceive themselves to be. The wrong message is always sent when certain kinds of dress that prohibit one from being who they are. Furthermore, the type of clothing also encompasses the fashion that can be accommodated by an individual within a specific time. It is also possible that the nature of clothing or fashion extensively determines the traits of an individual if adequately groomed. For instance, it can be evident that one is undergoing a marriage ceremony through white wedding gowns or dresses and a funeral ceremony is usually groomed with either black suits or dresses indicating a moody and gloomy ceremony.

According to a study conducted by the Northwestern University on the concept of ‘enclothed cognition’ (Hammond, 2013) they defined it as the systematic influence that clothing has on the host’s psychological processes which focused on what your clothes say to you rather than about you. Furthermore, how one’s feel is affected is also illustrated by definition presented. A clear example can be represented by distributing standard white lab coats to random participants and telling them that some of the coats were from the doctor’s and the others were just a painter’s smock. It was noted that when offered a task those that donned ‘doctor’s lad coat’ were more keen, attentive, and careful than their other counterparts when performing a task. Therefore, the type of clothing influenced their actions.

The above situation can also be similar to any individual as since it can be illustrated when one is forced into dressing differently and going out to channel their emotions. This is because, they could be perceived differently if the dressed appropriately and would assist in changing how they feel since people will view them as they are but not who their right traits show (Rabbani, 2013). One observes that after doing a makeover facilitates their expression of character, which was also asserted by many actors after putting on a different costume. People should thus dress to showcase what you want to feel but not how you feel which a scientific, ideological proof presented by enclothed cognition. Therefore, the type of clothing does not only send a message to the people around you but also your very own self.

Now, from the above indications, it is correct to assert that fashion allows us to express ourselves and, in a way, show the people surrounding us who we really are Individuals have the ability of dressing up, dressing down, wearing jeans or even dresses of any type which allows them to share their individualities. On the other hand, today’s society is only following brand names as much as people may not acknowledge it, in short, we have allowed fashion to influence us and not the other way (Kabat-Zinn, 2009). For example, students may be seen walking in the hallways dressed in Abercrombie & Fitch, Steve Madden, Patagonia, Uggs or even the North Face and this can be noted even without asking them who they are (Korica and Bazin, 2019).

Therefore, as much as we may claim that the type of clothing may have little to say about the true self, there are chances that what someone puts on indicates their true identity with exceptions being around those having the urge to hide their true identities. According to history teacher Laurie Chiarito occasionally clothes define who you are as much as she does not let clothes define people. The personalities that we wear are reflected with the outfits and style that we put on as much as all human beings are beautiful and possess unique personalities. The individual’s personality and attitude can be expressed through fashion, which attempts to define a person. For instance, it is common to find athlete students donning more athletic gears than students who are not interested in sporting activities.

A person can also be stereotyped by their type of clothing as earlier illustrated by the white lab coats experiment. As much as certain studies claim that the manner of dressing does not fully entail the traits of an individual, we can assert from the last paragraph that the type of clothing and fashion goes further in pointing out certain emotions and characters of an individual. Most of the Americans also rely on clothing to illustrate their social or economic conditions, and the above process was demonstrated using the Real Housewives TV show. Enclothed cognition was also utilized in explaining how it influences the host’s psychological processing, and thus we can conclude that the type of clothing and fashion goes further than just pointing out who you are to influencing certain personal traits.


  1. Hammond, S. A. (2013). The thin book of appreciative inquiry. Thin Book Publishing.
  2. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2009). Wherever you go, there you are Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. Hachette Books.
  3. Korica, M., & Bazin, Y. (2019). Fashion and Organization Studies: Exploring conceptual paradoxes and experiential opportunities. Organization Studies, 0170840619831059.
  4. LearnVest. (2012, April 3). What Your Clothes Say About You. Retrieved from
  5. Rabbani, Y. (2013, April 26). OP/ED: Clothing defines us more than we think. Retrieved from
  6. Solomon, M. R. (Ed.). (1985). The psychology of fashion (Vol. 265). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
  7. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning as a social system. A systems thinker, 9(5), 2-3.

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Psychology of Dress. (2019, Nov 23). Retrieved from

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