What clothes say about you

Dossiers Politique

You needn’t be an avid fashionista, nor a London Fashion Week regular, to be aware of how important our dress sense is to our reputations in the 21st Century. The clothes we wear send powerful signals to our peers and strangers, projecting the self image of us that we want to display.

Yet, how many of us truly understand the psychology of how people in the street or office interpret our wardrobe choices, and how this impression might differ to the one that we believe we’re conveying to them?

An array of psychological surveys have revealed the true impact of clothing choices on the way in which we perceive and judge each other, with experiments showing some surprising results. They even reveal how subtle varieties in dress sense can affect our ability to attract a partner whilst we are dating.

Defying stereotypes

Against the gender stereotype of females being more fashion-aware and conscious of others’ clothes and makeup efforts than males, studies have also lifted the lid on men’s insecurities with regards to clothes.

Contrary to commonly held beliefs, men have been shown to be often more self-conscious than females with regards to their personal dress sense and the way in which they are viewed in public (Solomon and Schopler, 1982).1

Therefore, we need to understand the significance of clothing choices regardless of our gender. Whether you are male or female, your fashion choices can affect both your self image, the impression that you convey to others and in turn, the way in which people behave towards you. They can influence everything from the outcome of a sports match (Hill and Barton, 2005) to an interviewer’s impression of your ability to perform effectively in a job position (Forsythe, 2006).23

In this article, we look at the effect that our fashion choices today can have on our lives, and how our unconscious clothing choices are interpreted by those around us.

Why clothes matter: what your wardrobe says about you

Clothes have not always been as influential a ‘tell’ of our personalities as they are today. Only as a result of technical advancements over centuries have fashion choices become significant.

Where in early civilizations, the key purpose of clothing was to keep us warm and relatively dry, today, central heating warms our homes, reducing our dependence on clothes alone to help us to survive. Clothes have developed from a practical asset to a social marker: they affect the way we see ourselves. They help us to be seen in the light that we wish to be, and also exude our personalities and social status.

In many societies, dress sense embodies personal wealth and taste. For example, Economist George Taylor demonstrated this most vividly with the Hemline Index (Taylor, 1926).4 Taylor noted that as a country enters recession and adopts austere spending habits, women often show a preference towards longer dresses, whilst during times of prosperity, the opposite result can be seen – hemlines often become shorter.

A second key influence on our dress sense is a result of millions of years of development as a species. As with many animals, the concept of mate selection in evolutionary psychology suggests that our behavior is determined by our efforts to find a mate and to reproduce.

According to signalling theory, a male peacock will display his vibrant fan of covert feathers in a ritual to attract a female with whom to mate. Such rituals vary from species to species, but in humans, our ability to create and wear clothes gives us a equivalent advantage in being able to distinguish ourselves from a crowd and demonstrate our individuality in an effort to find a mate. Conversely, too, we might use clothing to merge into a crowd and hide our individuality by dressing in a uniform.

Dressing to Impress?

Aside from the adage of “dressing to impress” what do we know about the psychology of clothing choices in relation to dating?

Firstly, let’s consider the idea of how we seek to ‘impress’ potential partners. A study by Joseph Benz at the University of Nebraska surveyed more than 90 men and women with regards to the way in which they deceive potential partners whilst on dates. The researchers found that both genders tend to use deception when dating but for different purposes.

Males were found to try to impress their dates by emphasizing the security that they could offer the partner – for example, by exaggerating their financial position or by trying to demonstrate a preparedness to commit. Women, however, were deceptive with regards to their body image, exaggerating physical features in an effort to appear more attractive to their date (Benz et al, 2005).5

In both cases, clothing may play a part in this dating ritual of deception.

Another factor in our clothing choices is the way in which males and females perceive and interpret different colors.

In one experiment, researchers photographed people in different colored clothes and then asked participants to rate the attractiveness of people in the resulting photos. They found that the color of clothing affects the way in which men rate both males’ and females’ attractiveness, and how women rate men’s attractiveness. Interestingly however, clothing color did not influence women’s judgement of other females (Roberts et al, 2000).6

This brings us to the question: which colors are viewed as attractive?

Roberts and his fellow researchers found that red clothes would tend to lead participants to rate subjects more favorably in terms of attractiveness compared to when they wore clothes of other colors.

This result might explain the findings of a study which found that, when waitresses wore different colored t-shirts whilst serving in a restaurant, men would tend to leave higher tips for those wearing red tops than those with t-shirts of other colors. However, shirt color had no effect on the tips left by female customers (Guéguen and Jacob, 2010).7

Learn more about the psychology of color here

Of course, the color of garments is far from the only factor used in judging a person based on clothing.

Timothy Brown and his fellow researchers of the Department of Psychology at Old Dominion University looked at the effect of clothing on college students’ judgement of both people’s attractiveness and masculinity or femininity.

Brown found that in both genders, posture and the way in which people moved influenced perceptions of their masculinity or femininity, which was intrinsically linked to their judgement of their attractiveness.

Specifically in males, tight-fitting clothes as opposed helped lead to perceptions of increased masculinity over those who wore baggy garments (Brown et al, 1986).8

Naturally, many of the findings from research into the psychology of fashion and clothing choices are subject to the cultural values of the society in which a person lives. Cultural differences in the interpretation of color, for example, mean that red may be perceived to have different qualities to those valued by participants in Guéguen and Jacob’s waitress experiment, depending on the country a restaurant is situated in.

We should also note that the superficiality of clothing choices are rarely the sole determinant of how people are perceived: Brown’s study into clothing and attractiveness demonstrated the influence of body language in addition to clothing choices. And for those of us with limited fashion sense, as the English writer William Hazlitt cautioned, “Those who make their dress a principal part of themselves, will, in general, become of no more value than their dress”.

Spread the love

165 thoughts on “What clothes say about you

  1. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. However think about if you added some great photos or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this blog could definitely be one of the best in its field. Good blog!

  2. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar
    one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks?
    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any support
    is very much appreciated.

  3. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your blog.
    Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems?
    A few of my blog audience have complained about my website
    not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.
    Do you have any advice to help fix this problem?

  4. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your blog and in depth information you offer.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out
    of date rehashed information. Fantastic read!

    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.
    ps4 games 185413490784 ps4 games

  5. Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar
    one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam responses?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help
    is very much appreciated.

  6. Howdy very nice site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing ..
    I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?
    I am glad to search out numerous helpful info right here within the put up, we need work out extra strategies in this regard,
    thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  7. Hey There. I discovered your blog the usage of msn. That is
    a very neatly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and
    come back to learn more of your useful info. Thanks for the post.
    I will definitely comeback.

  8. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is
    tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the
    following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since
    exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  9. Hi excellent website! Does running a blog such as this take a
    large amount of work? I’ve no knowledge of computer programming
    however I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways,
    should you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please
    share. I know this is off subject nevertheless I simply had to ask.
    Many thanks! asmr 0mniartist

  10. Hi I am so thrilled I found your web site, I really found you by error, while I was researching on Yahoo for something else, Anyways I am here now and
    would just like to say thanks for a incredible post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t
    have time to read through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the superb job.
    0mniartist asmr

  11. I think that is among the such a lot vital info for me. And i’m satisfied reading your article.
    But wanna statement on some general issues, The web
    site taste is ideal, the articles is actually great :
    D. Just right process, cheers

  12. I’m extremely pleased to discover this site. I want to to thank you
    for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely liked every part of it
    and i also have you bookmarked to see new information on your website.

  13. You actually make it seem really easy with your presentation however I
    to find this topic to be actually one thing that I believe I might by
    no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very large
    for me. I’m looking forward on your next post, I’ll attempt to get the
    grasp of it!

  14. I was just searching for this information for a while.
    After six hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your website.
    I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this kind of informative web sites in top
    of the list. Normally the top sites are full of garbage.

    my blog; ztgsd.cn

  15. Hi to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of this blog; this web site includes remarkable and in fact good data in favor of visitors.

    Feel free to surf to my web site – Elmo

  16. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend
    who had been doing a little research on this.
    And he actually bought me dinner because I found it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this issue
    here on your web page.

    Here is my blog post; blog.21mould.net

  17. After I initially left a comment I seem to have
    clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment
    is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment.
    Is there a means you can remove me from that service?

    Appreciate it!

  18. It’s the best time to make some plans for the long run and it is time to be happy.

    I’ve read this post and if I may just I desire to recommend you some attention-grabbing
    issues or tips. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read even more things about it!

    my web blog – kebe.top

  19. I like the valuable information you supply for your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right
    here regularly. I am slightly sure I’ll be informed many new stuff proper here!

    Good luck for the next!

    My web-site … 19wujian.com

  20. My husband and i were very lucky when Albert managed to do his investigation because of the precious recommendations he discovered
    through the blog. It’s not at all simplistic to just find
    yourself giving for free points which usually many people have been trying to sell.
    And we also do understand we have the blog owner to appreciate for that.
    The illustrations you have made, the simple website menu, the friendships your site help to foster
    – it’s everything excellent, and it is facilitating our son and
    us do think this topic is enjoyable, which is certainly especially mandatory.

    Thanks for all!

    Feel free to visit my homepage – atomy123.cn

  21. Good info and right to the point. I am not sure if this is truly the best
    place to ask but do you people have any thoughts
    on where to hire some professional writers? Thanks in advance

    Feel free to visit my blog post Lin

  22. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of
    your website is magnificent, let alone the content!

    Feel free to visit my web page kebe.top

  23. I wanted to visit and allow you to know how much I loved discovering your site
    today. We would consider it a great honor to operate at my office and
    be able to operate on the tips contributed on your site and also participate in visitors’ remarks like this.

    Should a position connected with guest writer become on offer at
    your end, make sure you let me know.

    Here is my webpage :: haojiafu.net

  24. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they
    just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as
    well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects
    , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more.

    my blog post – kebe.top

  25. I am really inspired along with your writing
    talents as neatly as with the format in your blog. Is that this a paid theme or did you modify it your self?
    Either way keep up the nice high quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a nice blog like this one these days..

    My webpage :: http://www.ptfang.com

  26. Heya this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if
    blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code
    with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted
    to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help
    would be greatly appreciated!

    My page atomy123.cn

  27. Its such as you read my mind! You appear to grasp a lot approximately
    this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something.

    I think that you could do with a few percent to pressure
    the message house a little bit, but other than that, that is great blog.
    An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

    my homepage; 19wujian.com

  28. scoliosis
    Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us
    so I came to take a look. I’m definitely loving the
    information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Wonderful blog and amazing design. scoliosis

  29. I just couldn’t depart your website prior to suggesting that I really loved the
    standard information a person supply in your visitors? Is going to be back
    ceaselessly in order to check out new posts

    my web-site Dolores

  30. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter
    stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be
    delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly
    again since exactly the same nearly a lot
    often inside case you shield this increase.

    Feel free to visit my website; mpc-install.com

  31. Thank you for your blog post. Velupe and I happen to be saving to get a new guide on this subject and your
    short article has made people like us to save our money.
    Your ideas really answered all our inquiries. In fact, a lot more than what
    we had recognized before we ran into your great blog.
    My partner and i no longer nurture doubts and also a troubled
    mind because you have clearly attended to our needs in this
    post. Thanks

    Here is my web page … http://frun-test.sakura.ne.jp

  32. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the
    video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting
    videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

    Here is my web-site – returngain.com

  33. We wish to thank you yet again for the stunning ideas you gave Jesse when preparing a
    post-graduate research as well as, most importantly,
    for providing all of the ideas in a blog post. Provided that we had been aware of your
    web-site a year ago, we would have been saved the useless
    measures we were implementing. Thank you very much.

    my web blog

  34. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as
    I provide credit and sources back to your webpage?

    My website is in the very same niche as yours and my users would really benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks a lot!

    Have a look at my blog: Leslie

  35. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a
    doubt donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed
    to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this site
    with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

    Here is my blog post: Nathan

  36. Good ? I should certainly pronounce, impressed with
    your website. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly
    simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least.
    Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web
    site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate.

    Excellent task.

    Also visit my website http://clubriders.men/viewtopic.php?id=359212

  37. Simply desire to say your article is as amazing.

    The clarity on your submit is just great and that i
    could assume you are knowledgeable in this subject.
    Well along with your permission allow me to take hold
    of your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thank you a million and please continue the rewarding work.

    Also visit my blog; https://www.memorytoday.com/modules.php?name=Your_Account&op=userinfo&username=MichaelsVincent

  38. I simply wanted to write a simple word to be able to say
    thanks to you for all the fabulous solutions you are giving out here.
    My extensive internet investigation has finally been rewarded with reputable points to go over
    with my partners. I would state that that we site visitors are rather endowed to exist in a magnificent site with so many marvellous professionals with very beneficial solutions.
    I feel extremely lucky to have come across the website page and look forward to really more thrilling times reading here.
    Thanks a lot once more for everything.

    Here is my web site: http://www.qijiang520.com

  39. Thanks, I have recently been looking for info about this topic for a
    while and yours is the best I have discovered till now.
    However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the source?

    Look into my site :: kebe.top

  40. I used to be recommended this website via my cousin. I am no
    longer positive whether this post is written via him
    as nobody else understand such certain about my trouble.
    You are amazing! Thank you!

    My webpage: Everette

  41. I was just looking for this info for some time. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing,
    finally I got it in your web site. I wonder what’s the
    lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this type of informative websites in top of the list.

    Generally the top sites are full of garbage.

    Here is my blog post: https://lovegamematch.com/blog/869393/4-extremely-efficient-for-you-to-boost-your-semen-volume-quickly/

  42. Excellent website you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get comments
    from other experienced people that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.

    Also visit my website – http://www.hydrology.ipt.pw/out/public-profile-carmelshipm-quickregisterhosting-com-free-classifieds-ads

  43. Right here is the right website for everyone who
    wants to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost hard
    to argue with you (not that I actually would want to?HaHa).

    You definitely put a new spin on a subject which has been discussed for ages.
    Excellent stuff, just excellent!

    Feel free to surf to my website: https://kebe.top

  44. I wanted to thank you once more for this amazing blog you have produced here.

    It can be full of ideas for those who are really interested in this
    specific subject, in particular this very post. You really are all so sweet along
    with thoughtful of others and also reading your website posts is a good
    delight in my opinion. And thats a generous reward!
    Tom and I will have enjoyment making use of your suggestions in what we have to do in the near future.

    Our collection of ideas is a distance long so your tips is going to be put
    to great use.

    Look into my blog post: clubriders.men

  45. I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your content.
    This great article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to book mark your blog and
    keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed
    to your Feed too.

    Feel free to surf to my web blog mhes.tyc.edu.tw

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Résoudre : *
12 + 17 =