The Psychology of Fashion & Dress Style

Personal style and dress sense are an important means of communication. We use the way we dress for a number of reasons mainly;
– to form and maintain our individual identity
– to reflect our body image and
– to convey a good first impression

In a research conducted by Professor J. Pine, it was revealed that people are greatly judged, as first impressions go, through their overall head-to-toe appearance. In fact it was concluded that even minor adjustments, such as dress cut and accessories, may have a major impact on others’ first impressions about an individual. Our usual everyday dress style has a great influence on our appearance and is usually associated with our individual personality. Not only so, but further research has actually proved that a person’s way of dress has a considerable effect on an his mood as well as behaviour.

Research on primary school children has shown that the style of dress is as influential in young children as it is in adults.In fact, a teacher’s first judgement of their pupils’ intelligence was proved to be influenced by the children’s style of dress. A study done by Paek in 1986 on adult participants proved that while conservative and casual clothing styles are more likely to portray a more reliable and self controlled personality, dressier styles are more likely to convey an unfriendly personality, and create a sense of unease in others.

Another article written by the Professor J. Pine, reveals that what an individual chooses to wear is heavily dependent on the present emotional state. The findings imply that the clothes are not only important to convey first impressions to third parties, but also have the ability to alter an individual’s mood.

Most individuals have their so called ‘Happy Clothes’: these are the individual’s favourite items of clothing, and the ones that are most likely to be chosen when one is in a good mood. There is also a great probability that the chosen item of clothing is well-cut, made of a bright, beautiful fabric, and is more likely to be paired with other accessories. In this regard it is also worth mentioning that the right shoes and accessories may also help in conveying a happy mood.

Multiple studies along the years, have in fact shown that one’s clothing may even change self perception, which will in turn influence occupational attributes such as;

– responsibility
– competence
– professionalism
– reliability
– trustworthiness
– willingness and
– efficiency

An interesting fact is that past research has also proven that having an individualistic style, will help in perceiving the person as an individualist, likeable, and therefore more likely to be remembered.

However the most important aspect remains that of choosing the right clothing according to the environment. This will aid in conveying the right message across. Being comfortable in what one wears and balancing comfort and dress is also extremely important for the individual to feel at ease, reaching the desired attributes while making the right impression.

One thought on “The Psychology of Fashion & Dress Style

  • Reply eliotberg 19th March 2013 at 6:01 pm

    awesome post! i have never read before, the different clothing puts a different image on our personality. i am agreed with your post and the search on the individualistic style is out of my mind.

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