low angle view of shoes

Fashion Psychology, How What You Wear May Help You

The clothes you wear do not have the only primary function of protecting you from low or high temperatures. They don’t have either the only function to make you more attractive or trendy. Clothes are also one of the most immediate forms of non-verbal communication.

There are several scientific studies that demonstrate the relationship between what you wear and your brain.

This means that the way you choose your outfit on a given moment can influence your thoughts, your behaviors, your work performance. In addition, your way of dressing can predict how others will perceive you and consequently will approach you.

Clothes and life

Many of us choose their clothes according to a particular event. If you have planned a job interview with a company for instance, your choice could fall into classic and not flashing colors trousers/skirts and a discreet shirt. This style will show that you are elegant and others’ perception will be that you may be a good person, someone one can trust.

The same applies to accessories or details in general. A study by fashion psycologist Karen Pine has shown how wearing a particular item of clothing can transfer its peculiar characteristics to you, stimulating the brain to behave in a manner consistent with the chosen outfit.

The study investigated a group of college students wearing a Superman T-shirt and then performing mental tests. Apparently, that “simple” shirt transferred in those who wore it confidence, courage, strength and sense of purpose. People with that t-shirt were shown to have a higher score in the tests performed, compared to another group of subjects without that Superman shirt.

Discovering Fashion Psychology

Fashion Psychology is based on the key concept that everything you wear can influence your choices and the goals you set for yourself. What Fashion Psychology aims to do is strengthen the concept of identity and self-esteem by defining the real self, the ideal self and the imperative self. In a nutshell: who you are, who you would like to be and the way you would like to appear to please others (One question: do we really need to please others or would it be enough to please ourselves?)

What to do

The first step will be to open your wardrobe, setting aside all those dresses that create anxiety, maybe because of the color or the style. Then you can eliminate all those clothes that you don’t put on anymore because they are too tight or because you purchased them without conviction. Keep in the wardrobe only the clothes that reflect your current state of mind and also the ones you are likely to wear.

The second step will be to write on a blank sheet of paper (also on a file would work, but real paper is better) the person you would like to be. A loving mother? A sunny and energetic person? An smart employer or employee? Choose as many as you feel like.

The last step will be to divide your wardrobe into several sectors that will correspond to the description you made of yourself. Let’s try to buy new (better second hand) garments that will reflect your personality and choose the most appropriate colors and models.

This process could help you not only to define your personality but above all it will influence your mood and the way you face your day.

To begin with, you just have to open your wardrobe and consciously choose what to wear, based on your emotions but above all based on the person you are and the person you would like to be that day.

Are you ready to take these steps and try to re-invent yourself with or without pleasing others?

For more on this topic have a look at my blog.

30 thoughts on “Fashion Psychology, How What You Wear May Help You

  1. Let’s try to buy new (better second hand) garments that will reflect your personality and choose the most appropriate colors and models. – I agree, let’s go second hand, not a hundred percent of course but mostly…

  2. I have been buying the most FABULOUS clothes second hand! I have a bunch of designer labels, things that I love and bring me joy. People have long thought that I spend a LOT of money on clothes, and are shocked when I tell them my secrets! The fun things about thrifting are choosing what we love, and not just what we’re fed! It’s more challenging to go through the racks, but the payoff for a good hunt is great! …and when they are on sale? Even better!

  3. This is fascinating to me, someone who has never really dressed with intention for myself. Of course i’ve “dressed-up” but only for external events, never for myself. 🤔

      1. I hadn’t thought so much about colours for mood and the ‘role’ I’m playing. You’ve certainly given me something to think about 😆

  4. This article is so true, I get inspiration alot when I look presentable, reason I spend alot on my wardrobe. Because I like when people treat me with admiration and respect when I go for meetings or conferences. This is true

  5. Let’s mix and match clothing with our friends! We tend to love what others wear and retrieve inspiration from other sources, so what’s better than actually swapping with your inspiration! Being confident is all about feeling confident! Being happy is all about feeling happy! So let’s change up our style to suit the way we feel that day so we can be our best selves!

  6. Love this post! It’s amazing how much our clothing choices can influence our thoughts and behaviors. I never knew about Fashion Psychology before, but it’s definitely something I’m interested in exploring now. Thanks for sharing!

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