What does what we wear say about us?
Do the clothes we choose reflect ourselves as a person? It seems that the clothes that we choose tend to make a statement to us and our personal sense of what we like, how it fits us individually, and of course the revolving door of trends that go in and out every decade; as well as the impression we want to make on the outside world. Clothing can also represent a sense of legality, authority, and prestige in certain uniform design choices.
Is our sense of style tied to something stronger than our cognitive decision to choose clothing patterns? According to an article published by the New York Times, that we think with our bodies as well as our brains.
In a series of studies conducted by Dr. Adam D. Galinsky, a professor at Northwestern University, he tested how clothing impacted individuals on their cognitive and psychological processes. In an experiment with 58 undergraduates, students were randomly assigned a white lab coat or normal street clothes; the students were then asked to spot the inconsistencies in a selective attention test. The results: those who wore the lab coat made significantly less errors than those wearing street clothes.
“I love the idea of trying to figure out why when we put on certain clothes, we might more readily take on a role and how that might affect our basic abilities,” said Joshua I. Davis, an assistant professor of psychology at Barnard College.
Or is it more simple than that? Is the clothing that we choose merely a result of personal taste and what we like. For many of us, comfortability is key. If I could, I would live in sweatshirts, leggings, and converse or boots. However, this isn’t always socially acceptable.
Society has taught us what does and does not look appropriate in certain situations; for example, weddings, funerals, the work place; but even some places of work are starting to accept jeans as a viable clothing option at certain places of employment
This begs the question: what else is society telling us about what to wear?
Confidence also plays a key role in what we choose to wear. It influences how we carry ourselves and how we interact with others. Sizes small through large and “regular” sized pants is a major limitation in our society.
Sizing in certain clothing stores like Abercrombie and Fitch, who just recently starting carry above a size 10 in women’s clothing, have started carrying larger sizing for the main purpose of selling product.
There are many components that factor into how we choose to dress ourselves everyday. Personal taste, self confidence, and how we believe others view us all play roles in the decision making process. Yet, it is important to note that “others” exceeds outside of the people you pass by in everyday life. Society largely impacts how we view ourselves in respect to clothing.