Fashion holds layers of self-expression. There are many facets of fashion that reveal much about a person’s personality. It serves as an outlet where one can express themselves in the comfort of something tangible and in the absence of words. Fashion is a love language to oneself and a way to connect with others. It goes deeper than coordinating clothing with the weather. It can impact our moods, emotions, and the way we interact with ourselves.
The Science of Fashion
In Forbes, Dr. Baumgartner in “You Are What You Wear” talks about how the way we dress could reveal aspects of our mental state. He further explains that our outfit choices impact the way we see others, and the way we see ourselves. The scientific term for this is “enclothed cognition”, meaning that the clothes we wear directly impact our thought patterns.
Cognitive science reveals that dressing the way we want to feel will impact how we then feel about ourselves. For example, consistently wearing neutrals could reveal that you are hesitant to draw attention to yourself or stuck in your comfort zone. Wearing work clothes most of the time could show how much you value work accomplishments.
Are We What We Wear?
When choosing specific items of clothing, we are choosing what to represent ourselves as. We create something new for ourselves when we assemble an outfit we feel comfortable in. It is an abstract extension of the self. This is because it applies to the way that we think when we purchase clothing. The American Psychological Association interviewed Carolyn Mair, who created a psychology of fashion department at a university in London. Here, she describes clothes as a “second skin.” Mair notes that buying clothing is stressful when people do not feel comfortable in what clothing they choose to buy, leading to them worrying about the purpose of clothing as a whole.
So, next time you put on an outfit, think about how you want to feel when you wear it. Always make sure to select items that match the feeling you want to feel when you head out the door. Fashion is much more than just a hobby or interest, it is another way we can share a piece of ourselves with those around us, and even a way to get to know ourselves better.
Feature Image From Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash