Fashion Essay

1694 words - 7 pages

Discuss the Psychology of Fashion with a special focus on its Dynamics.

Ever wondered why it is so important for the most of us to have a closet full of clothes? Or why when you meet someone, your mind develops a perceived personality of the person based on how he looks and then our behavior towards them changes accordingly? A study conducted by Karen Pine in 2011 revealed that minor clothing manipulations gave rise to significantly different first impressions of the man. The study by Christman & Branson (1990) further supported this theory as they studied the perceptions formed by recruiters during job interviews. These revelations further trigger a number of questions in mind such ...view middle of the document...

These meanings are tied to the aspects of dress, place and time, and are constantly undergoing change.
As Nancy Rudd and Sharron Lennon (2000) have discovered, it is pretty clear from our surroundings that the dress one wears affects his ideas about himself. How we see ourselves influences our attitudes, our beliefs, and our values. Believing that one’s appearance is undesirable to others may lead people to drastic limits to change their appearance including engaging in risky body modification behaviors to achieve the desired size and shape (Jaeha Lee & Kim Johnson, 2009). Such beliefs lead to the development of inferiority complexes and people may start to doubt themselves causing a declination in the level of their confidence and self worth. In her research, Sally Francis (1992) uncovered that believing that one does not own appropriate items for dress or that one does not look pleasing to the eyes in terms of physical appearance can prevent individuals from participating in events and interacting with others.
How we appear to others may also affect how they respond to us. We tend to consider what a formally dressed person is saying to us more seriously than what a casually dressed person is saying regardless of the manner of their speech. A research was conducted in 1996 by Joan Gorham, Stanley Cohen, Tracy Morris & Huffman in which they studied the impact of the instructor’s attire on the student’s perceptions of the teacher’s competence. The students were given lectures by three instructors; one in a formal attire, another in semi formal, and the third was casually dressed. Similar study was conducted by Samuel Menahem and Pesach Shvartzman in 1998 in which they tried to evaluate patients response to doctors on the basis of the doctors clothing style. Patients prefer a more formal dressing for male and female physicians in family medicine clinics. People with multiple tattoos and piercings, may have them as a defense mechanism to ward people off as such body alterations do tend scare others away.
According to Frith and Gleeson (2004) people wear clothes according to the image they want to construct in their working environment. It is logical that one would avoid wearing the clothes one wears at home to work as mentioned previously. Self efficacy is a concept of Albert Bandura (1995) which makes a difference in how people feel, think and act. A low sense of self-efficacy is associated with depression, anxiety, and helplessness, whereas individuals with high self efficacy choose to perform more challenging tasks, invest more effort and persistence, and, when faced with unsuccessful attempts, recover more quickly. Hence according to Joy Peluchette, Katherine Karl and Kathleen Rust (2006), for some individuals ( those who have high clothing interest and those who see the value clothing), dressing appropriately for work may result not only in feeling more competent, but also being able to perform more effectively on a variety of...

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