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Reasons for Wearing Clothes

Discuss about the Clothes Primary Things to Human Being.

Clothes are considered as one of the primary things to a human being. This is beside food and shelter. From time immemorial, clothes have been part of human life. During stone, human being used to wear animal skin as their clothes.  Despite the fact that our mode of clothing has changed with time, it is evident that human being has been using clothes for same reasons. Some of the common reasons why we have to wear clothes are to protect ourselves from sun burns while in hot climates, keep our bodies warm, protect ourselves form harmful insects and objects that can cause damage to our skin (Sohn 11). Lately, clothes have been used as a mode of identifying a person and what they do as individual’s taste of clothes is said to reflect the image of an individual (Solomon 16).

People wear clothes for three main reasons; for decoration, protection and modesty (Brescia 17). Brescia (18) argued that the basic uses of clothes vary according to societies and culture. In an example, Brescia (18) showed that girls in 1960’s would wear mini-skirts and coats. Residents of Tierra del Fuego usually wear little and sometimes stay without clothes in freezing climates proving that wearing clothes is not essential even in chilly climates (Heti, Julavits and Shapton 9). Modesty as the reason of people wearing clothes can be dependent on the culture. To Christians and Muslim, wearing clothes is a sign of respect to the religion. According to teachings of Christians, clothes help to cover the body and thus prevents people from sinning and feeling shameful (Brandt 87).

According to Brescia (94), wearing of clothes do more than protecting the body. In his theory of “fashion consumption,” Brescia (94) showed that clothes could be used to show social worth or status of an individual in the society. In his argument, He argued that clothes serve to communicate who we are and what we do clearer than we could explain (Brescia 103). The image that we portray through our mode of dressing tends to communicate our membership in the certain cultural group both to the fellow member and non-members. Clothes create part of our communication in our social interactions.

According to Solomon (29) the type of clothes a person wears merges with their emotional needs (Solomon 29). The clothes tend to express ones inner personality and thus expose their image to others. He says that clothing tends to incorporate things such as uniforms, styles, brands, and retailer outlets and greatly contribute in defining an individual to others. People have been known to form a perception of others depending on their mode of dressing. Studies have proved that patients have an attitude towards attires worn by medical professions while people attending an interview develop an attitude towards recruiters due to their attire. Research by Kaiser (82) proved that the way a student is dressed have a big effect on the perception of the teacher on the student. Teachers tend to think students who are decent are bright and well behaved while the indecent student are rude and not have no chance of doing well in academics (Kaiser 82).

Clothes and Social Status

People’s taste and fashion of clothes do not only affects how other people perceive them, but it also affects how they perceive themselves (Manlow 72). Clothes tend to have a cognitive effect on the person wearing them. Kaiser (83) came up with the term “enclothed cognition” to express the relation that existed between the ways people perceived themselves about their clothes. He argued that people who wear lab coats while working in the labs tend to make fewer mistakes than people who work while wearing ordinally clothes. People who wore lab coats thought of themselves as being more qualified, and more of doctors than those who did not have coats. In most cases, coats are believed to hold some symbolic meaning that influences how people think about themselves and how others think about them.

The kind of clothes that people wear in their workplace has an impact on the employees’ self-image and self-perception. The manner in which employees describe themselves is influenced by their clothing (Head and Hyams 174). Head and Hyams (174) says that employees who wear casual attire tend to be friendly, on the other hand, employees who wear formal business clothes tend to be competent, trustworthy and authoritative. According to Kaiser the manner in which an individual dress at the working place tends to have a direct impact on their performance and behaviour (Kaiser 84).

The manner in which a person chooses her clothes has for long been related to an individual’s personality (Solomon 37). An individual fashion is said to give a general idea of what the person is thinking and express his or her personality. A particular manner of dressing helps in showing the innermost feelings, thoughts and kindness. Our way of dressing helps in communicating our characteristics, behaviours and appearances to others. In most cases, the choice of colours to be worn is associated with the moods of the person. According to Solomon (40), people who are not happy and in a particular situation, tend to dress in green, red or yellow clothes while people having sad moments and who are stressed tend to go for dark colours while selecting their clothes (Solomon 40).

People who have low esteem are known to make themselves unattractive. For this reason, they have to boost their image by wearing clothes that will attract people’s attention towards them. People will always judge someone with the kind of clothes they wear. According to Solomon (34), too many people, the kind of clothes one is wearing reflect the internal image of a person. Clothes are said to tell the background of an individual. They say to the inside of a person from the heart (Solomon 34).

Clothing and Self-Perception

According to Kaiser, the personality of an individual can be determined by their outward appearance (Kaiser 126). Kaiser believed that the way a person looks on outside is a direct representation of their inward image. He argued that people tend to speculate on a person depending on what they are wearing without taking time to learn about them (Kaiser 126). The image of an individual that is displayed by their clothes are worn has the same ability to communicate just like emotions communicate. According to Solomon (56), if one takes time to read the clothes of an individual in the first instance, they meet. The clothes can be used to uncover a lot of the personality such as personal memories, habits, values, personal traits and inner thoughts (Lewis, Bowers and Kettunen 62).

Clothes can show a vivid Image of a person as people wear what they love and what makes them appreciate themselves and feel good about themselves (Lewis, Bowers and Kettunen 63). According to Lewis et al., it is hard for people to keep up with a trend that comes out every day (Lewis, Bowers and Kettunen 63).  Each social group and person tend to wear according to their culture. The manner of dressing thus represents the image of that group and the way of life. For example, people who love and play sports loves to be more casual in their dressing. One of the world famous associates in his book said that “her inner person is reflected in odd ways. She said that she is fond of wearing what she feels like whether people think it matches or not. This is because she felt that she wears what communicate her personality and thus giving a true image of who she is.

During old days, clothes were a necessity. Clothes were only needed as they provided protection, modesty and acted as a means of social attraction. People used to own clothes as a necessity and not as a way of showing who they are. This day, people wear clothes to define who they are and their status in the society. As development and advancement in technology came along, the reasons as to why people wear clothes changed to meet psychological and physical need of people. The standard of wearing does vary from one place to another depending on location, situation and time. The mode of dressing that is acceptable in one place is completely unacceptable in another place. The society is completely carried away by the image of an individual based on the manner they are dressing. The society takes that the way a person is dressed as a representation of their way of life.

Clothing and Personality Expression

Our way of dressing is also determined by our age (Kaiser 75). It is thus simple to decide on the age of an individual by merely looking at their manner of dressing assuming that the clothes of an individual do not vary with side due to increase in size. He argues that children clothes in most cases tend to be durable, easy to wash, colourful and cheap while adolescents have a habit of wearing clothes that look alike to those of their friends. It could thus be simple to identify the age of a group of young people walking together as adolescents even without asking depending on their manner of dressing.

Despite the fact that many people wear their clothes out of habit, a lot of research that have been conducted have proved that there is more than anyone can imagine in clothing. A study by Kaiser (83) showed ways in which clothing influenced people’s impressions. The kind of clothes that a person wears makes a huge difference on how people think about the person. People tend to make an assessment about a person on the first few seconds of their meeting (Kaiser 91). This assessment depends on how neat, tidy and well-dressed a person looks. The research that was carried with more than 300 adults involved looking at the image of a woman or a man for only 3 seconds and based on how the person was dressed make a judgement about them. Despite the fact that the person who was featured in the pictures was the same wearing differently, people gave varied judgements depending on the clothes the person was wearing. The research that showed that people always make judgements about people depending on the manner in which they have worn, despite the fact that these judgements are not always true, research have shown that these judgements about people depending on their attire starts when one is young. This was evident in classrooms where teachers were found to make a judgement about child conduct and performance ability based on how the student was wearing (Kaiser 82).

In conclusion, despite the fact that many people develop some taste of dressing depending on fashion or with an aim to copy others, researchers have proved that people will always tend to judge people on the first few minutes of meeting depending on their clothes.  Clothing says a lot about us, our age, our personality, our status in society and the way we follow fashion trends. Dressing sense of a person makes people have a reflection of the individual’s mood, style and character (Bullard and Kurilla 271). It is thus essential for people to dress according to consideration to the occasion. It is the responsibility of every person to ensure that they look good to express an impressive positive personality to others as clothes tend to reflect who the person is, how they feel and sometimes their goals in life.

Bolich, Gregory G. Crossdressing in context : dress, gender, transgender. Raleigh, N.C,: Psyche's Press,, 2006. Print.

Brandt, Gareth. Spirituality with clothes on : examining what makes us who we are. 3. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers,, 2015. Print.

Brescia, George. Change your clothes, change your life : because you can't go naked. New York: Gallery Books,, 2014. Print.

Bullard, Lisa and Rene?e Kurilla. My Clothes, Your Clothes by Lisa Bullard. Minneapolis: Lerner Digital,, 2017. Print.

Cunningham, Patricia A and Susan Voso Lab. Dress and popular culture. 3. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press,, 1991. Print.

Head, Edith and Joe Hyams. How to dress for success. New York: Abrams,, 2011. Print.

Henke-Konopasek, Nancy and Carolee S Samuels. Clothes and your appearance. Teacher. 2. Tinley Park, Ill.: Goodheart-Willcox Co,, 2004. Print.

Henke-Konopasek, Nancy. Clothes and your appearance. Tinley Park, Ill.: Goodheart-Willcox Co., 1996. Print.

—. Clothes and your appearance. Tinley Park, Ill.: Goodheart-Willcox Co., 2002. Print.

Heti, Sheila, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton. Women in clothes. London: Particular, 2014. Print.

Kaiser, Susan B. The social psychology of clothing : symbolic appearances in context. New York ,: Fairchild Publ, 1998. Print.

Lewis, Dora S, Mabel G Bowers and Marietta Kettunen. Clothes and Your Personality. New York: Macmillan,, 1974. Print.

Liddell, Louise A, Carolee S Samuels and Goodheart-Willcox Company. Clothes & your appearance by Louise A Liddell. Tinley Park, Ill.: Goodheart-Willcox,, 2008. Print.

Manlow, Veronica. Designing clothes : culture and organization. 2. New Brunswick [N.J.]: Transaction, 2009. Print.

Sohn, Marjorie. The Importance of clothing. by Marjorie Sohn. Urbana, Ill.: Cooperative Extension Service, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981. Print.

Solomon, Michael R. The Psychology of fashion. 1. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1985. Print.

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