(How) Does Clothing Affect Our Sense of Self?

When used positively, clothing contributes to feelings of self- acceptance and self-esteem.

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There’s no question that getting around in nice clothes has a positive effect on us. When we’re looking good, we tend to be comfortable in our own skin and tend to think positively about ourselves.

The power of positive thinking in defining the way we perceive the world around us should not be underestimated.

Some research has shown that clothing is closely linked to things like confidence, self-esteem and our overall sense of self. There are different factors that can play important parts into our happiness, but let’s take a close look at the effect clothing can have.

What Clothing Says About Us

Whether consciously or subconsciously, we consider other people’s clothing when making assessments of them or measuring them up. They are used as signals in regards to status, wealth and social class. We naturally make assumptions about people according to their appearance, and this helps us define our own social status and where we fit in.

We tend to make choices about clothing according to our position and situation, which communicates things to the people around us.

When used positively, clothing contributes to feelings of self- acceptance and self-esteem. Clothing choices of individuals can be a reflection of how they feel about themselves, or how they want others to feel about them – Karla Keogan (The Relationship Between Clothing Preference, Self-Concepts and Self Esteem)

Clothing and Confidence

Obviously, the key to confidence is more than one specific thing and likely depends on a number of different factors. However, research has shown that there is a link between what we’re wearing and self-esteem. That research has stated that a number of different aspects of our appearance can provide us with a sense of confidence.

For example, women with newly shaved legs, a new haircut, and a tan can encourage feelings of self-assuredness and confidence.

Clothing that we know we look good in it will have the same effect. We know that what we wear can influence other people’s perspective of us, and new clothing can make us happy in our own skin and assured that we are presenting ourselves in a flattering way. It helps to create positive mental processes in our brains that lift our perception of ourselves not just in terms of appearance, but other aspects of our personalities too.

Interestingly, many different aspects of our personality come out in the clothes we choose to wear.

Many psychologists have explored the idea that clothing is a connection between our internal selves (our self-view) and our outer selves (how we choose to portray ourselves to others). Beautiful clothing can build confidence by assuring us that we are conveying ourselves in a positive way to others, and this directly leads to a positive feeling about our internal selves.

What Does This All Mean?

Confidence and self-worth are hugely important, and it pays to work on them by adopting the right attitude and approach. Anyway, we can help to strengthen our general mental well-being should be encouraged.

This being the case, new clothing doesn’t need to be seen as something that we spoil ourselves with our use only for practical purposes. Buying clothing that you are comfortable in and feel great wearing can help us feel better about ourselves and enjoy life more.

So, it’s worthwhile taking the time to choose clothes that complement you as much as possible.

We cannot walk away from the simple fact that our clothes affect our overall attitude. The clothes we prefer to wear also reflect on our self -image showcasing our sense of fashion and style. Whether it’s cute running shoes, a nice new jacket, or plus size dresses, the things we wear play an important part in helping us define ourselves. If you don’t know it, then find out how you can.

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