Friday, 31 August 2012

Friday Focus: What do your clothes say about you?

Good day fashionistas!

This week's Friday Focus will shine a light on clothing and identity: a foundational strand of fashion that is often overlooked!

I know, I know, this might sound boring but Who's that girl? believes that our clothes need to reflect our self and who we are in order to wear clothes well and look confident! 

Our clothes say a lot about us so it is important that they reflect who we are on the inside.  Let me take this completely exaggerated* example to elaborate: the 'I heart NY' phenomenon that swept this nation a couple of years ago.

*I must admit it is not often that our inner thoughts appear as actual text on our clothing, but still, our clothing is considered to tell a story about ourself and some researchers argue that identities are constructed as a 'text' on our bodies through our clothing.

I believe the following sitch sums up my point:

Question: Do you really love NY? 
Majority answer: Never been 
Question: Are you wearing this tshirt because everyone else is wearing this tshirt? 
Majority answer: Yes

When you pick an outfit in the morning, do you stop to think about how you are using these particular items of clothing to construct a particular image or to tell a desired story? Clothing is considered to be an outward text of the inner self, a sort of impression management, but Who's that girl? thinks that in order to feel comfortable in your clothes there needs to be a good degree of fit between one's understanding of their self and one's expression of that self.  A disjuncture between the two can create discomfort which is quite clearly evident in the way that you wear the clothes or how they make you feel.   

I was quite alarmed to read that market research suggests that women see shopping as an opportunity to try on new identities.  My argument would be that surely first an identity is established within the person rather than the clothes they wear.  Well this is a debatable topic - some writers believe that identities change depending on what social space an individual is in. What do you think? For example, do you feel your work clothes reflect a professional identity as opposed to a personal identity or are you able to integrate the two through your work clothing and consider yourself to have an holistic identity? 

Here are some  points to reflect on:
  • Describe yourself in three words.
  • Describe your style in three words.
  • Are these synonymous?
  • What do you intend to portray about yourself through your clothes?
  • What are you trying to hide?
  • What are you trying to showcase?
  • What do you think people's perceptions of your clothing and your self are?
  • How much do people's perceptions matter and what do they mean to you?
  • What do you read through others' clothing?
  • How do you use clothing to navigate different social interactions?
  • Do you feel a pressure to conform? 

Hopefully the answers to these questions will prompt you to consider your current style and guide you to dress in a way that you feel comfortable with!

Lots of meaningful love,


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