Clothes and Apparel

apparel and clothesWhen you are trying to make a good impression on someone, you can be as courteous and cordial as any person can be, yet if you have put no effort into your wardrobe choices, you are very likely to make a bad impression. This is because people are very accustomed to examining a person’s wardrobe and physical appearance in order to understand them. This is not due to vanity or shallow values. We humans have evolved to evaluate one another based on our apparel. In ancient times, apparel would indicate what tribe or group a person would belong to, as well as their social status. This would inform others how to interact with them. These customs still inform the way we regard one another. Making a good presentation of one’s clothes earns respect while making a poor presentation of one’s clothes earns rejection. In order to earn the full extent of a person’s respect, do not neglect the appearance of your clothes. Put thought into choosing them and caring for them.

In order to ensure that your clothes are presentable, you need to put time, money and energy into them. Putting time into your clothes means thinking about what is appropriate for the occasion your are dressing for, planning ahead by coordinating your outfit and preparing all of its components. Everyone’s budget is different, which is why there are clothing options for every price range. Careful budgeting is essential to managing a full and complete wardrobe, and making sure you always have the wardrobe components you need. Energy goes into maintaining a personal wardrobe because going out to shop and try clothes on takes a great deal of energy. When an occasion is coming up that your are taking care to dress appropriately for, it is important to try the entire outfit on at least once, which can also consume your energy. Dressing well is a commitment, but considering the kind of respect it earns you, it is a worthwhile commitment.

Physical Appearance

clothing choicesOur physical appearance is the first thing people use in order to understand what we are all about. We all share this trait, as a person’s appearance tells us necessary information about them. For example, if a man dawning gang symbols on his clothes told you to get out of his way, you would probably be more inclined to get out of his way quickly than you would be if he was a man wearing a Hawaiian T-shirt. The way a person presents themselves is important to how people approach them. We recognize the difference between the qualities of a person’s appearance that they can control and the ones they cannot control, also.

In every culture across the globe, there is value placed on a person’s appearance. People form romantic attachments to other people in part because of their physical appearance, and the value on appearance extends to other relationships and interactions within that culture from there. In cultures that are stricken with poverty, the value placed on physical appearance is lower, as most people within the culture do not have access to any beauty services. But in every society that dawns wealth across the globe, maintenance of personal physical appearance is expected from everyone, and reprimanded when neglected.

As physical appearance relates to clothing, society values a person who has awareness and wealth invested into their wardrobe. In North American culture, we certainly have expectations of people to dress for whatever occasion they are entering, whether it is a social occasion, a job interview, a bar mitzvah or a wedding. We expect the individual to be savvy enough to understand what dress code is called for to suit each occasion. We expect that the individual will coordinate their outfit, see that it is clean and pressed, and we expect them to have tried it on previously.

Projecting Your Image

image projectionThe clothes we wear do not make us who we are, but they do say a lot about us. People are endlessly trying to understand one another, and one primary way of learning about one another is by interpreting each other’s appearances. The outfits we choose indicate to those around us what we value, how we live and how we may behave toward them. This is why it is important to be conscious of what the clothes we are wearing say to those around us. What we wear can have an impact on our reputations, our relationships and our personal success. In order to achieve most goals in life, appropriate clothing is an impassable barrier to those who do not pay attention to how they dress.

In order to project a desirable image with your clothing, you must consider what kind of image you want to project. Are you interviewing for an office job where business casual is the most appropriate attire? Are you attending a black tie event that calls for ball gowns and tuxedos? Or are you leading people on a hike, in which case cargo pants and hiking boots are most appropriate? Every individual occasion calls for a different outfit, and being judicial about what kind of outfit each occasion calls for will do you well in life. Think about what others will be wearing, what clothes you own, what clothes you need to buy and what you want others to think of your appearance at this event.

Next comes assembling and trying on the outfit. Choosing items that are a good fit for your size is essential. Mixing and matching color schemes is important to experiment with as well. Having a sense for which trends are popular will certainly matter to the success of your outfit. And do not forget to accessorize! Never under any circumstance forego trying the entire outfit on before wearing it.

Your Wardrobe and Your Mental Health

mental health and wardrobeHave you ever noticed that there is a big difference between the appearance of someone who is mentally stable and someone who is not? It is not uncommon for someone who is mentally unhealthy to have an ill-maintained appearance, and their clothing usually plays a large part in it. There have been studies done on what your apparel says about you, and one thing that your clothing speaks to is your mental health. There are certain commonalities between the wardrobe decisions of those who are mentally unwell.

Clothes that are unnecessarily baggy or that hide a person’s body can be a sign of low self esteem or body image issues. When someone is ashamed of their body, they try to make it as invisible as possible inside their clothes.

If there is no attention paid to the detail of a person’s wardrobe, as in clothes are the wrong size, mismatching or disheveled, this tends to mean that the person wearing them is generally out of control of their life, which could be for a number of reasons, including but not limited to ADD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or addiction.

When a person has no color in their wardrobe and chooses only plain, dark colors, it can be an indication of depression. Someone suffering from depression resembles someone grieving or mourning, and often consists of colors like black, gray and blue.

This is not to say that a tidy appearance is always a sign of mental health. If someone’s outfit is a little too impeccably coordinated, in color, pattern or otherwise, it can be a sign of OCD. This can also be true of someone whose clothing is never dirty or wrinkled, but always immaculate and pressed, which is a potential sign of germophobia.