How we dress shows our personality

Posted by | November 27, 2018 | Personality, Social psychology | No Comments

When it comes to clothing choices, are you showing your personality? Do you look old or bold? Chic or geek?

Long ago when I went to enroll in my first university courses, several guys streaked through the auditorium naked, except for ski masks. That was a shocker. I bet those guys still laugh when they think about the experience.

More recently while I was on a cruise to Fiji, I saw for sale on the ship a naval captain’s hat. I knew I had to buy that, no matter what the cost, because I am the psychology student liaison officer at my university. With that hat, I now have a rank: captain of the ship. I wear the hat to staff meetings and to meetings with students.

When I teach my course, Behavior Modification, I usually wear dressy casual clothes. But once a term I wear a suit, and once I wear a black robe. I tell the students that all academics used to teach in robes and that students would give them delicious food items that the academics would put up their billowing sleeves. The students do not take the hint — no one ever gives me anything.

I do not see many of my fellow academics and our students going boldly forward in the apparel realm of life. Jeans are the non-required uniform. We don’t wear jeans because they are tough and our work is rough. No, we follow the style.

Individuals who vary from the usual in their garb stand out. When a female student wearing a beautiful dress came to see me, I noticed her clothes. But I suppressed my Tom Petty thought: Oh hell yes, put on that party dress.

More remarkably, I once saw a student dressed like a Disney princess. I asked another student to explain, and she said the style is Japanese Lolita. Bold? Yes.

Our local Member of Parliament Barnaby Joyce often wears a distinctive drover hat. When he recently dominated the news, paparazzi came to my home, said Barnaby lived up the street, and asked whether we had seen him. Nope. The next day I started wearing my “Barnaby” hat to work. It keeps the sun off my ears.

I have fond memories of wearing certain clothes in the past. I like thinking about when I played for a basketball team and wore a silky basketball outfit. I like remembering when I wore a wet suit for scuba diving.

I have long wanted to wear a tux, but I am too cheap to buy one. I have a Red Army hat I acquired after the fall of the U.S.S.R. I know that, sooner or later, I will find situations where that hat fits perfectly.  

What do my clothing choices say about my personality? That I am a goofball? Now let’s turn to your clothing choices…  


[Photo by Dan Russo on Unsplash]

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