The Influence Of Fashion On Human Behaviour

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This article will focus on how fashion will influence human behavior. The first argument is one dress code affects how they feel about themselves, and discuss how it effects how does fashion influence self-perception and behavior. The second argument is one’s dressing can highly determine other people’s impression. In this part will mainly focus on the effect that dress does on other’s behaviour and introduce the colour effect in fashion.


Fashion is a practice or style that everyone wants to be associated with mostly in dressing, accessories, makeup and furniture. It involves the trending habit of style in which a person dresses. The dressing is all about fashion. Fashion involves the creation of different cloth, makeup, footwear and accessory designs. Fashion involves clothing and the study of clothing. Fashion is all about the latest and the most popular styles of dressing. One’s fashion expresses who the person is, his or her character, personality, culture and beliefs, this makes fashion a way of communicating. Dressing according to Joanne Eicher 1992, is the general order of the outward body modification and all materials that have been applied in modifying the outward body look. Body modifications are any changes or foreign materials used by people to make their look appealing. It may include putting on clothes, changing of skin colour by use of cosmetics and application of deodorants. Dress code changes how one looks, tastes and smells, sounds and feels. People’s dress code communicates something to the public. The dressing has been a behavior that has been adapted in the whole globe.

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Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior of human being. It studies the human personality, emotions, motivation and attitudes. Psychology aims at bringing out how people in a given society act, think, and feel about a given concept. Social psychology involves the study of the behavior of individuals in a given social context. This study helps in answering questions on why people think, feel and act the way they do as per other people’s actual or implied image and presence. Psychology of fashion, therefore, is concerned with the study of how people’s choice of dressing is seen and judged by others. It brings out how people think and feel about a certain fashion trend. It also gives reasons as to why people chose to adapt a given style of dressing and why it changes as time goes by. The social psychology of dress is about answering questions that are concerned with how people dress in relation to the beliefs, attitudes, feelings and behavior of the society they are situated in. the social psychology of dress brings out why and how an individual’s behavior is influenced and shaped by other society members. One’s dress code may directly or indirectly affect the behavior of self or the behavior of others. Dressing is key in any social interactions. This is because dress codes can be used in differentiating others from the rest and identifying others, for example, those in high social positions like politicians. Group members can be differentiated from the rest due to their dress code and hence a dress code determines how society members interact with each other (Choi, 2013, p.115).

Fashion Affect Self-perceptions and Behavior

Clothing affects people’s behavior, attitude, personality, mood, confidence, and even the way interacts with others. How one feels also influences ones dressing choice. A person’s fashion style indicates the hidden culture, attitude and gender. Fashion is part of the expression of one’s growth, especially during adolescence. During adolescence, people want to express themselves to show their growth and values. As one develops psychologically as people find their sense of belonging and a way to fit in the society through dressing. For example, wearing power clothing, like tailored jackets, will bolster confidence, have a feeling of being a success. Helping become better negotiators and more abstract thinkers. Wearing formal office clothes and organized clothes allows people to maintain a good attitude to conduct business. Wearing luxury provides a sense of self-esteem and hedonic feelings, for example, satisfaction and power. It will change the self-identification, ideal self and social comparison from the wearer.

Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky introduced the term ‘Enclothed cognition’ which describe the impacts that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes, abilities. There are some researches support the claim that clothing can influence self-emotion, performance, and mental psyches.

Michael L. Slepian, Simon N. Ferber and other two authors had an experiment which required participants to change into formal or casual clothing before enhancing abstract cognitive processing. This study provides evidence that people who wearing formal suit have higher action identification level and greater category inclusiveness. Formal dressing was associated with more abstract thinking, which is significant in creativity and long-term strategic planning.

In addition, informal dressing will influence negotiations. A research report published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology in December 2014 shows that three groups of males who wear ordinary clothes, suit and sportswear participated in an experiment, which included negotiating with partners. The result shows that people in formal wear made more profits than the other two groups and also the people in casual wear had lower testosterone levels.

Adam and Galinsky (2012) point out clothes will make influence of owner’s behavior when it has symbiotic meaning. The experiment has three groups of people, the first group wear a white coat which been describe as a painter’s coat and other group wear a white coat which been describe as medical doctor’s lab coat. These two groups participated in a task and the result has shown that the group two which the white coat was described as medical lab coat had greater performance.

Therefore, experiments have shown that changing clothes can lead to a temporary change in identity, the way of reaction. Galinsky points out that clothes will invade people’s body, thought, and change the wearer’s mind into a different state. When wearing a piece of symbolic garment, it will involuntarily adopt some features associated with it. Research shows that clothes can improve our performance. Wearing symbolic clothing is not only an act but also a psychological experience. Clothing is a tool, a tool that can change human psychology.

Fashion Effect on Other’s Behavior

One’s dressing can highly determine other people’s impression. Research has shown that 81% of our dress code communicate competence, power and intelligence. 67% of our dressing indicate one’s character, sociability and mood. Other research includes that of Dorothy Behling and Elizabeth Williams that focused on the impression of intelligence and scholastic ability of high school tutors and learners. They found out that when students put on jeans, they were perceived to have low intelligence levels and low scholastic abilities as compared to when they are in jeans. In another research, it was seen that in an interview, dressing did not prove one’s competence and creativity of the job applicants. Dressing highly implicates the behavior of the observers, for example, the way one dressed in a given shop influenced how fast one is served by the shop attendants.

The colour of dressing often affects the viewing of other people. Although colour is not a particular style of clothing, it did same the cognitive effects which can be applied to clothing. For example, an ingrained proception of red is red reflect danger, alertness or awareness. Some studies found that red was associated with worry, distraction and decreasing self-concentration. In another experiment said that red colour associated with the attractiveness (Roberts, Owen & Havlicek 2010). Blue is usually associated with calming effects, and blue is good for creative thinking. Some studies have shown that wearing blue clothes can affect the creative emotions of people who look at them, so in theory, wearing blue clothes may have a positive effect on the creativity of your colleagues. However, the negative aspect of blue is it also has a cultural meaning of sadness and depression, associated with coldness and lack of emotion. Black, grey, dark brown, which are the dark-tone colours were associated with authority. Wearing black business attire makes people look confidant and successful, also dark clothes affect viewing from surrounding and provide a competent impression. On the contrary, lighter tones, for example, pink, yellow, white, provide a perception as being gentle, friendly and approachable. Therefore, colour plays a significant role in dressing which affect other’s opinions and behaviour.

There is an experiment about colour attractiveness from Roberts, Owen & Havlicek that taking photographs of participants under standard light conditions and the same white background while wearing t-shirts of six different colours. Asked participants to rate how attractive the people in the photos were. The result was shown that two most attractive colour were red and black. Colour of the clothes affected how others rated attractiveness. Under the same condition, different colours provide different feelings.


Through the researches and experiments, it was clearly shown that the deep relationship between psychology and clothing. Fashion not only influence other’s proception, also provide great impacts on self-behaviours. Also, the colours play a significant role in describing the feeling of clothing.


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