1. Identity is people's concepts of who they are, of what sort of people they are, and how
they relate to others" (Hogg and Abrams: 1988: 2)
To gain knowledge of how we communicate to others through the way we dress, we have to first understand what identity is. Identity is what we choose to represent ourselves as, be that a gender identity, a sexual identity; it is completely up to the individual as a person to make that choice. Identity forms the basis of one’s pride and being accepted socially only adds to that ego and integrity. The psychology of the matter is the way we dress is more or less based on our moods, habits, inspirations, past, present and future. The character of a person is ...view middle of the document...
Clothing holds stories that bring people back to certain moments in time. It is memories and mixed symbols of nostalgia. Take a fabric such as denim which has a long running history. Where Denim, started out for the working poor, and denim jeans were worn by the labourers. The cost and durability made them ideal for the lower class. Denim was tough which meant that the sturdiness of the fabric could take hard labour; made for people such as railroad worker, miners and farmers. As denim made slow progression, it was advertised as being more cool comfortable and casual, so it soon became a thing that everyone wanted to wear. Denim has had a lot of progression and now has new meaning; people no longer look at denim for its practicality, instead it has become a symbol of style and class. Denim has now become a part of main stream culture, though the fabric will not lose its history from its original hard working owners.
Fig 1. Levi’s poster, 1873
It can be argued that identity is created by society, after all it is society that makes the clothing, but I think we take control of that once we buy into the clothing or the lifestyle. In reality, society gives us the tool. We have the tools to creatively express our physical and emotional identities
Clothing can project a good or bad image on an individual to society, therefore it can be examined that you are what you wear. What do we want to portray ourselves as; a person from a higher background, an anarchist, or maybe someone wants to grab attention and to spark a reaction. Our Clothing makes a big difference to what society thinks about us. Every person will nuture an innate desire of feeling accepted in society.
Clothes give us a sense of security when we present ourselves to society, dress may speak louder than words. Many people feel that they would not be able to register who their character is without the way that they dressed; clothing creates this pathway, allowing people to make decisions about you quickly, deciding wether they will allow themselves to associate with you or not. It can be seen as a harsh world, but in reality the quick elimination process allows us to find our own social groups a lot quicker. I believe clothes create this quick route. What they say is almost “friend or foe”, to be liked or to be disliked.
Many put the decision of what to wear down to just being a matter of habit, and accustoming it to being nothing more than a mere routine; believing that selecting clothes for the body remains just as a subconscious thought but never goes past that. This can lead into the way we dress being taken for granted, and wearers giving off the wrong ideas and impressions of themselves. People use experimentation as a way to spawn new fashion ideas and create new cultures within clothes. It is the ideas associated with clothing that helps society form its view on humanity.
Fashion plays a huge part in saying who you are, as it is considered a means of self expression....