The Psychological Power of Clothes

Every fashionista knows that clothes are one of the best measures of someone’s personality. If first impressions matter, then a person’s outfit definitely ranks as one of the first things you’d notice about them. After all, you don’t just look at someone’s face the whole time you’re talking to them; we pick up information from movements, posture, and— yes, even fashion style.

The relationship between clothes and psychology is so strong, in fact, that Forbes claims it’s actually spawned its own field of study, called “the psychology of dress.” The influence an outfit has on your social relationships is something psychologists have been studying for a while, as clothes can serve as “markers” of your age, gender, and even economic status. People you meet for the first time will automatically use clues from your outfits to piece together your personality, in order to better relate with you.

The influence of clothes isn’t just external, however— what you wear also has an impact on what you think about yourself. An article by NY Times describes this phenomenon as “enclothed cognition”, or the effect your clothing can have on your own self-perception. Basically, dressing well makes you feel better about yourself, and allows you to gain confidence from something as simple as changing your outfit. That’s why you feel so much more in control of yourself when you change into a smart-looking outfit, versus a pair of ratty pajamas.

Since clothing plays such a huge part in how we relate to ourselves and others, it’s no surprise that women in particular are deeply affected by fashion, as we tend to lean on social relationships and perception. Thus, it’s not uncommon for women to talk freely about their “style inspos” on Instagram or other platforms, and how their influence goes beyond mere clothing to include lifestyle, fitness, and other aspects of daily life.

Former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach, for example, has become synonymous with so much more than just her 2015 Miss Universe win. She’s come to be known as an influencer in all senses of the word, inspiring young Filipinas not just with her outfits but also with her advocacies and charity work. Her fashion style is beautifully feminine, and shows that girls can change the world in skirts as well as jeans.

Another great icon for young women today is fashion blogger Kim Jones, whose fashion sense leans towards the more eclectic side of the style spectrum. Her unique sense of style inspires girls to think out of the box and really strive to become figures who aren’t afraid to bend the rules of taste a little. Her looks also show what it means to be a global Filipina, blending Southeast Asian and Western style to create something truly unique.

Finally, last but not least, younger girls can also look to role models who are a little closer to home. Heaven Peralejo is currently one of the main fashion ambassadors for BNY Jeans, and although her career is just starting out, she’s quickly proved herself to be a force to be reckoned with. Her style is perfect for young women who are just starting to explore their own unique looks, and she effortlessly blends street style with dressier looks— showing just how versatile young women of this generation can be. Simple yet elegant, feminine yet down-to-earth, Heaven’s style is the perfect blueprint for young girls in the Philippines, and she’s just getting started.

All in all, there’s much you can learn from somebody’s fashion style, and emulating confident young women will also lead girls to grow into confident young women themselves. Looking good isn’t all just about image, however; there are practical things you need to keep track of too. Find out here how to keep your clothes looking and smelling fresh on Hey It’s Chel, and for more tips on fashion and lifestyle don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog!