By Inbal AbarbanelSeptember 30th, 2021

Does clothing indicate only socioeconomic status and physical attraction? Can one signal dominance and effectiveness with clothing? Well, of course it does.

Clothing is dependent on one’s conscious choices to project his desired personal image. It outlines the blueprint of a person. It is not transient as a gesture, sarcastic comment, and facial expression. Of course, it is demonstrated alongside these brief cues. In social situations, a clothing outfit comes with the body that wears it, with the person’s gesture and posture, his face, emotional expressions, and eyes behavior.

Moreover, the potential of clothes to convey a message is context dependant. In order to be an indicator of someone’s social resources, dress has to be socially appropriate for the time and situation. The interpretation is affected by the social context and by the former knowledge of the symbolism attached to the expressive elements of the clothes such as forms, colors, textures, and postures.

And still, in an overall approach, the way someone dresses correlates with his self-assessment, and it influences the impression of others towards him. For instance, formal clothing causes a more meaningful perception of the person’s actions and trustworthiness, how tight his shirt is associates with his attractiveness, and so on.

Where a person feels himself having the upper hand in an approaching conflict, he will wear some clothing items that are related in some way to the internal state of superiority. A submissive person confronting him sees his clothing items and infers about the internal state of him being the dominant one.