The Psychology of Fashion

Every year hundreds of girls sign up to rush a sorority at Arizona State University.  The girls go from house to house, “girl flirting” until they are left with a bid from just one house.

This year Panhellenic or Pan, a national organization in charge of women’s Greek life at Arizona State did something different. Pan made every potential new member wear the same shirt.

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Why did Panhellenic enforce this dress code you may ask? The dress code was put in place to even the playing field. This way the girls are not being judged on what they wear.

What you wear will give people an immediate decision of who you are and how they are going to treat you. People assume your clothes are a reflection of you.

My father is a black man. Put him in a suit and he is treated with respect. Put him in baggy clothes and he is treated like a criminal.

Racist or not we are all guilty of doing something like this. We all are guilty of judging people based on appearances. Meanwhile we are all being judged on what we wear as well.

To prove my hypothesis correct, I asked women of Arizona State to tell me their first impressions of people in one word, based on what they are wearing.

Sophomore Emily Nicholson was shown the picture below of a man covered head to toe in pop tabs from soda cans. Her response was “Freak”. When Alexis Krasinski saw the picture she said, “Dislike” and Jordan Shutterly said “Creepy”.

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After, Nicholson viewed a picture of Miley Cyrus at the VMAs. Her response was “Slut”. Krasinski said “Insane” and Shuterly said “Ew.”

Madeline Stack said that the girl in the photo accompanying me in the picture below is “Conservative.” Nicholson said “Classy” and Kaia Evans said “Boring.”

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As you can see people always have opinions based on appearances. Those opinions of your clothes turn into opinions of you.

Clothes do matter, but what about the people who have no choice in what they wear? We buy our clothes. The homeless don’t have that luxury.

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One comment

  1. […] continuation of a previous post Clothology: The Phycology of Fashion I proved my claims correct. People make judgments solely based on clothing. We have the privilege […]

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