It isn’t easy to sum up the power of style and fashion with mere words, but perhaps Miuccia Prada, head designer of the Italian fashion house, came closest when she said “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.”
It’s easy to dismiss what we wear as not being important, but your clothing choices matter far more than you may have considered. Here are five things that will make you think twice before you next throw on some threads without thinking.
1. Clothes can change how you think
As much as we try not to, we form an instant judgement of people when we meet them – and clothes have a large part to play in this. It’s a subconscious decision, beyond our control, but it still happens. What we may not realize is that clothes also change the way we think about ourselves. One study in the United States found that smart clothing actually improved the way we performed in the workplace. So imagine how you feel when you slide on that brand new suit for the first time. That feeling actually makes you a better employee.
2. Clothes show off our priorities
The way we treat the planet has become an increasingly important concern for many shoppers in recent times and we are starting to see that influence our fashion choices. Millennials are increasingly choosing brands which are open about their push to use sustainable products and packaging. By wearing those brands it says something about you. Debenhams, for example, are openly against animal testing and don’t use any animal fur or feathers in their products.
3. Clothes are still a status symbol
Indicators of economic and social status are no longer as clear as they used to be in the Western world. It’s harder to place someone in society these days; there is no longer a clear aristocracy, thankfully. Because of that void, people use other indicators to assign people into different groups – and one of these is the way people dress. Specific logos, designers and brands are used to allocate social status, even if the person doing so isn’t fully aware of this.
4. Clothes can influence our health and wellbeing
We all have those days when we just don’t want to get up and lift those weights at the gym or go for that run. But have you ever heard someone say ‘just get your gym clothes on and it will help you.’ Well, they’re right! Studies have shown that if you can get your clothes on – particularly clothes you feel good about – you will actually be more likely to go to gym, exercise well and then eat well when you get back.
5. And don’t forget your underpants
Incredibly, even the clothes we wear closest to our skin – our boxers, pants and even our socks – can influence how we feel. So if you want to feel sexy ahead of that big first date, your choice of underwear could actually dictate your mood.