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  • Writer's pictureTherapy Exchange

Psychology of Clothing: How Does Clothing Change People?

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

There are many ways people choose to dress. Some take the casual yet comfortable way, while others go over the top and maximize everything they can wear from top to bottom. But no matter how we dress, there is always a psychological effect it has on people around us.

Enclothed cognition is a term used to describe the psychological effects of clothing on the wearer. It suggests that the physical experience of wearing certain clothes can influence the wearer’s mental processes and behavior. But how does clothing change people exactly?

1. Clothing Dictates Size

Clothing can affect the way we perceive ourselves in terms of size. Wearing baggy clothing can make us feel more significant than we are, while form-fitting dresses can make us feel smaller. It can be beneficial for people trying to build their self-confidence or for those trying to lose weight.

However, it can also become a double-edged sword as clothing can ruin someone's idea of themselves. Some people automatically judge others and decide if they look fat or too thin, even without them trying to get to know the person. Remember that clothing dictates judgment, too.

2. Colors Tell Stories

Colors are powerful symbols that can tell stories. Each color can represent a different emotion or feeling. For example, red can symbolize anger, yellow can symbolize happiness, and blue can convey sadness. People can also use colors to express specific ideas and feelings.

For example, wearing bright colors can make someone feel more cheerful and vibrant while wearing darker colors can make someone feel more serious and reserved. Using colors to express yourself can be a great way to show your personality and feelings.

3. Clothes Influence Dating

Clothes can play an important role in dating. For example, wearing something that flatters your body type can make you feel more confident and attractive. Wearing something that expresses your unique style can also help you stand out from the crowd and make you more memorable.

In addition, the clothes you wear can influence how other people perceive you. Wearing something too revealing or flashy can give off the wrong impression and make you seem desperate or unprofessional.

4. Dress the Part

“Dressing the part” is another way clothes can change how others think about people. Depending on the people, dressing the part can mean choosing to wear appropriate clothing depending on the occasion or event.

It’s also important to consider the message you want to send. If you want to appear more approachable, you may want to opt for a more casual outfit. People may want to dress up more to appear confident and sophisticated.

5. Dressing for Success

Dressing for success is an integral part of achieving success in any field. The clothes you wear can influence how people perceive you and give you an advantage in a competitive situation. For example, wearing a business suit to a job interview can give you an edge over other candidates who are wearing more casual attire. Similarly, wearing professional clothing to a networking event can help you make an excellent first impression and make it easier to connect with potential contacts.


It is no secret that how we dress affects how others perceive us. Whether it’s a job interview, a first date, or just a casual day out, what we wear can make a huge difference in how we are perceived. The clothing we choose can give off an impression of our personality and lifestyle, and it can also determine how others view our level of success.

Therapy Exchange is an online clothing shop that sells self-care apparel for the therapist with a taste for fashion and expression. After all, clothes have power, and therapists deserve to accessorize and unlock their inner edgy fashionista too. Check out our selection of fun clothes for fashion-savvy therapists now.


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