Do clothes introduce you?
Truthfully, we all judge people and this fact cannot be denied. The only difference is how we choose to see others, through the glasses of positivity or through the glasses tinted with negativity or with a complete indifference that has taught us, “Appearance does not matter”. We as humans have an opinion about everyone especially an image of people of a certain occupation, we might have seen it once or not but that “image” is said so many times by others the image gets correlated and forms the stereotype we attach with a certain group of people. Humans are a social animal hence our opinions and images of others are not isolated as well.
Like for instance when one thinks of a politician here in south-east Asian countries automatically an image props up in our mind of an elder pot-bellied, snobbish, corrupt, authoritarian person in a safari suit but I know that to be so far from the truth as I see my father every day. He is everything good that man could ever be. Similarly, we have a set image of teachers, government/IT employees, police officers and the list goes on and on. Basically, we have images of stereotypes for every individual.
For every problem there is a solution, man is inventive by nature and necessity is the mother of inventions. So there were clothes. I wish I could tell you all about the history of clothes but I don’t know however it sure was not worn in the early times for aesthetic reasons rather for protection, safety and survival. Today it serves not just it main and primary function but also as a map of an introduction of our selves to others without even having a single meaningful conversation. Therefore introducing you.
There was a time in everyone’s life when someone else dictated our choices of clothes first parents then came school-guidelines, peer pressure, fashion trends society’s norms and values; etc. at some point in life we were all granted the opportunity to find ourselves in the world of clothes so sometimes with mishaps we learnt to speak for ourselves in the language of clothes. Clothes that we wear help us to combat some of the misconceptions and avoid being typecast. In other words, clothes that we wear function as a tour guide showing our real self to others successfully changing the idea of us from what people think they know of us because of where we come from, how we live and what we do professionally. Clothes give off the crucial introduction to self.
Maybe that is the reason why we don’t give any importance to what we wear when we are alone or with very close friends, family because they already know us, hence there is no trying involved in the relationship. However, the opposite stands true when we feel the need to impress someone before reaching the comfort level. Different images emotions and meaning are attached with a piece of clothing item eg; suits/formal pants/collar shirts all scream professional likewise some clothes are inappropriate for some occasions while it is exactly what is needed for some other occasion. We also attach “personally” some sentiments with some item of clothing like I am always partial to clothes having stripes of blue and I cannot see myself ever wearing distressed jeans both have images I have associated with them blue stripes makes me remember schooldays and was a happy time in my life, distressed clothes my mind attaches with poverty, beggars and homelessness.
Certain clothes make us very happy, they speak of values that we as individuals want and find attractive hence we are drawn towards them, we are all latching on to the concept that, “clothes embody values”. We are unknowingly but strategically showing to the world as well as reminding ourselves of who we are through the clothes that we wear. Our wardrobe is in fact lines of our autobiography. Consequently, to answer do clothes introduce you? Yes, clothes introduce us all.