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Thread: What does style of dress say about a person?

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    What does style of dress say about a person?



    Do you judge people by what they wear?

    My husband and I both have a slightly unconventional style of dress - you could call us 'hippies'. I haven't experienced much of an attitude, except for the occasional sarcastic comment, but he quite often receives rude treatment, and I am sure it is due to his style of dress - tie-dyed hooded tops, Doc Martens, ex-army jacket, shaved head. Post Office clerks are particulary rude to him, for some reason.

    I'm ashamed to say that I must also admit to a couple of prejudices of my own. If I see someone dressed in the 'chav' style (white shell suit, trainers and baseball cap, for example), I tend to get a negative impression. The same goes for people who are dressed very smartly - stiff suits and ties. I would stress though that I don't think I treat such people any differently, just that perhaps I would feel disinclined towards them.

    What is your opinion?

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    Well it says quite a bit about a person, whether you're trendy, approachable, modern and fashionable, and so on, and to a limited extent.

    However, the large majority of people base their evaluation of these qualities of a person and what they're wearing, on generalizations (or prejudices like you mention) - e.g. suit = business etc. So, people can be really inaccurate in their judgments, although no one can escape them.

    I admit I do judge people on what they wear, but I try to keep an open mind about it and not let these preconceptions bind me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuyoiko
    I would stress though that I don't think I treat such people any differently, just that perhaps I would feel disinclined towards them.
    Heh, this is already 'different treatment'.

    I don't think anyone should be guilty about judging people by what they wear, just like how people judge personalities by their appearance. It's all part of human nature. But, I feel that people should be responsible in keeping an open mind about it whenever they can, else we risk injustice.

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    Another thing to note is that many people intentionally dress to create an impression. This is especially true of young people. "Dressing white" or "dressing black" "dressing hip hop" "dressing punk" definitely is not a mistake. They give possible insight into some of the more important things to a person, whether it be their Greenpeace t-shirt or their NRA hat. Business attire sends the message that you're willing to clean up and be "business-like." It isn't always the case, but it sends that visual message.

    That said, there's no accounting for personality. A person can wear things you find offensive or off-setting and be a stellar human being.
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    I admit that a person clothes tend to influence my image of them. But isn't it all the point of having fashion ? Otherwise we could all dress in blue uniforms like in communist China.

    I am fairly classic in my choice of clothes. I like black suits, although I can't wear them everyday... (esp. in Belgium, as very few people wear black suits outside some areas of Brussels).

    I am very finicky when it comes to clothes, and even more for shoes. I dislike jeans (esp. whitewashed or with holes in them), sneakers (except for sports), bright colours (except for neckties, maybe), cotton sweaters (esp. with things printed on them, like sportswear), loose trousers, etc. When doing sports or travelling to developping countries, some of these may be ok, but otherwise, it's a big no-no.

    I tend to be more tolerant regarding colours and styles for women than for men, though.
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    I think it's good to have a variety in your dressing style. For example I have different type of jeans, looser ones, straight leg ones, different type of pants and shirts, sport's jerseys, sneakers and conventional shoes. Mixin up things can be fun at times... i think that dressing really is a part of our personality...i agree that most ppl will judge one from the clothes they wear...but it shouldn't be so important. For example when lookin at what girls wear I pretty much am ok with most things. A girl doesn't need to dress a particular way to impress me. However some things are preferred. I like the secretary look for women, short skirt suit with pony tail and glasses ;)

    Also the trendy independent woman look, jeans boots and a long coat is fine. Clothes can make a big difference on how our image is perceived, so depending on the occasion we shoud think a bit on how to dress, not overdo it though

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    I live in kind of like a hippie town where everybody dresses however they want to, from camouflage, flannel shirts, coveralls to suit & tie, spandex and things in between. (I can't stand spandex.)

    What you wear definitely reflects what kind of lifestyle you have, but I think how you dress shows more about your personality, and I find myself looking away when I see people with their pants hanging way down or middle aged women with a tiny tanktop.
    I would say what people wear doesn't bother me as long as it looks respectable.

    P.S. And, sorry I have to say this, you should not wear cotton when you go in the woods. I saw so many hikers with jeans, sweat shirt or t-shirt last summer. Cotton keeps moisture in it and makes you cold.
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    I try not to 'judge' about a person because of what they wear... in fact, I attempt to avoid making over-hasty judgements or assumptions about people, period. I think most people try to avoid this! But of course, you can't help getting some impression. Anyway, as MeAndroo said, people do choose what they buy, what they wear and how they wear it! So it does reflect a bit of their personality. Just sometimes you have to know them better to understand it more, rather than making a snap judgement.

    I used to be so careless about what I wore... I don't care anything for fashion, so I would just wear anything. Now, I still have no knowledge of fashion except just what you pick up from walking about and seeing what other people are wearing... but I take more care. I kind of used to be too proud, like, "It's stupid to care of your looks because it's what is inside that counts"... well, that's true, but the way you dress sends a message to other people about what your personality is like. So now I choose to keep my style ignorance but take care to choose clothes that I think look good on me. It's more creative anyway, because you then aren't restricted by choosing a certain 'look', but instead you have the world full of garments to choose from.

    But no one wants to hear how I dress What's my opinion on the topic? Well, there are some general things I can't easily avoid assuming from a person's style of dress... if they have old and battered looking clothes, I can think either they're really poor, or they are kind of occupied with lots of other important things in life (like the stereotypical shabby professor ) or that they just came from doing a grubby sort of job so they wore old clothes today, or that they are just hella absent-minded and careless of their looks because they are unselfconscious or occupied with deep thoughts. And if someone is dressed smartly in a suit, I think that probably they are working, or going to a meeting, or for interview, or going to an important event where suits are the dress code, or that they like to pay attention to themselves to look smart.

    Well, the list could go on...

    It can be quite funny the way people's attitudes to you change depending on your way of dressing, though. I've noticed this at work.

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    Nice replies guys!

    I don't know if this is generally true, but when I used to work in a school, there was a rule that teachers should be smartly dressed, and management frowned upon those who rebelled against the dress code - they thought it showed that they did not take their job seriously. In my opinion though, one of the best teachers was the most scruffily dressed. He would wear combat trousers, his shirt hanging out, and since he was made to wear a tie he would, but it would be loosely tied with his top button open. He was, however, hard-working and dedicated. The children respected him, and I never saw him have any problems with discipline. If his style of dress said anything about him, it was that he was relaxed and didn't take himself too seriously - which are very good qualities in a teacher, IMO.

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    I agree with alot of your points Tsuyoiko .
    As for me, i would be lying if i said that what people dress in doesn't affect my first impressions of them, but when it comes down to it i judge people for who they are when i meet them and how they act/talk and what they say and treat me etc, even if alot of people generally do fit into certain steriotypes to a certain extent. I've meet some chavs and some fashion chasing blondes that actually very intellectual and interesting people, and other times i've meet some people that dressed very smartly but didn't have a care in the world etc- its just generally safest and respectful not to judge people by their appearance as far as i see it though.

    I live in a nice small town community, theres a huge array of people there- from buisness men, hippies, chavs, goths and just normally dressed people etc(although there are very few cases of the extremes).
    I hate to sound vague, but to be honest i dont really have any particular dress code or steriotype- i do dress for the occasion so to speak a bit, but other than that it entirely depends on my mood. Somtimes i dress in baggy casual trousers and leather jacket, other times in cute short mine skirt with retro jewellery, or in a buisness suit, kimono, hippie or army style clothes etc...I guess though one thing i never do is wear tight jeans- i really dislike them, generally though im very casual i suppose :) .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokis-Phoenix
    I live in a nice small town community, theres a huge array of people there- from buisness men, hippies, chavs, goths and just normally dressed people etc(although there are very few cases of the extremes).
    That sounds like the Somerset I know and love

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    If I am to tell you I don't label people on how they dress I would be a lying.

    The thing is when you see a worn, seedy person with messy hair walking in town, you mechanically categorise him, file him away under a particular title or heading. I believe this is the nature of human nature; the nature to judge the book by its cover.

    It's doleful really, that we do this. We, as human beings, live on an exceedingly surface foundation for day-to-day life. Seldom do we dig to what is under the skin as many human relationships rarely turn near enough for one to do so.

    I am indictable of labelling people by how they dress, stereotyping, categorising. I am afraid it is very hard not do label people by their cover because I believe it physiologically impossible to do so.


    I admit that a person clothes tend to influence my image of them. But isn't it all the point of having fashion ? Otherwise we could all dress in blue uniforms like in communist China.

    Yes, I think one of a reasons of why many Western people see me as a Japanese rather than a Chinese is because for many of them Chinese are from Mainland China. They either donft know or donft remember that there are Chinese from HK, TW, Malaysia, and Singaporecetc and also there are those Chinese who reside in Western Countries who can be cosmopolitan in the way we dress rather than the communists with not sense of fashion.

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    Personally, I don't really care what you're wearing...as long as you're wearing something. I dress in whatever feels comfortable.

    Some people try to define themselves and other people by what they wear. Some people think that because people "dress up", they're self conscious and superficial. Some people think that because people wear black clothes and metal chains, they're part of a "bad crowd." I have friends on both sides of the extremes as far as clothing goes, and many of them don't fit the stereotypes. That's not to say that quite a few do fit the stereotypes.

    I just tend not to judge people on what they wear. Unless, of course, they're wearing a military uniform, "Down With Government" shirt, a labcoat, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clawn
    Personally, I don't really care what you're wearing...as long as you're wearing something.
    Personally, I don't really care what you're wearing... as long as you're wearing nothing.

    ............ my apologies - I think I've spent too much time life drawing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsao
    Personally, I don't really care what you're wearing... as long as you're wearing nothing.
    ............ my apologies - I think I've spent too much time life drawing.

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    Well, I personally think that at times people use clothes to define who they are and for them, it's more of a form of self-expression. This can cause people to be judged on what they wear rather than their character. Personally for me, I dress rather conservative. At least sometimes. I like short skirts and jeans that reveal my curves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty
    If I am to tell you I don't label people on how they dress I would be a lying.
    The thing is when you see a worn, seedy person with messy hair walking in town, you mechanically categorise him, file him away under a particular title or heading. I believe this is the nature of human nature; the nature to judge the book by its cover.
    It's doleful really, that we do this. We, as human beings, live on an exceedingly surface foundation for day-to-day life. Seldom do we dig to what is under the skin as many human relationships rarely turn near enough for one to do so.
    I am indictable of labelling people by how they dress, stereotyping, categorising. I am afraid it is very hard not do label people by their cover because I believe it physiologically impossible to do so.
    I agree. A typical person doesn't have the mental capacity to individually catalogue each person they see. Most of us are talking about people we meet when in fact how one dresses doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a personal encounter. I'd say 95% of the people I see in a given day aren't given any consideration other than their outward appearance, regardless of what they're wearing. I simply don't have the time or brainpower to think each person out, and a generalization is the most efficient way of labeling what a person is probably like.

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    I am constantly naked. Except for my sunglasses, and a belt with pockets on the sides.
    I think it can define a person. You can usually tell who cares and who doesn't about their looks and what people think about them.

    All I worry about is a great tan!

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    "The clothes make the man- naked people have little to no say in todays society."

    but really, the clothes DO make the man (and woman.)
    I sometimes choose the people I find attractive solely on their clothing, because some styles just radiate of a certain way of thinking that I might agree with.

    Either that or the clothes are just really revealing, I like that too.
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    @Ma Cherie: Speaking of curves, I've always thought Sorceress Edea was quite the knockout!

    I have to admit one big prejudice of mine. I'm very biased when I see a slovenly dressed teenage male, who decks himself in an oversized t-shirt and low-riding khakis or jeans. This mostly has to do with where I was raised. I lived in a homogenous suburb, and in high school I had to encounter a lot of crass, vulgar fellow teenagers who dressed this way (essentially, "jocks," even though I have no problem with these kinds of people in my college anymore).

    There were two things that always made me put up my guards: 1), that they were often very disrespectful, rude, loud and vulgar, and 2) since we lived in a homogenous community, myself being Asian didn't help much and made me a potentially easy target for ridicule. Whenever I see these teens in malls or such in groups, I'd always expect that they'll make some racist comment about me (as has, in fact, actually happened occasionally). Trashy teenagers aren't exactly big on differences. Or anything intellectual, for that matter.

    This basically has made me extremely self-conscious when going out of my house, and always wary about others. Fortunately, my college is very tolerant and, while not the most diverse school in the world, certainly fosters diversity, so I never feel any self-consciousness anymore. Also, at least in this community in my campus, I don't really pay much attention to the people dressed slovenly like that anymore.


    Me, I ideally like to wear Italian brand clothes (Brandini) that look kind of classy, but not too pretentious. In actuality, though, I pretty much don't give much thought to what I wear anymore. Must be because I have a girlfriend now, who doesn't care either

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    I understand your points lastmagi about how some kids dress when it comes to over-sized T-shirts and low ride khakis. Personally when I see some guy dressed like this, I don't find it the least bit attractive. I had guys approach dressed like a "thug" and I hated it, because it's not a good way to present yourself. That's how I feel, so you could say that I also have a prejudice.

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    I sometimes find it quietly amusing to myself to deliberately dress in different ways and observe how people's reactions to me vary.

    Ah well... little things please little minds I guess.

    But seriously - it is kinda interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lastmagi
    In actuality, though, I pretty much don't give much thought to what I wear anymore. Must be because I have a girlfriend now, who doesn't care either
    I didn't pay a lot of attention to my appearance since getting married. But then I turned 30 and now I feel self-conscious about it again. I have to attract attention away from my wrinkle

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    I might notice if a woman is wearing a very attractive outfit, and that could be a bit longer than knee length skirt, with a classy top. Otherwise, I generally don't take notice of how people dress, except were I to see some guys that looked like trouble walking down the street towards me.
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    It's not good to sag your pants. Some people think it's cool, but it's not. It originated from prison. They would sag their pants to show that they want to umm....well you know....

    So don't sag!!

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