The Psychology of Fashion

Glitz, glamour, flashing lights, runways, leggy models and much more are to be expected in Windhoek city all of next week, with the biggest fashion event in the country nearing.  Fashion, style and clothing have been racing through most of our minds lately, but there’s so much more to Windhoek Fashion Week and fashionable ensembles than meets the eye. One of the realisations that I’ve come to is that fashion is a lot bigger than most of us make it out to be. Events like WFW tend to grab our focus because they offer an arrangement filled with flashes of novelty on the runway and that can evoke a sense of adventure and excitement within us. I, for one, am looking forward to the cognitive and visual stimulus that this year’s Fashion Week is sure to showcase.

Not only does it fall under the first tier in Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, alongside basics human needs for shelter and security but it also has a host of psychological and emotional benefits for the human psyche. Ever heard of the phrase, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak it” by Rachel Zoe? Well, what she’s saying is that the way that we dress allows for us to express things about ourselves, a means by which to reveal aspects about our personality and mood. A person’s sense of style can reveal certain traits of their personality, you can infer whether a person is conservative, edgy, experimental, adventurous, you name it, just by observing their sense of style. Fashion can also reveal information about the type of lifestyle one leads, for example, someone whose closet has a section just for workout clothing probably lives an active lifestyle, someone with tons of formal wear in their closet is probably in a profession that requires them to dress professionally and so forth. Fashion or style can also hint to our level of self-care. Besides allowing people to express themselves, fashion also evokes certain feelings in people. For example, a woman might feel more confident is she’s wearing lipstick or high heels. Our choice of colour also allows for emotional expression, as certain colours evoke certain feelings. Fashion also allows for us to reinvent ourselves through style and experimentation. The downside to fashion could be that some might feel a certain type of pressure might evoke a little bit of anxiety regarding wearing the most trendy, or fashionable outfits during fashion week. This is why I feel that it is very important to develop your own personal style, which should be more than blindly following trends, but rather more about finding what works for your unique shape and form. As bridal designer Jaimee-Lee Diergaardt and owner of Something Artsy Windhoek boldly stated to me, in an effort to soothe my fashion week anxiety, “Fashion is fun and fearless, enjoy!” See you on the runway, or the side-lines rather.

#fashion #psychology #style #WFW #FashionWeek

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