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Why Can You Judge by a Person's Outfit

In: People

Submitted By s126216
Words 762
Pages 4
Since we were young, we were taught “not to judge a book by its cover.” Books with sensational topics and attractive graphic designs do not necessarily have valuable content. The same can be applied to how we look at others’ appearance. We all agree that it is morally superficial to judge a person by his clothes; what’s more, the way a person dresses does not really tell you their whole story. However, the clothes we choose to wear are just like the sentences we say: they all convey certain messages about ourselves. Although not conclusive and accurate, we indeed can figure out some general ideas about a person judging from his or her clothing. Take, for instance, the color and decoration of clothes. Different colors usually bring up different feelings, and these feelings somehow coincide with human characters. Bright colors, such as orange and yellow, conjure up images of positiveness. Those who like to wear bright colors are just like what the colors suggest—they are usually liberal person with optimistic and talkative personality. Introverted people, on the other hand, pick the opposite. They tend to wear dimmer colors like dark blue or grey, which convey a sense of rationality and reveal their calm and collected traits. Decorations also give a clue. If somebody prefers putting on gorgeous clothes, he is obviously a person who puts a lot of effort into how they look like; at the same time, he is likely to be vainglorious and have strong desire of showing off himself. The rationale behind this phenomenon is simple: bold thing catches the eye. For the same reason, plain person will conversely avoid dressing showy clothes and pick those that are plain and more practical instead. Another aspect we can look into is how people pursue fashion. Some people blindly follow the trend and ignore their own favors; you can see them wearing the most trendy clothes without having their own style. Two obvious characteristics of these people are that they do not have a clear mind of their own, and that they lack confidence. Since they cannot make up their mind what they really like, they often just swim with the tides. Some other people are completely different—while they pay attention to fashion trends, they can still build up their own style successfully. These people may possess more independent thoughts and better sense of self-identity. Lastly, there are people who do not care about fashion. For them, clothing serves for a more practical purpose rather than making themselves look better. In some cases, however, people who refuse to care about fashion could be conservative or stubborn, refusing to accept new things in their life. Besides clothes, shoes also tell a lot. A research done at the University of Kansas in 2012 invited volunteer participants to provide their most commonly worn shoes, and also filled in a personality questionnaire. 63 students then looked at photos showing the volunteers’ shoes and make their guess about the owners’ condition. The result is stunning—the researchers found that by analyzing the style, cost, color, and condition of shoes, the students are able to infer nearly 80 percent of the owners’ characters. Flashy shoes, similar to colorful clothes, usually belong to extroverts. Shoes that are not new but clean are worn by conscientious types. Liberal thinkers, not surprisingly, loves to wear flip-flops or cheaper shoes. Apart from the clues mentioned above, other clues appear to be unexpected and interesting. Functional shoes generally fit with agreeable people. Brand-new and well-maintained pairs go to people that have “attachment anxiety” or are worried by their relationships. This is because these people worry about how others think of them very much. The researchers concluded, "Shoes have a great variety of styles, looks, and functions. Because of this variety, shoes do can carry individual difference information. From my point of view, we indeed can infer a person’s general character from how he dresses himself. Just like we may open a book based on its cover, we inevitably judge others by their outfit. Likewise, we will be judged by people, and thus it is important for us to keep ourselves in tidy appearance. While judging, however, we should be aware that our assumption do not truly reflect the person’s nature, and that to judge someone solely base on their outer look is basically placing one’s own morals, and even prejudices, on someone else. Although clothes do provide clues about someone, we should keep in mind that they usually do not represent the whole story.

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