Fashion psychology equates a person’s or group’s inner [mental] qualities, traits, characteristics, strengths, and assets into an outer expression [fashion]. Long before such a term ever existed, I assembled a system that we identify as fashion psychology today. I have avoided using the term out of concern that the word psychology connotes that I am a psychologist. After all, I am not. It does not seem to matter to my clients, however. They regularly tell me how my personal styling process affects their behavior. That, as a point of fact, is precisely real fashion psychology.
There. I have now declared that publicly. Just writing it feels damned good. The truth feels good and I feel set free to discuss real fashion psychology more openly and clearly.
Fashion psychology exists today to serve several purposes that I believe are here to stay.
First of all, clothes are tools that help the wearer to physically embody her/his purpose for any particular occasion. How does the wearer want to feel? What messages does the person want to convey to onlookers? What verbal messages does the wearer expect to say to others in a crucial situation. And how will the clothes’ non-verbal cues support those messages?
Another consideration is that today, the marketplace offers so much choice. Combine this conundrum with the fact that there are fewer workplaces and social environments with enforceable dress codes. This lack of structure frees individuals to express individuality, while fitting in to unwritten workplace and social cultural conformity. In my work with clients, they reveal how important and challenging it is that they show up in positive ways. On a palpable level, people just want to find acceptance among one another.
Many people are open to working on their mental states and mindsets with psychologists, therapists, and coaches. But, a far smaller subset of professionals actually specializes in the paradigm shifting experience of fashion psychology. Many of my clients have benefited from fashion psychology coaching that has helped them to live up to their potential. They have grown symbiotically from the inside-out and from the outside-in to the point that their lives have changed. They perceive themselves authentically.
Their shift in behavior has impacted their achievement of professional goals. People have a renewed positive sense of self. I have had clients feel ready to meet the loves of their lives — and then it happened. Other clients set financial goals that they have achieved. And, still other clients I work with have gone on to lead and start big high-tech companies.
Clothing, in the business world at least, conveys messages about power and authority. Power and authority levels of dress, even if unwritten, exist in most workplaces, even the most ‘casual’ ones.
The setting where someone goes also impacts a person’s choice. It’s why, most recently and famously, Mark Zuckerberg wore a suit and tie to Congress. Except for welcoming heads of state to the company headquarters he would never show up wearing that level of clothing.
Engineers tend to dress a certain way because of how they work, and with whom they work. But, when presenting to a bigger audience outside of their work group, it’s an opportunity to step up their look. Teachers and therapists get more of the results they desire by appearing more supportive of their students and patients. Doctors may try to avoid wearing red, so as to help their patients avoid feeling that they are in danger.
There are countless ways in which clothing choices convey messages to the mutual benefit of the wearer and the onlooker.
As mentioned above, with several examples, many people could benefit from working with a fashion psychology expert. Moreover, people living through big shifts in life are apt to benefit greatly. Examples are beginning a campaign for a new job position or embarking on a new chapter in life. Dressing for the life a person desires offers an incredible opportunity to embody their future in the present moment.