The other day, I entered a Zara store which was running a sale. I’m sure everyone can relate to the sinking feeling you get when you enter such a store, looking at the long queue to not only try ten different items of clothing but also to pay for only two of them. Honestly, I’d rather visit such a store when there isn’t a sale and pay more for the clothes. The feel of any store you enter not only affects how long you stay in the store and the amount of money you spend in there, but also your opinion of the store. According to me, the character of the store when you enter it for the first few times creates your judgement of the brand.
Our personalities may be suggested by the stores we shop from and the type of clothes they sell. Hence, as humans we communicate a great deal about ourselves via the medium of personal style and dress. The same clothing choices have an effect on others. This can be seen in the colours worn more often by an individual. An individual’s sense of style, here, is a reflection of the person. Every colour has a visual symbolism that plays a major role in designing and selling costumes for any purpose. Red may make one feel more powerful and dominating as compared to dark colours that may represent a negative emotion or bring out an insecurity of the body. Personally, I’d prefer buying some fancy bright coloured lingerie even though I only wear dark coloured clothes. However, this is how I feel confident in my own skin. In the same way, an individual’s identity may be exemplified through the way he/she dresses, may it be wearing a three-piece suit, a low neckline, six inch heels or layers of make up, telling us of his/her work, mood, income, etc.
So, I’m sure most of us own some luxury brand bag. And I know that most of the people buy these bags not because they like the style or know anything of the brand, but to maintain a social status and be labelled as ‘the rich woman who spends her husband’s money on exorbitantly priced bags’. I mostly see the middle-aged women doing this to establish a flourishing financial status in her social group. I’m definitely tired of seeing the same monogrammed bags from Gucci and Louis Vuitton carried by most in Mumbai. Dear Aunty, you may be rich but you have very little knowledge of fashion and it would save the world if you stop carrying the ‘look at the brand I’m carrying even though I know nothing of it’ bag. I also think men should stop wearing the Hermés belt that, I’m sure, they adore for the price but not for the quality. I suggest you take my advice to not carry brands for namesake as it only creates monotony and reduces the value of the brand as well as subverting the idea of fashion. Also, for the high school students, please stop buying copies of Prada and Michael Kors bags and Hermés and Louis Vuitton belts because they don’t look as authentic as you may think. An individual from a lower strata of society may have a better sense of style even though he buys his clothes off the streets. The compulsion to shop from luxury brands, according to my little knowledge of psychology, stems from a SOCIAL IDENTIY THEORY and INFERIORITY COMPLEX. These people believe in proving oneself through the brands and represents a lack of confidence more than anything else. I guess such people are the ones who truly believe that 95% of the people judge you by your appearance whereas the other 5% are blind.
What I am trying to say is that fashion and psychology work hand in hand and they tell us more about an individual than anything else. If only we payed more attention to the details of an individual’s physical appearance, it would be easier to understand them better.