Personal Attitudes Towards Clothing and Clothing Choices

Aaron Risch

Name: Aaron Risch
Major: Psychology
Minor: Theatre and Dance
Advisors: Dr. Susan Clayton, Dr. Amber Garcia
Clothing is one way that individuals form and announce both personal and public identities. The present research investigates how people think about the role of clothing in self-perception and self-presentation. Using a survey asking questions about personal attitudes towards clothing, I expand upon the research looking into the role that clothing plays in the conveyance of identity, personality, emotion, and mood. Why do people choose to wear the clothes that they do? How much time and thought do people put into making their clothing choices? Are there societal standards of dress that are more important to follow than others? To what extent does gender impact perceptions of clothing? Fifty-one students at The College of Wooster participated in this study, completing a survey on Qualtrics. Means of how important it is to follow situational standards of dress for each setting were calculated showing that following situational standards of dress was moderately important in the majority of settings. Pearson’s correlations were run to analyze the ways in which the opinions of others impact the clothing people wear, how people feel when shopping for clothing or when getting dressed, the ways in which clothing is related to personal identity, and the ways in which gender play a role in clothing choices. ANOVA were conducted to look for differences between groups defined by gender identity and the following variables: the importance of clothing to personal identity, the amount of time spent getting dressed each day, how often people receive complements based on their clothing, and how frequently someone wore clothing just because it was considered trendy. Participants found comfort, fit, fitting in, and dressing appropriately for the given situation, to be the most important considerations when choosing what clothing to wear. It is important to examine how we interact with clothing physically, mentally, and socially, in order to understand the ways in which clothing impacts the perception of ourselves and the world around us.

Aaron will be online to field comments on April 16:
2-4pm EDT (PST 11am-1pm, Africa/Europe: evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study on April 4, 2021.