Fashion psychology significant in teens’ clothing choices


Fashion psychology drives many clothing trends, such as wearing ripped jeans.

Fashion seems to be one of the most important things some teenagers focus on besides school, family, and friends. Most teenagers are obsessed with the newest clothing and accessories. This has enabled many psychologists to develop the field of fashion psychology and to further investigate what causes such interest.

Fashion psychology does not have a specific definition but is said to be the study of why people are attracted to certain colors, styles, and why they buy certain items, as everyone has their own style, but many teenagers tend to wear the same thing.

There are many reasons people wear the clothes they wear, such as leaning towards the types of clothing and styles that a person’s mother wore, the fear of change in style leading someone to repeat the same items, and self-esteem, just to name a few. Some people have more of an interest in fashion than others, but to a certain extent, everyone cares about what they wear and how they appear to others in daily life.

The psychology of fashion has a great impact on mental health as appearance is extremely important to most everyone. What one is wearing gives people a first impression and leads to immediate judgments about a person, as everyone makes judgments for one reason or another, whether they are aware of it or not. Therefore, the colors someone wears may even have an impact on what others think of them. 

Olympic Heights AICE Psychology teacher Dr. Seth Alper explains, “Many people who want to be seen as having an outgoing personality tend to favor brighter colors whereas those who tend to be more reserved tend to favor darker colors of clothing. Of course, this is not always the case, but is an overall trend.”

Another extreme impact on what people purchase is social media. “Well besides trying to emulate their idols/favorites, there’s also the status of having nice clothes. And then, of course, there’s also taking account for price.” OH English teacher Ms. Sarah Davies, who holds a B.S. in Psychology says. “When students see someone dressing nicely, wearing the brands, the chains, and the technology, students take notice.” 

People will always take notice of famous people who they look up to, as they want to be a part of the “in-group” Alper adds. He continues to explain how people will be more likely to wear a certain type of clothing to be considered part of a specific group and will not wear certain clothes to make it known to others that they are not part of a certain group.  This leads to a sense of “belongingness” as everyone has a desire to fit in.

A research article published by the University of Hertfordshire in England states that “a person’s choice of clothing can heavily influence the impression they transmit and is, therefore, a powerful communication tool… Appearance, posture, and dress have all been found to communicate a range of personality traits, occupational and social roles.” Since fashion is an extremely important aspect of most people’s lives, it is expected that most people follow what is popular so as to fit in and appear a certain way.