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Do we behave differently in different clothes? Well, It is a complex issue

riyak 6 / 13 1  
Jan 24, 2013   #1
DO we behave differently in different clothes? Well, It is a complex issue and there is no straightforward answer to it. In some societies, which are more liberal, people wear clothes according to choice and occasion. In other societies, which are traditional, options for clothes that one can wear are limited, although , depending on the occasion, within the limited option, one can vary the type of attire.How we behave may be influenced by what we wear, but I would not agree fully that we behave differently depending on what we wear. Rather, clothes may determine the activities we undertake, but won't change who we are basically.

In some societies what people wear is not an issue i.e. men and women can wear whatever they feel comfortable in and can choose clothes according to occasion or activity. For example, if we consider a woman in such a society, who works and is also a mom with kids, for office probably she will wear a smart suit or a smart formal dress, at home maybe she will opt for shorts and a tee and if she has to take her kids to the beach or to the park, she will probably wear a jogging suit or outwear shorts and a top.So her activity determines the clothes she wears. But her behavior will not change accordingly. If she is a smart, confident woman, irrespective of what she wears she will continue to be one. She will not be docile in one wear and overly confident in another.

On the other hand, in some societies what men and women can wear are restricted by tradition, religion, culture, etc. For example, it is common in a lot of families in India, not to allow their grown up , unmarried girls to wear western clothes. So, for those girls, whether they go shopping, or to work or stay at home or go to the beach, they probably have the option of wearing only the salwar kameez; of course depending on where they go , they may vary the quality of the attire from simple to gorgeous. Again, even here, the person may undertake different activity although she is wearing the same kind of clothes everywhere but her basic behavior won't change. On the other hand, if a person who has never worn jeans is suddenly made to wear one , one day, she will probably come across as awkward although otherwise, in her normal wear, she may be a very confident person.

Another way of interpreting the above statement, is whether we are expected to behave in a particular way when we are wearing particularly kind of clothes. For example, we are not expected to go to office wearing shorts or go to the beach wearing a three piece suit. And we must therefore, behave according to what we wear. Well, to the extent the activity we undertake or occasion we attend, calls for a particular attire, I agree that our attire and behavior have to be in tandem with the activity or occasion.

Therefore, as I mentioned in the beginning, there is no straightforward answer to whether clothes determine our behavior.How we behave may or may not change with clothes, but depending on how comfortable we are in our clothes, our body language and confidence may change.

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