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LulaRoe abstract print dress, Musse & Cloud sandal, Hipstik pantyhose, Sam Edelman bucket bag, Moda International leather bomber jacket, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Coolibar sleeves

There is this saying of “clothes send a message.” Read why this is the case and how you can take control to dress for success.

Contents
  1. The Messages Sent by Clothes Are Cultural
  2. Clothes Tell the World Who You Are …
  3. Clothes Traditionally Convey Information about the Wearer
  4. The Colors of Clothes Send a Message too
  5. What the Military Inspired Outfit Tells about Me
  6. How Not to Send the Message of Being Careless with Distressed Jeans
  7. Wrapping Up Why Clothes Send a Message

 

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The Messages Sent by Clothes Are Cultural

Does it also happened to you that somethings a song is popping up in your head in the morning and pops up again and again and again during that day? This week it already happened twice and I had it last week too. The funny part about it is that all three songs were related to clothes. Last week it was

“… I put my old blue jeans on …”

The other day it was

“… she wore blue velvet…”

and today it is

“Lady in red is dancing with me…”

Interestingly, the melodies of these songs sort of also describe the feelings associated with wearing them. Old blue jeans sounds like freedom fun, weekend and joy. So is the melody. Blue velvet is associated with drama to a certain degree – probably also because of the movie. It also is associated with richness and mystery. The melody is very serious, may be suffering, depressing, the total opposite of happiness. Both clothes are blue, but the association with them differs. Lady in red, or put it this way, the little red dress (LRD) is mysterious too, but sultry – at least to a certain degree. While the music is also serious it is also surprising. Well, to a formal event most ladies wear their LBD. Thus, a LRD is a statement, and has its surprise effect.

same dress sends different message with different accessories
This photo shows the same dance dress. I took the gaze out which made the dress fall straight. The left side is the before styled with an athleisure jacket and sandals to go for dance practice. The look on the right reads having coffee with the girls. In other words, styling matters.

Clothes Tell the World Who You Are …

… or at least, how you want to be seen by the world. Thus, make sure they send the message that you want, not some random message that is a lie or even worse, not what you want. Doing so is a recipe to dress for success.

For instance, when dressing for an interview you aim at sending the message that you fit in, pay attention to detail, take care, are willing to take work home and take deadlines seriously. More on how to dress for a job interview in the conservative field.

Never underestimate the power of the right outfit. #dressforsuccess #lifestyle Click To Tweet

Clothes Traditionally Convey Information about the Wearer

Europe has a long history of sumptuary laws. To enforce these laws kids have learned songs about clothes. As adults we unconsciously transfer their message to what we see.

For instance, I recall a children song that aimed at educating how to take care of your wardrobe. This song went like this (translated from German) “Show me your feet, show me your shoes, and watch the hardworking laundry ladies ….” It went on to wring the laundry, hanging it up to dry and to iron it.

Wrinkled or dirty clothes are never in style. #agelesstyle Click To Tweet

The Colors of Clothes Send a Message too

Another song actually taught that color of the clothes say something about their wearer, their status and profession. This song goes like this “Green, green, green are all my clothes, green, green, green is everything I have, I love everything that is green because my beloved one is a forester.” Then the next verses go on with other colors associated with other professions. Red for horse rider, blue for sailor, white for miller, and finally colorful for painter. My sister and I invented a 7th verse when we were kids. We added black to the above song and it stood for a chimney cleaner. 🙂 Note in Germany, it is supposed to bring luck when you see a chimney cleaner.

The colors of your clothes say more about you than you may think. #fashion Click To Tweet

What my sister and I failed to realize as kids was the second message of this song. Namely that women should reflect the status of their husbands. In other words, the song also indoctrinated that women should have no own identity.

scientist in bold color dress leather coat sending the message of being opinionated

colorful bold color dress with bomber jacket and sandals messaging a confident opinionated personality
Outfit details: LulaRoe abstract print fit-and-flare dress, Musse & Cloud sandal, Hipstik pantyhose, Sam Edelman studded bucket bag, Moda International leather bomber jacket, Hermes collier de chien bangle, citrine and moonstone necklace, (all own), sun protective sleeves c/o Coolibar

 

What the Military Inspired Outfit Tells about Me

In the sense of that song, my today’s dress seems to lie with regard to pretending they are military clothes and with respect to the 7th verse that my sister and I invented as kids. 😉 More on military inspired clothing.

My clothes don’t lie with respect that they are a classic (military, black) look with an edgy twist (hardware, zipper). It is so me. I also like things in an orderly fashion. Well, that’s needed in the military too, right? I love sleek clothes. Well, this style is sleek. I love office looks that stay out. This dress stays out of the crowd of black office dresses.

Get control about the message your clothes send to the world about you. #dressforsuccess Click To Tweet

over 50 years old woman wearing Victoria Victoria Beckham clothes and a collier de chien belt

clothes loving woman wearing a dress with clothes pattern
Outfit details: Victoria Victoria Beckham LBD, Hermes collier de chien belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Anne Klein lizard sling back pumps, and D&G Madonna sunglasses (all own)

How Not to Send the Message of Being Careless with Distressed Jeans

Today I am wearing my new BF jeans that I ordered online from Loft when doing what I call “insomniac online shopping“. Ok, I have to admit these BF jeans are not old, but they are distressed and pretend to be old. Nevertheless, they give me a feel great and happy mood like in the song. And being happy is what it is all about, right? The outfit also conveys that I want to be comfortable, but look polished and effortless.

clothes sending the message of casual comfort but attention to details

fashion blogger Nicole in BF jeans, painted Silk Scarf, silver Pumps

fashion blogger in blazer with statement Bag, jeans, Silk Scarf and silver snake Pumps
Loft BF jeans polished for a “casual Friday look” with Ralph Lauren silver pumps, smoky quartz buckle statement belt, Oliveo blazer, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Bulova watch and artisan painted scarf (all own). Adding a statement bag and own Ray Ban mirrored sunglasses add a nice look while strolling to lunch on a sunny day

 

To get these distressed beauties into polished casual workplace territory I paired them with a blazer and high heels. Well, my motto is “the higher the heel the better I feel” anyhow, and I love statement shoes.

Wrapping Up Why Clothes Send a Message

Our cultural and societal background leads to unconscious associations of clothes, their colors, quality and our accessories with status, income, profession, behavior, political and religious views as well as personal values. Making yourself aware of this fact and the messages wardrobe items can send you can dress for success by intentionally sending messages.

You can learn more about How to Dress for Success in Midlife in my style book that you can buy at the link.

What are your clothes telling about you? Are you aware of what your clothes and color choices tell about you? Do you pick your clothes to send a message about you in your favor?

Photos: G. Kramm

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