What does our clothes say about us? Interview with image designer Dana Tarasova

Have you ever wondered what clothes say about us? The psychology of choosing clothes is much more than demonstrating to people around the knowledge of fashion trends (not at all about it), it is an opportunity to tell your story using visual codes. Practicing psychologist and image-designerDana Tarasovatold us how fashion and psychology are interrelated.

There is a beautiful Russian proverb "They meet according to their clothes, but they escort them according to their mind." What does our clothes say to those around us, besides its cost and quality of fabrics?

They meet really "on clothes". The visual image is the first thing we perceive in the interlocutor. In this case, only the eyes we believe unconditionally, and everything else is prone to question. In my opinion, to underestimate it is rather rash. And just the cost of clothes and the quality of fabrics will not strike the eye in the first place.This requires your own experience of wearing expensive clothes and at least a little time to consider the costume. Unconscious reactions of transference and interpretation will be much faster. Therefore, it is obvious that the quality of the visual effect depends not only on what you would like to “say” to your interlocutor with your costume, but also to a large extent on what your interlocutor can and can hear. And the clothes can speak about many things: about the social status of its owner, about the peculiarities of his world view, upbringing and character traits. Clothes can tell and that you might want to hide. For example, about your complexes and fears. And it happens that such judgments are too hasty, superficial and inaccurate. With this, of course, it is possible and necessary to work.

Is it possible, by the appearance of a person, to determine his inner world and correctly evaluate it?

At first glance this will not work. We always need time to get to know the interlocutor, evaluate him and understand where our guesses end and the real person begins. But it happens that the visual image pushes away or is not interesting to us so much that we don’t want to know anything else.We are not taught in school to consciously build our image, understanding our own individuality. It seems strange to me, because we walk all our lives in clothes, spend a lot of money on our wardrobe, a lot of time and effort. It hurts me when I see how it all starts to play against the person himself. Because it’s impossible to immediately understand the interlocutor’s appearance, but it’s easy to evaluate. And further dialogue may not happen, or it will go in a completely different way. During job interviews, by the way, this often happens.

If a girl likes to dress quite frankly: neckline, all tight-fitting, heels, - does this say about its availability, as it is commonly believed? Or, from the point of view of psychology, this is completely different? Why do we sometimes want outrageous?

I would not call outright outrage shocking. Epatage is an idea. For the neckline and heels are not always ideas. Sometimes we show our desires and intentions. It happens that behind the external loudness there is a deep fear of evaluation and rejection of your body. However, I tend to look at the desire to "undress" with the help of clothes as one of the main trends of our time.A person exists at the level of his thoughts, his soul (or moral), his body and in interaction with other people. This is how we realize our individuality. So let's imagine now our reality today. We live in absolute openness and accessibility. We want to be noticeable, interesting and desirable. All social networks are built on this. We strive to share ourselves with everyone, even with those we don’t know. This has never happened. But as soon as the opportunity appeared on the Internet to show itself, then the desire “Look at me and my life” appeared in my thoughts. The moral said that this can and should be done in order to be in contact with the world, and at the level of the body we began to do this.

Tom Ford Spring-Summer 2018

Tom Ford Spring-Summer 2018

Salvatore Ferragamo, spring-summer 2018

Salvatore Ferragamo, spring-summer 2018

But if a girl, on the contrary, prefers everything closed and neutral - is she modest, trapped and unsure of herself? Or what is this talking about?

This can also talk about different things. The context is very important here. Where does this girl prefer to appear all closed and neutral? There are situations where this is appropriate. If she always looks like this, then perhaps she really lacks confidence.Or she is simply modest and brought up in a preference for a similar aesthetic pattern, then this is absolutely normal. People are humble.

I noticed that some people in the wardrobe have absolutely no black things. Interestingly, from the point of view of psychology, the negation of black indicates something? And if a person does not like white at all?

Yes, we have different relationships with achromats. Not everyone loves them. Or, on the contrary, prefer to all other colors. In psychology, a sudden love of black is often considered a symptom of an internal crisis. Sometimes it is. But, in my opinion, people refuse any flowers for completely different reasons. For example, black is associated with mourning for many, white - many are sure of this - is against the weight of girls, and gray has an associative connection with facelessness (gray mass, gray mouse). It is very revealing what color range a person chooses for himself in a given situation. But the context is very important here so that the judgment is reasonable.

Roberto Cavalli, spring-summer 2018

Roberto Cavalli, spring-summer 2018

Tod’s Spring-Summer 2018

Tod’s Spring-Summer 2018

In general, the love of bright colors - this is what? Does a person want attention, is he cheerful or is it something else?

I think it can be both the first and second, and something completely different, for example, anxiety disorder or latent aggression. Sometimes, after all, we do not want so much external evaluation as to bring our inner state “to the surface”. Bright colors are always active, attract attention and stay in memory longer. This is the effect. But they are also able to demonstrate especially emotional, aggressive images. This is a way of expression.

Dolce & Gabbana, spring-summer 2018

Dolce & Gabbana, spring-summer 2018

Tibi, spring-summer 2018

Tibi, spring-summer 2018

How to dress to be liked by others, to succeed, to build relationships?

If there is a goal to please others, then it makes sense to find out who is around you and what these people like. So you will understand the strategy of creating your image. If you want to build relationships, then, I think, first of all you need to dress according to your individuality. So that the clothes do not argue with you, but help to bring the story that you tell about yourself. So the image is credible. And if your behavior, character, manner of speaking or, for example, the places where you appear is one story, and clothes are very different, then, rather, you will instill distrust, not sympathy.So building relationships will be much more difficult.

When you come to a psychologist, he begins to delve into childhood memories. Interestingly, in terms of psychology and fashion, the way we were dressed in childhood affects our adult life?

Of course, we all come from our childhood. Personality was formed there, norms of behavior were mastered, one's own “I” was realized, and so on. This is also directly related to the aesthetic ideal. He also comes from childhood. “Mom always dressed me in beautiful dresses” or “In my family it was not customary to pay much attention to clothes, I used to wear my elder sister’s clothes all my childhood” Probably not. A child examines himself in the mirror and in the circumstances proposed by significant adult circumstances he somehow evaluates his appearance. From the structure of personality, nothing goes anywhere. Therefore, in adulthood, you will have to learn how to live with this by turning to a stylist for help. That's why I think that stylists must have a psychological education.

Why in our wardrobe are very often items from “different operas”: business suits coexist with dresses more suitable for cabaret dancers,and jeans and sweaters with romantic dresses. Maybe this indicates that we ourselves do not know what we want?

This is a feature of modern fashion. I believe we live in amazing time. Everything is allowed! Any shapes, any colors, any styles we can use to express ourselves. Previously, it was impossible. Of course, we often do not know what we want, and it does not surprise me at all. And the point here is often not in the internal imbalance, but in ignorance and inability to consciously build your image. I repeat, no one taught us this, and fashion used to be authoritarian. There was no need to think about individuality. We read fashion magazines and from there understood what to wear. And not in the form of information for thought: these were clear indications of what is fashionable and what is not. Now we need to give people time to learn to dress in a new way.



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