Does Clothing Reflect Personality?

In this article, we will take a look at whether or not clothing reflects personality and what other things clothing can tell about a person. Also, the article will take a look at what other things affect personality and hence may affect the type of clothing we wear!

Does Clothing Reflect Personality?

Yes clothing does reflect our personality although this may be intentional or intentional. Sometimes we dress to show our personality and sometimes we unconsciously express who we are through how we dress up!

Most people make sure they dress in a way that expresses who they are as a person. This can be understood with the help of an example. Take a man named Jake – he dresses as someone who prefers to wear a tight fitted T shirt with black jeans that might be torn and he loves to wear sunglasses – he is someone who is extroverted and prefers to dress openly. Take a look at Jasper who is someone that prefers to wear looser clothing such as hoodies, caps and does not prefer to be too bold when it comes to dressing. He is more likely to be considered an introvert. The only way to determine this is to actually talk or observe them more.

Sometimes dressing also reflects our mood. We may feel miserable and hence we don’t really care how we look. We might be wearing dirty clothes that are torn and look as though they are years old. Furthermore, the accessories we have may not match what we are already wearing. It is a known fact that people who are depressed often do not have the energy to dress well or presentably.

Clothes show a lot about you! People who are sport and active may prefer wearing shorter or slimer clothes to allow them to move freely. People who do not like sports and are more introverted or less active and prefer ‘desk work’ may wear skirts or flowy dresses. Similarly, people who are fashionable, pay attention to detail or like to be eye-catching will prefer to wear clothes that are in fashion!

What is Personality?

Personality is a term used to describe the traits a person expresses in most situations. It is made up of their thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Every person has a distinct set of characteristics or traits that makes them a unique individual and helps give them a personality. So technically, according to this definition everyone has a personality.

However, in some cases, certain people may have a more expressive or appealing personality than others. Such a personality would make them more likeable and obvious to others compared to someone who is not likeable or too quiet to be noticed. 

“Personality is the entire mental organization of a human being at any stage of his development. It embraces every phase of human character: intellect, temperament, skill, morality, and every attitude that has been built up in the course of one’s life.” (Warren & Carmichael, 1930, p. 333)

“Personality is the essence of a human being.” (Hall & Lindzey, 1957, p. 9, characterizing statements by Gordon Allport)

“An individual’s pattern of psychological processes arising from motives, feelings, thoughts, and other major areas of psychological function. Personality is expressed through its influences on the body, in conscious mental life, and through the individual’s social behavior.” (Mayer, 2005)

The Characteristics Of Personality

Here are the important characteristics of personality!

Personality Is Stable

Your personality does not change everyday although you may notice there are variations in your behaviour depending on what situation you face. Nevertheless, it is important that personality is relatively stable over a number of situations regardless of time. It does not change drastically everyday.

Personality Is Ever Present

Just because you don’t feel like yourself today does not mean you have changed your personality. You always have your personality with you even if you don’t use your traits all the time.

Personality Is Made Up Of Properties & Mechanisms

Personality can be divided into different components and characteristics. Over time, many different classifications have been made in personality characteristics. Literally hundreds!

What Do Clothes Reflect?

Here we will take a look at all the things you can tell by the clothes someone wears!

These are the things you can tell about a person from they wear:

  • What profession they have
  • Are they introverted or extroverted
  • Bold or shy
  • Careful or careless
  • Religion, culture or nationality
  • Their current mood
  • What interests them
  • Fashion sense

Although it is not always possible to tell all of these things from a person’s clothing and you may not be correct every time, what you wear defines you greatly!

How Does Culture Affect Personality?

Culture is the set of values, beliefs and norms that is passed down from one generation to the other through a series of activities, behaviours and actions that are centered around learning. Culture is what distinguishes one human society from the other. It is also what defines how people generally behave in one place as compared to the other.

Culture affects how a person is brought up and hence dictates how a person speaks, behaves or interacts with others despite the fact that personality is meant to do the same thing; Personality has the role of guiding one’s behaviour in a group or community of others. Thus, this can either mean that culture is an integral part of formulating one’s personality or simply replaces what personality is meant to do! This is where the nature and nurture debate comes into play!

Culture Around The World – How It Affects Our Personality?

It is evident that cultures vary drastically across the world to the extent that one behavior in one part of the world may be considered a kind gesture whereas the same behaviour may be considered extremely rude in the other part of the world!

There are many elements of cultures that can and do affect personality. One element is called the collectivistic Vs Individualistic type where cultures can be either of the two. In individualistic cultures people focus more on the individual and their own success rather than how they relate to the overall society or the group; the traits that exist in people here are more of that of extroversion, hard work, boldness and being outspoken.

However, in collectivistic cultures the major focus is on the group and how the individual can fit in. Hence, the traits that are seen in people here are mostly those of agreeableness, shyness, modesty and sacrifice. This shows that the type of culture greatly affects people and what types of personalities they develop over time. There are many other elements of culture such as the power dynamics and gender that affect personality. For example, culture defines what traits constitute gender acceptable behavior.

Consuls & Social Image – The ESFJ

In this section we will introduce the ESFJ type that is quite conscious about how they look as well as how they dress in society.

This is what the 16 Personalities has to say about Consuls who are better known as the ESFJ personality type from the MBTI inventory of personalities:

“People who share the Consul personality type are, for lack of a better word, popular – which makes sense, given that it is also a very common personality type, making up twelve percent of the population. In high school, Consuls are the cheerleaders and the quarterbacks, setting the tone, taking the spotlight and leading their teams forward to victory and fame. Later in life, Consuls continue to enjoy supporting their friends and loved ones, organizing social gatherings and doing their best to make sure everyone is happy.

Consuls’ preoccupation with social status and influence, which affects many decisions they make, potentially limiting their creativity and open-mindedness. It can be especially challenging to change these tendencies because Consuls are so conflict-averse. Consul personalities can become very defensive and hurt if someone, especially a person close to them, criticizes their habits, beliefs or traditions.”


This article took a look at whether or not clothing reflects your personality as well as all the other things your clothing can tell about you. The article also shed light on what affects personality and explained this term in quite some detail. Lastly, the article provided an example of a personality type from the MBTI inventory of personalities which are quite conscious about their social image and naturally about their clothing too.


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