By Muskan Arora
Do you sometimes wonder why you are able to wear a certain outfit with elan and get confused by another? What does that inner voice tell you to wear a particular garment? Turns out, it’s your brain that guides you to make a fashion decision. On any given day, the clothes you wear and their color reflect your features and moods.
To understand and explore the relationship between your clothes and your personality, indianexpress.com contacted industry experts and asked them to explain the concept of “fashion psychology.”
“Fashion psychology investigates all the challenges of fashion through the lens of psychology to better understand human emotions,” says Priyanka Gangwal, a 28-year-old who works as a design researcher at Disignit. “I was working with a fashion brand in India that made products cheaply and sold at a much higher rate; the novelty of each product would also quickly fade, ”he shares.
“The trend of consumerism has been at its peak in the fashion industry, and adding more didn’t appeal to me. Therefore, curious to understand the needs of both consumers and manufacturers, and in the hope of being a sustainable designer, I went ahead to study ‘fashion psychology’ in London. This beautiful mix of fashion with psychology brings new perspectives and definitions of how psychology impacts fashion and vice versa. We investigate how fashion choices tell stories about who we are to the world every day and how it impacts human behavior. For example, its influence on our perception of colors, beauty and culture, which also play an important role in the development of buying behaviors, ”explains Gangwal.
She sheds light on how fashion blogs are often confused with fashion psychology, as the former talks about putting together clothes in a different and stylish way, while the latter goes further, talking about the thought process of the consumer and producer taking into account the defining attributes of each.
Her course included “cognitive psychology and different fashion research methods,” which helped her understand “the practicality of better implementing this psychology.” “In my thesis, I studied how I could improve the emotional durability of a bag, to encourage people to stick with the product for a long time. I investigated in various ways, such as the material you use, marketed as an heirloom product, the viewing pleasure is used to make the person stick to the bag for longer. “
Fashion psychology is a revolutionary new concept in India that talks about “dealing with the workings of the fashion industry, understanding consumer behavior and discovering ways to make fashion more sustainable by predicting trends”, says Harsheen Arora, 34. psychologist and owner of a luxury brand. “For example, when someone is happy, he likes to dress up, and when he doesn’t feel good about himself, he prefers to dress in comfortable clothes. Fashion and psychology are closely related, ”he says.
India has a colorful culture, and Arora says that colors are deeply ingrained, in that, they are important to understand the psychology of fashion. “Colors have the power to affect our mood and vice versa. For example, red is associated with feeling powerful, as it is a bold color. Black can be used to accent or hide. Our minds associate colors with different things; for example, white is used to symbolize peace, so using shades of white or pastels can help one feel calmer. “
Delving into the relationship between fashion psychology and sustainability, Namrata Lodha (52), the founder of Myaraa, which produces hats made of grass and fabric, and aims to produce sustainable products, says that the term ‘sustainable fashion’ It has been “noteworthy”, “And when you love the world you live in, of course, you want to do everything you can to avoid an even bigger carbon footprint. While it’s easy to want to start shopping for pieces considered environmentally friendly, often that small – or sometimes large number – on the price tag can prevent you from making that purchase, rather than opting for more affordable fast-fashion pieces. This is how the psychology of fashion and sustainability in fashion are linked. “
The entrepreneur has been working to make her product “free of carbon footprints” and adds how “the natural straw hat gives us the opportunity to restart and return to our roots.” “Our hat collection is inspired by the positive impact of the natural and eco-friendly material used to make custom hats. When it comes to sustainable products, quality is key. Unlike fast fashion, products must be made to last wear after wear, wash after wash, season after season. However, for this reason, sustainable clothing is often more expensive to create and therefore buy than its fast-fashion counterparts, which may put some people off. Our hats may seem classic, but these 100% vegan and natural grass products. The classic silhouette makes them incredibly versatile. “
“As the fashion industry is the second largest polluting country in the world, after agriculture, it is imperative that brands in India start taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. According to me, sustainable fashion is more than just how materials and clothes are made. Sustainable fashion equates to a sustainable wardrobe, full of mementos and pieces that I bought over the years, that I reuse over and over again. If I have to buy something new, I always ask myself, ‘Will I still wear this when I’m 60?’ If the answer is yes, I buy it, ”says Lodha.
(The writer is an intern at Indian Express)