Dressing for Success: Understanding Why We Dress the Way We Do

Have you ever thought about why we dress the way we do? Maybe it’s for our own confidence; whether that means looking good for ourselves and feeling better about ourselves, or being properly outfitted to impress those around us. But no matter the reason, understanding how and why we decide to dress can help us make smarter decisions when selecting our wardrobe – even if it’s just choosing something in a rush before heading out!

The thing I keep promising my girlfriend is that I will dress better, but I never seem to get around to it.

A spontaneous “to-do” list might even include it as my “number one” priority. When we are having fun together, I can tell she is trying to motivate me to be proud of how we look. I want to look at least as good as other people.

When I dress like a ‘bum,’ I think I am almost doing her psychological harm. That’s how I come across in her eyes, and I don’t like it. Yet it is simply difficult for me to find suitable clothes for her to wear without embarrassing her.

I love my girlfriend. I rationalized that I shouldn’t stress myself too much about dressing well. Conversely, I aim to meet fairly reasonable expectations.

Sometimes I just need to get up the nerve to go into a department store. This will enable me to buy at least one decent outfit now and then. My girl would have an easier time showing me love if I met what appears to be a very simple request.

Since I’ve been thinking about getting back into long-form blogging, I thought I would journal this. If I simply address this “to-do” item, I may be able to better manage that since this is an issue between us that does arise occasionally.

In the interests of full disclosure: I was reading notes in 2021 by Robert Duff, Ph.D., when I thought to blog this. A clinical psychologist, self-help writer, and podcaster, he is known by the handle @duffthepsych.