Fashion’s Influence on Self-Expression

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As “style,” “trends,” and “size” are some of the words that come to mind when “fashion” is mentioned, deeming fashion as superficial would not be surprising.

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However, if you really think about it, fashion can be a true reflection of our inner most thoughts and moods. (The psychology of fashion, perhaps?) We all have a piece in our closet that we wear A LOT because it makes us feel greater than great. (For me, it’s my favorite blue dress.) When the weather is gloomy and we’re feeling a bit tired, the comfortable and casual outfits come out to play.

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Well, there is actual proof that fashion plays a power role in self-expression. T.J.Maxx partnered with Dr. Hazel Clark, Research Chair of Fashion at Parsons the New School for Design, for a study on the correlation between fashion and self-expression. At an early morning breakfast at Andaz Hotel in NYC, fashion magazine editors and bloggers had the opportunity to hear Dr. Hazel Clark and Leslie Fremar, (The Hollywood Reporter’s “Most Powerful Stylist in Hollywood”) speak about their take on the results of the study.

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Fashion provides the context, but women provide the individuality. – Dr. Hazel Clark

You don’t have to buy everything. Work with what you have. Mix in the things that make you feel good. – Leslie Fremar

…now, and more than ever, you have to stay firm and stay true to what you believe: what works, why you chose that…and really stand behind it. – Leslie Fremar

Here are some of the self-expression study findings:

  • 87% of the women surveyed said they are not controlled by fashion.
  • 77% use fashion as a tool to express their personality.
  • 74% use fashion to express their individuality.
  • 23% of women rock a pair of jeans when they want to feel in control


Where do you fit in? Do you use fashion as a mode of self-expression or is it purely functional?
What article of clothing do you rock when you want to feel empowered?

Let us know in the comments!

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