1. Is clothing meaning clear cut and straightforward or is variable and contingent? I think clothing leans more toward contingent rather than clear cut and straightforward. I feel that many individuals dress depending on the situation. When I’m on campus, I wear athletic clothes because I need the comfort and flexibility to participate in my physical education classes. However, I would say the way I dress is pretty flexible. I dress depending on the weather and activity of the day. As Efrat mentions, “it is not enough to look at somebody’s wardrobe and interpret the meaning of the signals he or she is sending off with various outfits.” I don’t think I can figure out peoples intentions based on their choice of clothing. Below, I provide three examples of different groups within the CSULA campus.
The first young lady I interviewed is a senior getting her BA in Television and Film at Cal State Los Angeles. I asked her what her intentions were when she picked out her outfit in the morning. Her response was “professionalism.” When she dresses professional, people seem to take her more serious. As the president of Hispanic Business Society she has to present herself in business attire. After a long day heading from one class to another, she was heading to a general meeting, that is why she decided to wear a blouse that wasn’t fitted to allow a more comfortable movement. The black pencil skirt was picked out to balance out the business/casual look. From head to toe, she carefully took the time to look her best. On the other hand, her wardrobe is filled with jeans and t-shirts, jerseys, a lot of sneakers shoes and a few dresses.
Moving on to a Business major, senior once again, with a professional look. This student is also part of the HBS organization. She specifically picked out this look to emphasize the role she plays within the org. Unlike the tvf major, she decided to lean towards the comfortable side with layers of fabric covering most of her body. She explained to me how she prefers to dress more conservative than most, that is how she is most comfortable in.
Lastly, a Health Services major going for the casual/business look. She works on campus, so she is required to dress appropriate for her position. However, she adds a lot of pink in her body to be fun which makes her feel joy. Pink was her obsession, it was pleasing for her. She recently stared drifting away from her usual color and trying out darker shades. Now, she is more open to expand her color choice.
2. Create your own adaptation of the Definitions of the Concise Dictionary of Dress consisting of text and image.
Armoured– Having some sort of protection. Feeling secure.
Comfortable– ease, laid back
Measured– made to fit, detailed, exact
Plain– simple, simplicity, basic