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Learn Vest at “You Beauty: The Science of a Beautiful You” writes

Your style says a lot about you.

What you wear can inform passersby of your type of employment, as well as your emotions, ambitions and spending habits.

And now it’s even launched a whole new type of psychology.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner literally wrote the book on this phenomenon, which she calls the “psychology of dress.” In “You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You,” she explains not only how psychology determines our clothing choices, but how to overcome key psychological issues your wardrobe might be bringing to light in your everyday life, or even at work.

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“Shopping and spending behaviors often come from internal motivations such as emotions, experiences and culture,” says Dr. Baumgartner. “You look at shopping or storing behaviors, even putting together outfits, and people think of it as fluff. But any behavior is rooted in something deeper. I look at the deeper meaning of choices, just like I would in therapy.”

We spoke with her to figure out why clothes are so revealing (of our personalities, that is), what messages they’re sending and how you can use your wardrobe to change how others perceive you—and even how you think about yourself.

How We Use Clothing As An Aid, And Weapon

Americans rely on clothing as an economic and social indicator because there aren’t official marks of rank such as a caste system or aristocracy, says Dr. Baumgartner.

“When you don’t have a specific system, people come up with their own,” she explains. It’s what “helps you figure out where you fit in. Especially now, with the economy, with people losing status, maintaining a sense of who we are becomes even more important. Our clothes help place us where we think we want to be. ”

She cites the Real Housewives TV series as an example: “Look at the way they focus on money. When they fight, they use logos and designers as a way to put each other down. They’re using clothes and accessories both as a tool to know where they fit in and as a weapon against others.”

Read the full article here