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Wearing Diaries

Wendy Moody , Peter Kinderman

From my past life I gladly borrow
I am who I was, who I am I will be.
There is no yesterday nor tomorrow
But only today forever for me
('The Last Poems of Miguel de Unamuno', 1974)

Keeping wearing diaries can add further insight into the emotional and symbolic attachment and meaning the wearer has with their clothes and the memories associated with wearing. This information will contribute to the understanding of choice due to anticipation and the changeable self, but also have some implications for design.

It is hypothesized that clothing contributes to regulating the self, affecting body and self-image processing. Clothing choices are linked to design and wearer variables - aesthetic, sensory, associative and self/body-image related signals and sensations that exist within clothing which are then translated by the wearer. These act as stimuli for positive and negative mood affects, individual personality factors, and in forming memories. In seeing oneself and in evaluating daily clothing choices the generation of self-relevant words evoke memories automatically from the signals or sensations, demonstrating that memory is essential to self processing during perception and wearing of clothing.

We explore participants’ personal relationships with their clothing choices and wearing patterns in relation to positive and negative emotion/mood affect (Watson et al, 1988), and personality. Using exploratory measures we begin to reveal additional insights into how and why the self is managed.

Results indicated that clothing can be used to moderate the self concept, through personality emotion/mood. Set deep in our autobiographical memories they provide a sense of stability.


emotion/mood, self, symbolic, memory