Children may express autonomy by wearing what they want to wear and not what their parents want them to wear. If for instance, parents emphasize neatness, cool colors, the adolescent may dress in a sloppy manner and chose loud colors as a form of independence. Old people may sometimes prefer to dress in clothes whose styles are more associated with youth rather than those whose styles emphasize their age.
DESIRE FOR ATTENTION
Almost everybody wishes to be noticed by others. Being noticed however, is only desirable if it has a positive effect. If somebody is noticed with disapproval, their self concept will be affected in a negative manner.if someone feels negative about their physical looks, they may dress in inconspicuous clothes to distract attention. Young and old people who considerably deviate from the standard way of dress may be expressing a protest against the social expectations of dress for their particular age.
School children often want to be identified with their peer groups; it gives them a sense of belonging. Being different from the peers might mean failure of being accepted which may lead to social isolation.
Adults may not usually feel strongly about clothes as teenagers do. The values which may be expressed by a certain mode of dressing may to most adults be superficial and insignificant.
However adults do believe that clothes play an important role in ones identification with a valued social class which a person wishes to identify with. A person who likes to live a middle class life despite his low income will attempt to dress in clothes which are worn by most middle class adults and go to social club which are attended by the same middle class people so that he can be identified with them.
Examples of clothes which help to identify the wearer with a certain class of people are: