Do the Clothes Make the (Wo)man?

This morning, while walking through the kitchen and noticing the dirty dishes and general mess (when I’m working in my office, the rest of the house/work tends to disappear from my mind), I thought I should probably take a few minutes and clean up. Then I found myself reaching for my apron. Putting on my “uniform” to take care of the household things.

Joanne in her apron

I bought my apron (which my kids make fun of, but dear husband likes) just before Thanksgiving 2012, when we were hosting our largest gathering in a few years. Since then, I have worn it whenever washing dishes, cooking, or cleaning in the kitchen. There’s some new “identity” that seems to come with it for me. Like, “Now I am ready to happily tackle the tasks of housekeeper, chief cook and bottle-washer.”

This started me thinking about the other “uniforms” we wear. Like yoga clothes or workout gear, gardening clothes or those reserved for working on the car, and of course things like a karate ghee or gymnastics leotard.

How do our clothes help us change our identities or mental states? Is it true that the clothes make the man (or woman)?

I’ll leave you with this quote of Mark Twain’s that made me laugh…

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.
– quoted in More Maxims of Mark, Johnson, 1927



Leave a Reply