Ever look down at yourself and truly wonder: what is it that I am saying to the world? Your clothes convey a lot about who you are, sometimes more than you wish. People judge you, albeit sometimes unfairly, by your dress and how you carry yourself. Semiotics, or the study of signs, says that each piece of clothing you own says something about you, and the ones you wear even more so.
A usual reaction is something along the lines of “but I just grabbed this shirt this morning.” The claim here is that there was no thought of “what do I want my shirt to say to the world today.” This may well be true; the mere act of putting on a shirt may not actively convey anything intentional you have chosen. However, it does say a lot about you: for example, at the very least, it signifies that you live in a society where covering yourself is the right thing to do. Why not go to work without a shirt on? For a man, it is inappropriate at best, for a woman it is downright scandalous. Why? It is the way society is. We can tell that by looking at a group of people who are all clothed and asking them that question.
Getting into specifics like this, let us go a step further. Some things are more obvious: people who wear branded clothing, or sportswear, such as basketball, football, or paintball apparel tend to like the thing that is being symbolized on their clothing. No, they did not go “I would like the world to know I enjoy football today,” but the fact that they even own a football jersey to randomly grab one morning implies that they may have at one point made the conscious decision to purchase one. The wearing of it another day is the aftereffect of such a decision.
Sometimes decisions are made while dressing, but less overt. For example, you just happened to grab that red t-shirt this morning on your way out the door, but why pick red? Did you only own red, therefore you must enjoy red a lot? Was it the one on the top, so you usually prefer the path of least resistance when there are less important decisions to make? Or perhaps, did you pick the red one out of the group because you feel that particular shirt fits you better, makes you look better, or perhaps you just preferred to other colors?
Even though you do not actively think it, it is there, and it says a lot about who you are.