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Old 05-15-2014, 02:14 PM
 
4,279 posts, read 3,288,620 times
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I've watched way too many makeover shows, and one thing that really sticks out to me is the supposed ability of the expert or host to deduce the state of the participant's life from looking at his or her clothing and / or manner of decorating. Assuming this isn't staged, how do they do it? It seems like such a neat ability to have, almost like being Sherlock Holmes or something. I would like to learn how to do a little of it so that I could explain how it works to my students.

While we're on the subject, if anyone knows of any neat inductive reasoning tricks that would amaze people and simplify life, I would like to hear them.

Also, if this should go in Psychology, please feel free to move it.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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It is likely a combo of body language and attire. Usually when people do not wear things that fit well, they are uncomfortable with themselves or want to fade into the background. Also, lots of layers (in inopportune weather) is a sign that someone is trying to hide/cover/eliminate unwanted attention from a certain body party.

People who don't like to "put together" their own outfits usually fall into two camps: I don't care about my appearance or I am afraid of doing it wrong.

People who wear loads of age inappropriate or attention grabbing "sexy" outfits are usually trying to prove something. It could mean lack of self-esteem or it could mean fear of aging. It usually tries to send a message of "even though I am over XXX, I'm still hot." But the actually message is something like "I am desperately trying to hold on to my youth, because I just figured out I have wrinkles."

But things like style of walk, posture, eye contact, and hand position all give a lot more queues about how someone feels. It isn't only the clothing, it is the whole package.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:29 AM
 
Location: all over the place (figuratively)
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Well said. How expensive the clothes look is another clue.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Buckeye, AZ
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I can say it depends. If they wear ratty clothing they either don't care about appearances, a hippie or are poor (sorry not trying to be stereotypical but you at least look the part.) If they wear comic book superheroes they are likely into them. If they wear band shirts, they are likely into that band unless they are poseur.
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:40 PM
 
10,339 posts, read 7,594,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
I've watched way too many makeover shows, and one thing that really sticks out to me is the supposed ability of the expert or host to deduce the state of the participant's life from looking at his or her clothing and / or manner of decorating. Assuming this isn't staged, how do they do it? It seems like such a neat ability to have, almost like being Sherlock Holmes or something. I would like to learn how to do a little of it so that I could explain how it works to my students.

While we're on the subject, if anyone knows of any neat inductive reasoning tricks that would amaze people and simplify life, I would like to hear them.

Also, if this should go in Psychology, please feel free to move it.

Only somewhat.

There are many creative people, artists, who dress like homeless people.

There are Hollywood moguls who wear nothing but tacky T-shirts and jeans.

The best way to look really good is to be young and fit; then it doesn't matter what you wear.

Barring that, spend a ton of money on designer clothes and make sure they fit well.

If you want to look pulled together on a low budget, stick to two or three coordinated basic colors for all your clothes, and wear simple designs, kind of like this:

https://www.theline.com/vol/chapter/...Fashion-Canada
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
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I feel like I can tell a little by general appearance and clothing. This is why I don't like wearing things from Kohl's frankly. (And of course they don't fit well either.) Because you can recognize where they were bought.

I often notice women's makeup, or the lack thereof, and how their hair is styled. I tend not to notice men unless they are alarmingly awful or very well dressed. (A nicely and neatly dressed old guy is a nice thing to see for this old lady.)

How the face is done tells me if the person pays attention to style, or if she has sort of gotten stuck. If there is no makeup, and I would expect there to be, then I suspect she is poor, or harried, or doesn't care about her appearance. The hair is also a clue. When people have no money to spend on themselves, they often have long, unruly hair.

A person who is incredibly neat says something about him or herself. A person who lets her long hair hide her face says something else. I think people watching is fascinating.
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,867 posts, read 28,137,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I feel like I can tell a little by general appearance and clothing. This is why I don't like wearing things from Kohl's frankly. (And of course they don't fit well either.) Because you can recognize where they were bought.
Really? Because I have a few dresses from Kohls that are cute, garner compliments (and looks of shock when I saw they are from Kohls).

These days, with fast fashion and everything else, clothes aren't particularly distinct these days. At first glance it is hard to tell if something is designer or budget. And with the huge decrease in quality these days, even the higher end stuff has shoddy construction.

You can make anything look great with the proper fit and tailoring. Longevity on the other hand is trickier these days.
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,867 posts, read 28,137,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post

If you want to look pulled together on a low budget, stick to two or three coordinated basic colors for all your clothes, and wear simple designs, kind of like this:

https://www.theline.com/vol/chapter/...Fashion-Canada
Everyone should have basics, but not everyone's basics are the same. If I wore those outfits, they'd look terrible on me. Totally shapeless, and I have the wrong shape for most of those outfits. The tunic? Terrible if you are well-endowed at the top or hippy. Oxford shirts? The need impeccable tailoring if you are busty. Busty ladies typically look better in a blazer with a higher stance and more buttons. The clothing pictured is really only for people with banana or straighter figures.

To look "put together" everyone needs a uniform for work, weekend, casual occasions, and parties that fits your style and lifestyle. The skirt suit isn't my look, my work uniform is a dress or skirt/blouse with a cardigan. My weekend uniform is about the same, with longer cardigans or dresses in casual fabrics. If I started dressing in black, beige and cream everyone would wonder if I was depressed!
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