Dress and human behavior: A review and critique

Kim K.P. Johnson, Jeong Ju Yoo, Minjeong Kim, Sharron J. Lennon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to present a comprehensive review and analysis of published research that investigated relationships between the dress of an individual and how that dress affected others' behavior toward the individual. Existing published research was analyzed to determine the types of behaviors investigated, the types of dress manipulations, whether dress had a significant effect, theory used to guide the research, and who the participant population was in the research. Research methods were also reviewed. Sources of data were 93 studies published from 1955 to 2004. Researchers overwhelmingly investigated helping behavior. The most frequently operationalized concepts using dress manipulations were labeled "dress," "status," and "attractiveness." Researchers using dress or attractiveness or attire as the primary dress manipulation did not necessarily control for other dress variables (e.g., makeup, hair-style) in their research. Most of this research was not guided by theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalClothing and Textiles Research Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 7 2008


  • Behavior
  • Dress
  • Method
  • Operationalization
  • Theory


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