A good example of how we use clothing in order to portray an image of ourselves is the way we dress for job interviews. A business-like appearance is often thought to represent success and employers often believe that a professionally dressed person indicates motivation, skill and a hard-working attitude. An interesting study in 1970 found that people perceived nurses as less caring when they dressed casually. This goes to show that how we dress gives off important information about our personality, education, background and credibility.
In addition having an impression on others, our clothing can have an effect on ourselves too. The multi-sensory aspects, social factors and symbolic associations of clothing can affect our individual emotions.
The idea that what you wear affects your mentality is called'enclothed cognition.' A study of participants wearing white lab coats found that the participants performed better in tests when they believed that they were wearing a doctor's coat than when they were told they were wearing an artist's coat. These results suggest that we take on the perceived characteristics of the clothing that we wear, so much so, that it influences the way we think and behave.
In fashion, this is seen when designers create a persona for their collections and women aspire to wear the brand to take on the characteristics of the muse. If you associate Prada's collection with an intelligent, powerful woman, you are more likely to act that way, when you wear the clothing yourself.