Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Zee-Sun Yun

Second Advisor

Mary Simpson


The main objective of this project was to explore the idea of using clothing as a nonverbal communication tool. The symbolic interaction theory is used to explain how clothes obtain meaning and how this message can be communicated among college students in college environment. A social experiment was conducted using 10 college students to create a short documentary. The students dressed out of context for a day and wore outfits that contradicted their regular sense of style; outfits consisted of mismatching colors, coordination and prints and were worn to a course/class social setting. The findings indicated the students found themselves more self-aware about the garments they wore as well as the messages displayed when dressing out of context. This exploratory research supports clothing as nonverbal communication tool.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted