托福写作考试有个题目，叫做：You can learn about people by clothes they wear!
Sages have been chattering all the time about the danger and devastation of judging a book by its cover. Admittedly, there is some truth in their effort, as it would be unsophisticated and misleading to calculate one’s moral character and dignity solely by his “cover”, be it his look, stature or even the quality of clothing.A closer study of the issue, aided by an acute sense of customs and convictions, however, reveals quite indisputably that one can learn, more or less, about people by the clothes they dress. The most significant information thus gathered is personal identity and cultural inclinations.
Coming first to indicate the affinity between the people and their clothing is the identity issue, which serves as a solid, identifiable evidence to my argument. With different styles of dressing, one intends to articulate his own identity, thus conveying some cultural subtleties, say, his likes and dislikes, his convictions and taboos. The example of Hippies and Yuppies comes readily to one’s mind. Their unconventional, rebellious dressing code, in a non-verbal manner, remained their counter-cultural manifesto. It is also true in the case of politicians and business people, whose clothing undoubtedly helps to differentiate them from those with different pursuits and occupations.
With one’s dress, a sensitive, well-informed mind could also gather crucial information about the customs, beliefs and other cultural inclinations of the community the person lives in, though, in some cases，the knowledge thus gained might be insufficient, but certainly not dismissible. As we are invariably conditioned by our customs upon the very moment of our birth, we grow up to be little creatures of our communities and convictions. Their beliefs are our belief, their impossibilities our impossibilities. Quite understandably, personal clothes, as an important ingredient of its cultural ambience, definitely speak with a tangible, visible language. The only difference is whether the “reader” is aware of this cultural cue or not. But it is forever out there: substantthing. Instead, a perceptive and reasonable mind forever knows how to explore more, but always by starting with proper knowledge and orientation from what they dress!