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Clothes

clothes - The first part of this entry is a general description of the meaning of clothes. Then there is the Clothes situations. For separate items like shirt, dress, socks etc please click on: Clothes Items

Clothes can mean many things depending upon dream context, their colour, style, what period of time they depict, and their condition – i.e. clean or dirty, ragged or smart, etc.

They can depict the stance or attitudes we use to meet other people or special situations such as work or danger; protection, such as might be given by our feelings of reserve, shyness, anxiety or aggressiveness in fending off sexual or other advances. They can also indicate a period or phase of ones life when you wore those clothes, and so associate with the activities, problems, or things you were experiencing at that time. But also the triumphs and realisations you have achieved. See Associations Working With


Clothes depict self respect and how we see ourselves in society – the difference between what we want and what we feel others want of us. Our clothes, especially when we consider their colour, can also express our emotional condition and moods, or even our health. Constance Newland in her book Myself and I, gives the example of dressing in violet symbolising being inviolate sexually.  As colours may be a vital clue to understanding our dream clothes, it is always helpful to look at the possible meaning of the colour. See: colours.

Clothes, clean or dirty, can also show the habits or habitual attitudes we are involved in and express through day after day.

In the following example the clothes are feelings of pleasure and confidence, and also discomfort and lack of confidence.

Example: ‘I am packing for a holiday, surrounded by a lovely selection of all sorts of clothes. I am matching outfits, shoes, scarves, handbags to match. It gives me great pleasure. I am wearing an old navy blue dress which is too short for me. So short I feel panic because there will not be enough time to change. I am now on the top deck of a bus. I have one battered suitcase and am wearing the same dress, trying vainly to pull it down over my knees. Suitcase bursts open and it is full of old clothes fit for a jumble sale.’ Valerie H.

Buying clothes

Changing ClothesChildren’s or teenage clothes in adult’s dreamClothing inappropriate to dream surroundingsClothes for a particular role – policeman, judge, etc

Dirty or untidy clothes – if the dreamer’sDirty underclothesDiscarded clothes

Eating clothes

Helped to get or buy clothes

Layers of clothes

Man in woman’s clothes

New clothes

Old clothesOld but comfortable clothesOther people’s clothes worn by dreamer

Ragged or inappropriate clothes

School clothesSomeone else’s clothesStealing clothes

Taking off clothesTight clothes

Undressing

Woman in male clothesWorn out or old clothes


Clothes can mean many things depending upon dream context, their colour, style, what period of time they depict, and their condition – i.e. clean or dirty, ragged or smart, etc.

They can depict the stance or attitudes we use to meet other people or special situations such as work or danger; protection, such as might be given by our feelings of reserve, shyness, anxiety or aggressiveness in fending off sexual or other advances. They can also indicate a period or phase of ones life when you wore those clothes, and so associate with the activities, problems, or things you were experiencing at that time. See Associations Working With

Clothes depict self respect and how we see ourselves in society – the difference between what we want and what we feel others want of us. Our clothes, especially when we consider their colour, can also express our emotional condition and moods, or even our health. Constance Newland in her book Myself and I, gives the example of dressing in violet symbolising being inviolate sexually.  As colours may be a vital clue to understanding our dream clothes, it is always helpful to look at the possible meaning of the colour. See: colours.

Clothes, clean or dirty, can also show the habits or habitual attitudes we are involved in and express through day after day. See: example under washing machine.

In the following example the clothes are feelings of pleasure and confidence, and also discomfort and lack of confidence.

Example: ‘I am packing for a holiday, surrounded by a lovely selection of all sorts of clothes. I am matching outfits, shoes, scarves, handbags to match. It gives me great pleasure. I am wearing an old navy blue dress which is too short for me. So short I feel panic because there will not be enough time to change. I am now on the top deck of a bus. I have one battered suitcase and am wearing the same dress, trying vainly to pull it down over my knees. Suitcase bursts open and it is full of old clothes fit for a jumble sale.’ Valerie H.

Idioms: Dressed to kill; dress up; dressed to the nines; overdressed; dressing down; dress rehearsal; a stitch of clothes; dress clothes; Sunday best clothes; a wolf in sheep’s clothing.


Clothes types and situations:

Buying clothes: This requires choice, either your own or someone else’s, and is about considering how you want to or do appear to other people – what public image you want to have; who and what you feel comfortable as. But it is often more than just public image, it is also about the choices you make in life, the way you choose to be, how you relate or respond to others, or what you believe yourself to be. Dreams suggest we can be almost anything, but usually we ‘clothe’ ourselves in particular feelings, beliefs or roles often identify with them so thoroughly we can’t see beyond them.

For instance many people cannot choose their  own clothes without other people’s opionion of how they look. This may be a carry over from childhood.

So dreams about clothes and appearance are important in helping you to move beyond or grow beyond what you have ‘clothed’ yourself in.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What am I choosing  – or what is being chosen – in this dream, and what does that suggest about the direction I am taking?

Am I making changes here in the way I present myself – if so what are they?

Do I totally identify with the choices I am making, or can I see them as ‘clothing’?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Changing clothes: This can be about altering your mode of behaviour, your role or mood, or even seeking a different self image. We are all capable of changing who we are, and changing clothes suggests changing the way you present yourself to other people, or how you feel about yourself. Also you change clothes as you move from one role, or one social environment to another – work to being with friends, or school to home, etc. So the dream might be indicating the shifts you make in the attitudes or ways you feel about yourself in different environments.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What clothes are you changing from and to, and what does that suggest?

Is this a change of role or a change in appearance?

Am I changing because I want to or because circumstances or environment demand it?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Children’s or teenage clothes in adult’s dream: Youthful or immature attitudes or behaviour. Sometimes particular clothes carry memories and the clothes might hold information from your past.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Do these clothes remind me of past people or events?

What am I feeling in connection with these clothes, and what message is there in that?

Is this telling me I am behaving as if I were a youngster?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Clothing inappropriate to dream surroundings: Attitudes or behaviour inappropriate to one’s

situation.

Useful Questions and Hints:

In what way are the clothes wrong for the situation?

Am I acting inappropriately in my life in some way?

Do I need to change my clothes or my surroundings?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Clothes for a particular role – policeman, judge, etc: An issue regarding, or shift toward, influence from what the role suggests. See different subjects under roles.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What role do the clothes suggest, and what memories or associations have I got with that role?

Do I feel easy or awkward in the role?

What is being done in the clothes, and what can I see about this that applies to myself?

Dirty or untidy clothes – if the dreamer’s: Difficult or grubby feelings; one’s inner condition, such as an untidy mind, or grubby feeling values. Or simply that you do not care about what people think of you.

If underclothes: usually refers to difficult feelings about sex or ones own personal self. See: dirtyexample under beggar archetype.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Are these my clothes or someone else’s – if someone else’s do I have difficult feelings about them or do they represent an aspect of myself?

What clothes are dirty, and what part of my life or myself do they link with?

If there is need can I imagine cleaning or changing these clothes. (For help with this see carry the dream forward.)

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Discarded clothes: Things you have left behind, or purposely tried to remove from your life. Sometimes this is a way of life, or a period of your life that your ‘wore’ in the past. But occasionally it refers to things from the long past, prior to this present birth, that you are coming across that are relevant to your present.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is it I am aware of at the moment that I left behind, discarded or forgot at some time?

Am I experiencing influences or situations that do not appear to be from this lifetime – if so can I define what they are?

If this refers to something from my past, is it still something I want to discard?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Eating clothes: Trying to digest feeling about your social image – how you appear to others, or how you feel you appear to others. There is a big difference between the two. It might also suggest having a hard time enjoying your life situation or even your own self-image. It mightrelate to the saying, “I’ll eat my hat”.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What do I feel about the clothes being eaten, and where do those feelings appear in my waking life?

What clothes are these – or whose clothes are these – and does this give any clues to what I am trying to digest or integrate?

What do the other parts of the dream suggest in context with the eating?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Helped to get or buy clothes: This suggests you need or are getting the support from someone else to feel confident and socially acceptable, or to change your image. It can also mean you feel impoverished in some way; or that you are unsure of yourself, who you are or what direction to take in life.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Is the help supportive or appreciated, or is there unwillingness – and where do these feelings appear in my life?

Am I looking to someone else to help me in choices or directions?

What clothes are being chosen, and what does this suggest?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Layers of clothes: This refers to wearing something like jeans over a more formal or different type of clothing, and suggests that the top layer is how you present yourself to others, but underneath you feel quite differently about yourself, or are hiding qualities or failings.

If you discover the layer underneath and realise you were not aware of it before, it shows you just realising what was hidden about yourself.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is the difference between the top and bottom layer, and what different qualities do they suggest?

Am I aware of hiding something about myself, or presenting myself as different to what I really feel?

Am I discovering qualities that I kept covered up?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Man in woman’s clothes: It might point to not accepting the male role, with its connection with bread winning, aggression, being cannon fodder in war, etc.

Sometimes a man takes on the female role without realising it in certain situations – perhaps to care for children, or in nursing – and so the dream might show this. Being a full male in relationship with a woman’s full flow of feminine needs is not something some biological males manage. See: Am I a man or a woman?

There are many other reasons for this type of dream. Males may try to deflect the aggression of other males by posing as a woman. They may wish to attract another male – their father – if there has been a difficult and unfulfilled relationship with their father, thus living as a homosexual. An identification with ones mother may have been extreme, and so this might prompt the desire to take the female role. See: Archetype of the anima; Archetype of the animus.

It could also be that you are accepting you female half.

Helpful Questions and Hints:

What am I experiencing or feeling about this, and can I relate those feelings to the way I live my life or hide myself?

Does this remind me of any particular female?

Am I a latent homosexual?

What is gained for me by the female role?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

New clothes: This may come about because of the need for a new life, a new direction, such as occurs after losing a loved partner. It can also show a change in attitudes, new feeling about yourself, or even a change such as in work or relationship.

Example: My parents told us we were running out of money, and that we had to cut our expenses down to the minimum. So we sold everything we had, and started all over. I got some new clothes.

In this dream the change in lifestyle is made more real by the new clothes. New clothes may also link with pleasure and allowing oneself to play or be relaxed, getting what you want.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Are these mine – and if so what is the need or feeling leading to getting them?

If these are someone else’s’ what are the surrounding circumstances and does that link with my present situation?

Have I lost someone, or in need of a change – if so what is that change?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Old clothes: This can depict feelings that you are old, tired, or that something is outworn – such as a relationship or attitudes that do not suit your present life situation or events. It can also link with feelings about your life situation being shabby or worn out, as the example dream of a middle aged woman.

Example: I am getting married but I am at a dentist’s office first and it is getting late. A woman who is ahead of me passes out. Then the dentist takes several inmates in ahead of me. When he gets to me it is 4 p.m. and we decided on a 7 p.m. wedding. (The male dentist is also the minister). I decide to go with a minister whom I had already asked. I call my mother and my daughter to get my dress and to buy me one white carnation. Then I decide to use my artificial bouquet. Then I decide I am too tired and cancel the wedding. The dress is old and yellowed. I didn’t get the dental work finished either.

But old can also relate to tradition, such as a family wedding dress, or period clothes. As such it can indicate past ways of feeling or relating to things and people.

If the clothes are made out of old clothes, then it shows an adapting of old attitudes, or other peoples attitudes or lifestyle to something usable or practical today.

If the clothes are from a past period of time they indicate what you believe it felt like to live in those times, or the attitudes or way of life you associate with them. It might be the period represented sexual repression or struggle for you. If so then it shows you meeting those feelings or that life situation in some way. See: Associations Working With; historic; roles.

Useful Questions and Hints:

If the clothes are something I am not feeling good about, what are the difficult feelings involved?

If I feel fine with these clothes, what attitudes or feelings bring this pleasure?

What role or situation do these clothes suggest?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Old but comfortable clothes: This indicates attitudes regarding the way you relate to others or yourself that you may not express in public, but depict who you are when relaxed. See: historic; roles.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is it about these clothes that enables me to feel comfortable?

Do the clothes link with a way of life – if so what is that way of life?

Are these clothes I own – if so when do I wear them, or when did I last wear them?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Other people’s clothes worn by dreamer: The social attitudes, responses and perhaps way of life we have adopted from others. They might indicate that you are either being influenced by that person, or you admire who they are and are changing.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Whose clothes are being worn, and how would I describe that person to understand what it is that is being ‘put on’? See: people for help defining characters.

What is felt about these clothes, and what does this indicate about my relationship with them?

Am I feeling at ease about the clothes or at odds – if at odds what is it that is irritating or not liked?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Overdressed or unable to get clothes off: Too cautious in relationships, and in some dreams avoidance of sex. It can also show a difficulty in changing your attitudes or self image.  Clothes can be protectiveness, so inability to take them off could suggest avoidance of showing your vulnerabilities. Also avoiding intimacy, or being stuck in old patterns of behaviour or self image.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Do the clothes I am stuck in suggest particular attitudes or a way of life – if so how does that apply to me?

If I am overdressed what in waking life am I doing that suggests this?

Do I avoid intimacy or being vulnerable in a relationship?

Ragged or inappropriate clothes: This might indicate feelings of inadequacy, depression, or even  rebellion against authority or society. It can show you feeling marginalised in some way, or made to feel inferior or of no account.

A ragged wedding dress for instance could show feelings of anxiety about your ability to go through with the relationship, or uncertainty about the wedding or yourself.

Ragged or torn clothes can also show you having survived a difficult or powerful experience of some kind – as would be the case if you had survived a plane crash, travelled across difficult terrain or been in a war.

Other people dressed raggedly probably suggest suspicion on your part about relating to them – i.e. difficult feelings about something or someone you are dealing with at the moment. Or it could show you feel they have lived or are living a difficult life and may even be injured or in danger.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What does the overall situation of the dream suggest – ease, threat, danger, suspicion – and can I see that in my life?

What situation do the ragged or torn clothes appear in, and does that relate to what I am meeting?

Am I feeling inadequate, anxious or as if I have come through a difficult situation?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

School clothes: Attitudes or moral rules learned at school. What we learned at school – not lessons but interrelationships, class structure, competitiveness, authority, mortification, group preferences, etc.; habits of behaviour or feeling reactions developed during those years – puberty occurs at this time, and confronts us with many new feelings, choices and drives.

Someone else’s clothes: See: other people’s clothes.

Stealing clothes: This might suggest that you do not feel that you have what it takes to succeed in life, or that you have the right or personal quality to be admired or seen as a worthy member of society – so it could point to a loss of self respect.

If your clothes are stolen – it might be you are feeling undermined or cheated in some way, or that you feel you have lost confidence, or the feelings that usually support you in a situation such as work or public relations.

Useful Questions and Hints:

If you are stealing, what is it you are wanting or seeking in taking the clothes, and how does that relate to your life at the moment?

What clothes are taken, and what does that link with? (See entries on particular garments.)

If your clothes are stolen what are you feeling and is that a feeling you recognise in waking life?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Taking off clothes: Removing the attitudes or ‘front’ you use to deal with people and social life; becoming more relaxed or intimate if undressing with someone; exposing your real self or moving toward sexual intimacy.

It can also mean you are getting rid of the layers of social behaviour you have been hiding behind, or the attitudes you have defended yourself with – even the parts of your personality that arose from past trauma or difficult life situations.

In some dreams you take off clothes to get at something underneath. This is either to see/understand something that your everyday attitudes or situation keep hidden, or to deal with something, maybe depicted as an injury, lice, or creatures crawling on you. See: naked: wound: insects.

Useful Questions and Hints:

In what situation are the clothes being removed, and what aspect of my life does this point to?

What clothes are being removed – suggesting what attitudes or feelings I am dealing with?

Am I with someone, suggesting intimacy, or alone suggesting isolation?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Tight clothes: Being too restricted in attitude or being tight emotionally. It can also suggest you feel restrained or held back in some way; or else you want to show your body curves..

If it refers to tight female clothes it can mean a desire to reveal your body in a sexually attractive way.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is it I am feeling restrained by, or what am I restraining?

Am I trying to be sexually attractive with someone?

Are there attitudes or decisions I am living by that are too tight and controlling?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Undressing: See: Taking off clothes.

Woman in male clothes: Not accepting female role, motherhood, or being a housewife. Possibly lesbian tendencies, or a desire for father figure. See: Am I a man or a woman?

It could also be that you are accepting you male half. See soul mate

Useful Questions and Hints:

Why is this happening in the dream – i.e. what motivation or pressure?

What is being done and what does this point to – i.e. am I seeking a woman, working at something, exploring being a male?

What are my feelings about this in the dream?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

Worn out or old clothes: Attitudes that you are ready to leave behind, or old habits no longer useful.

It could also point to you feeling worn out, old or tired. See: Old clothes.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Do the clothes link with or typify a period of my life – if so what was my way of thinking and living at that time?

What am I doing with these clothes, and what does that tell me about what I am doing with old attitudes or lifestyle?

Do my present feelings echo the clothes, in that I am feeling old or worn out?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsSecrets of Power Dreaming

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Comments

-Nadine 2012-06-04 0:50:08

Hello. I was wondering about a dream my mother had, as whenever she dreams about my grandmother (who passed away over 5 years ago) its usually to tell her something. This particular dream involves me, so I am curious as to its meaning. In my mothers dream my grandma was in her mid 30s (which is a few years older than me) and she is in a beautiful vibrant emerald green dress and shoes, and in the dream my mom recalls that I also was wearing a green dress also.
My mother doesn’t recall anything else happening in her dream, but just remembers feeling good about the dream, it seemed very positive. I wonder if this has anything to do with my constant wonder and questioning about my life path, and whether I am on the right track?? My life has taken many turns in the last 3 years, so I am just hoping for stability, peace and moving forward financially and in my personal life.
Thank you

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-Helen 2012-10-13 9:46:19

In my dream I lost my husband whilst on holiday and having spent ages looking for him was contacted by a male admirer who was then concern to hear of my plight. He showed up, (he wasn’t someone I know) and was a policeman and helped me. I was concerned about my husband as he didn’t have the directions to our hotel and what seemed more important was his shirt was torn and his trousers dirty. We were having sex in a public place just before he disappeared. What does this mean, it has shaken me up this morning and left me with a feeling of gloom

Reply

    -Tony Crisp 2012-10-18 13:34:19

    Helen – Dreams are very seldom predictions, but they are reflections of your inner feelings, doubts, worries and fears – as well as all the positives you might feel. But I wish I knew how old you are as at a certain time of life women start unconsciously worrying about ‘losing their husband’. That is probably either because they know women live longer, or that you are unconsciously worried about him.

    It seems also you have some guilt about sex in public place and that you are a caring wife. Have a look at http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/questions/#FaceFear

    Tony

    Reply

-tasyah 2012-10-16 14:16:47

what does it mean when you dream of looking through assorted clothes from an unknown deceased person? Another question would be what does it mean when you dream of getting a job while me and my boyfriend are standing in the office?

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-mapula 2013-03-02 4:17:48

i trust you

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-Jo-Anne 2013-07-11 10:53:08

Good day

I am constantly dreaming of myself going around clothing stores and boutiques, buying clothes for myself…, sometimes for others. I am always looking relaxed and happy to be doing that.

Sometimes I am doing the shopping alone and at times I am with people.

The clothes in my dreans are usually women’s clothes.

When I am buying for myself, it is usually matching bags and shoes.

I just wanted to find out if you could interpret my dreams.

Thank You

Reply

-Lewis 2013-12-10 23:10:41

What does it mean to have a reoccurring dream
every time a green dress is presented to me, and every time something stopsme from trying it on

I want to know if it fits!!

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-Heather 2014-01-20 18:05:28

I have had a lot of dreams recently where I remove my shirt. Once I was at work and I was manually working, I was sweating so I took off my shirt with no concern about who was watching. Another dream I had, I was talking to another woman during another manual labor job and removed my shirt mid conversation. In this instant, I wasn’t hot or sweaty, I just took my shirt off. What does this mean?

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