Clothing Influences

Think about your closet full of clothing…what prompted you to buy all of these items?  Our clothing decisions are often influences by a variety of things.  This lesson on Clothing Influences is a great way to explore what guides our choices when it comes to clothing. Use this as an intro lesson to your clothing or fashion course or unit or as a stand alone overview lesson in a comprehensive FACS class or middle school program when you need to explore various FACS content areas in a short period of time. Be sure to check out all of the engaging ideas as you continue to read this post!


  • Introduce the topic by assigning students the “Clothing Choices…Intro Prompts”. In this activity, students respond to the prompt and give a reason for their choice.
  • After students have completed the prompts, share and discuss as a class so students can see the variety of responses.
  • NOTE:  The Intro Prompts assignment could also be turned into a movement activity if you so desire to get students up and out of their seats.  Just cut apart the prompts, number them and place them around the room.  Give students index cards, having them number according to prompt and then respond.  Once all of the prompts are finished, assign a prompt to each person or group (depending on class size) to compile the results and then share back with the class.


  • iPad or Laptop
  • Projector & Screen
  • Colored Pencils and/or Colored Markers (thin tips)


  • If you are looking to explore how our clothing choices fit into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, show students this YouTube video titled, “Why We Wear Clothing – A Breakdown Of The Psychology Behind Human Fashion Choices and Communication” and have student complete the notes form as they view.
  • To give your students an overview of the characteristics or categories that influence their clothing choices, show the presentation titled, “Clothing Influences” and have students fill in the notes form as you go through the information.
  • After the influences are presented and notes are taken, give students a Wheel of Five template and have them label and create a colorful doodle illustration for each influence that depicts why they wear what they do!  For example: Protection: If you are a hunter, you draw a camouflage jacket with a bright orange vest so you can easily be seen by other hunters.
  • After students have completed their illustration, have them share and compare influences.  This can be done in small groups or set up as a speed dating session.
  • For further discussion on this topic and as a culmination activity, have students participate in the Chat Group presentation. Place students into small groups of 2-3 and give each student a chat group response template to fill out as the prompts are projected onto the screen and discussed within the group.
  • After all prompts are completed, discuss and share answers as a class.
  • Conclude with this Collins writing prompt as a quick assessment: Look at your wheel of five template and select the top three (3) influences that most impact your clothing choices? Why these three? What makes them so important?  Refer students to the criteria so they know what to include before timing them.


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