Investigating Clothing Code and Relationship between Clothing and Identity in Workplace

  • Xinzhu Song

Student thesis: Master of Philosophy


This dissertation explores how Chinese young professional employees perceive clothing code, understand the work clothing and use clothing to express work identities. This research employs mixture of quantitative approach and qualitative approach by sending self-completed questionnaire with open-ended questions. There are 166 participants involved in this research. The findings from this research demonstrate the existence of clothing code within Chinese young employees. Clothing does have a language like property and communicative function. But, clothing code and language are different as means of communication. In addition, this research applied identity theory and symbolic self-completion theory to explore the perceptions and the use of clothing in relationship to work identity Moreover, this research aims to fill the gap in the knowledge of communicative function of clothing, the perceptions and the use of clothing in relationship to work identity with focus on Chinese young employees from the demographic perspective. Fashion retailers may benefit from this research in exploring new consumers and promoting work clothing better for Chinese young employees.
Date of Award31 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorWilliam Kennon (Supervisor) & Yi Wang (Supervisor)


  • Code, Work clothing, Work identity salience, Self-completion theory, Communication

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