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Clothing Symbolism: What Does it Mean to Dream About Clothes?

To dream about clothes would not be unexpected, for most of us they are a required part of daily life.  Clothes are something we think about daily. 

We must decide what to wear for the weather, the activities of the day, how comfortable we want to be and also what message we want to send to others.

a woman standing in a hay field holding a white straw hat with black ribbon.

Clothes are an inescapable part of the modern human experience. So what does it mean when clothes – or the lack of them becomes the subject of our dreams?

Let’s examine clothing as a symbol and what messages it may have for you when it finds its way into your dream world. Keep reading for more in-depth information about what it means when we dream about clothes.

Learn more about why we dream and what our dreams mean!

The symbolism of clothing throughout history

Clothing has long been used as a symbol in various cultures throughout history. The types and styles of clothing worn can communicate social status, profession, cultural background, and even religious beliefs.

For example, in ancient Egypt, pharaohs and other high-ranking officials wore elaborate headdresses and robes adorned with symbols of their power and authority.

a group of Asian monks in red robes outside a temple.

In many traditional cultures, clothing is also used to symbolize a person’s journey through life, such as the use of the cap and gown to symbolize the transition from student to graduate.

Additionally, there are many religious and spiritual traditions that use clothing as a symbol of devotion, such as the monk’s robe in Buddhism or the nun’s habit in Christianity. Clothing can also symbolize modesty, purity, and holiness in some religious traditions.

Overall, clothing has been used as a powerful symbol throughout history, conveying a wide range of meanings and associations that are shaped by cultural, social, and historical factors.

The symbolic meaning of clothing in our dreams

Clothing can show up in your dreams many different ways.  The symbolic meaning of clothes in dreams can depend on your current circumstances, experiences, or how the clothing is presented in the dream. Some possible interpretations of clothing in dreams include:


When we dream about a hat, it may symbolize a desire to protect ourselves from something. It can also symbolize authority, power, or respect.  Losing a hat in a dream could mean a loss of status or self-esteem.

the profile of a woman wearing a large white hat with flowers on it and a deep red dress.

Seeing someone else wearing a hat may symbolize the individual’s thoughts or feelings about that person. A specific type of hat may have a special meaning. A baseball hat may symbolize a sense of leisure or relaxation. A cowboy hat may symbolize a sense of adventure.


When we dream about shoes, it could symbolize the way we are moving forward in life. Seeing someone else wearing shoes could indicate your thoughts or feelings about that person. Wearing new shoes might mean you are headed for a new beginning or changing directions in life. 

a man sitting on a cement wall wearing bright orange sneakers.

If you have lost your shoes, it could indicate you are feeling lost or are not sure what direction to go.  If you are wearing old or worn-out shoes in your dream you may feel stuck or unfulfilled.

Finally, high heels could symbolize a desire for power or status. Tennis shoes may symbolize a sense of leisure or relaxation.

a woman's legs with black high heels hanging over a bench near the ocean.

Jackets or coats

If we dream of wearing a jacket, it may mean there is a desire to feel protected and safe, and to lose a jacket may mean we are feeling a loss of protection or security. Jackets can symbolize a person’s role in society or their profession.

a woman with long brown hair wearing a bright yellow raincoat.

Specific kinds of jackets may be symbolic. For example, a leather jacket may symbolize rebellion or a sense of danger, while a parka may symbolize survival or protection in difficult conditions.

Receiving new clothing

To dream of receiving new clothing can symbolize a new beginning or a change in one’s life.  It can mean you may want to change how you see yourself or how you want to be perceived by others.

a man wearing a gray tweed suit jacket and a black hat covering his face.

If you receive a gift of new clothing, it may symbolize you feel valued or appreciated. If you receive a new suit, it may represent a desire for success or respect; a new dress may symbolize a desire for romance or femininity.

Giving clothing away

To give clothing away may mean you desire to let go of something, like an old relationship or a habit that no longer serves you.  It can symbolize the desire to help or support someone else by providing them with what they need to move forward. It can symbolize feeling generous or grateful. It might mean you need to clear out the old and make space for the new. 

An absence of clothes

If we are underdressed in our dreams, it can mean we feel exposed, vulnerable, or are afraid of being criticized.  It may also mean you feel unprepared or not ready for a challenge. On the other hand, it could present a sense of freedom or liberation; you are not constrained by societal norms. It really depends on how you felt in the dream state.

a red haired woman floating underwater in jeans and a black bra.

If you are caught underdressed at a formal event, it could mean you are worried you don’t fit in. Not having all your clothes on at work may mean you feel you don’t belong or are feeling unprepared.

Common meanings of clothing in dreams

Dreaming about clothing can mean different things to different people. Clothing in a dream can indicate hidden emotions, worries, desires, dreams for the future, or a need to change.

Consider keeping a dream journal to track what you dream about and how that may intersect with your life. You never know; your dreams of new shoes or a lost dress may contain important messages for you!