Example: I am packing for a holiday, surrounded by a lovely selection of all sorts of clothes. I am matching outfits, shoes, scarves, handbags. It gives me great pleasure. I am wearing an old navy blue dress which is too shon for me. So shon 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). Clothes can mean many things, depending upon dream context. In the example the clothes are feelings of pleasure and confidence, and also discomfort and lack of confidence.
In general they indicate 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, 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. Constance Newland gives the example of dressing in violet symbolising being inviolate sexually. Overdressed , unable to get clothes off: too cautious in relationships, difficulty in changing attitudes or self image; self protectiveness; avoiding intimacy.
Naked or see-through clothes: example: ‘I am at the doctor’s being examined.
It is always the same. I have all my clothes off and he examines me from the roots of my hair down to my toenails. I am just at the point where I am going to ask him for his diagnosis when he fades away’ (Miss L). Desire to be attractive and noticed, as in the example, where Miss L is enjoying an acceptable form of intimacy; being open about what you really feel; fear of other people seeing what you really feel, think and desire; anxiety about not being adequate socially, lacking ability to conform to social norm. See nude. Ragged or inappropriate clothes: feelings of inadequacy depressed feelings; rebellion against authority or society. Armour, protective clothing : defences against internal anxieties, past hurts and external intimacy. Other people’s clothes: the social attitudes and responses we have adopted from others. Children’s, teenage clothes in adult’s dream: youthful or immature attitudes or behaviour. Undressing: revealing one’s real character; move towards intimacy. Dirty, untidy clothes: difficult or grubby feelings; one’s inner condition, such as an untidy mind, or grubby feeling values. Worn out or old clothes: attitudes ready to be left behind; old habits no longer useful; feeling worn out, old or tired. Tight clothes: being too restricted in attitude; being tight emotionally. New clothes: change in attitudes; new feeling about self. Someone else’s clothes: could be feelings from that person; their attitudes, memories. Man in woman’s clothes: unacceptability of male role, with its connection with breadwinning, aggression, being cannon fodder in war, homosexual tendency; desire for mother. Woman in male clothes: unacceptability of female role, motherhood, housewife; lesbian tendency; desire for father figure. Clothing inappropnate to dream surroundings: attitudes or behaviour inappropriate to one’s situation. Changing clothes: altering one’s mode of behaviour, role or mood. Idioms: dress to kill; dress up. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences