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Flügel, J.C. (1930). A Dress Reform Dream. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 11:497-499.

(1930). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 11:497-499

A Dress Reform Dream

J. C. Flügel

It seems fairly clear that in the development of the attitude of a man towards his clothes there takes place a displacement on to certain garments of the exhibitionistic interests originally connected with the penis, so that there comes about the phallic symbolism of clothes to which various psycho-analytic writers have drawn attention. At the same time, at a more conscious level, clothes retain their function of hiding and protecting the body, especially that (for psychological purposes) most valuable and attractive, but also most immodest and vulnerable, part of the body—the external genitals. There is, moreover, as Ernest Jones, Ferenczi, and Roheim, have pointed out, a tendency to identify the whole male body with the genitals, especially the phallus—a tendency which, as I have myself elsewhere endeavoured to shew, may have a good deal to do with the intolerance of any part of the exposed male body, an intolerance that is somewhat characteristic of the present time. These facts are brought out by the following dream and the associations produced to it, the patient being a man with rather unusually strong exhibitionistic tendencies.

In the dream he saw a handsome young man who was wearing (in succession, it would appear, though there is some uncertainty here) a number of attractive sweaters. One blue sweater he (the dreamer) particularly admired. He experienced great pleasure in the contemplation of these garments, and thought that, if only he himself could so reform his dress as to wear clothes of this kind, it would bring a new joy into his existence, would in fact quite change his outlook upon life.

In proceeding to associate to this dream, he first thought of a certain homosexually tinged admiration for a young man known in earlier life and who resembled somewhat the young man seen in the dream. An incident was recalled in which the young man's name had been misread by a third person in such a way as to make it resemble somewhat that of the patient himself.

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